An excellent Dixieland player, Pete Daily, never quite broke into the big time despite his talents and he received less fame than he deserved. He started out playing baritone horn, switched to tuba in high school, and then soon afterward cornet. Daily worked steadily in Chicago during 1930-1942, with Frank Melrose, Bud Freeman, and Boyce Brown, among others. In 1942 he relocated to California. Although he played a bit with Ozzie Nelson's big band, after serving in the merchant marine for a year, Daily spent most of the rest of his career fronting small Dixieland bands. The postwar years were a good era for the cornetist, recording for Jump and Capitol (although no recordings were made after 1954) and working steadily in the L.A. area. Among Daily's sidemen were Rosy McHargue on clarinet and C-melody sax and pianist Marvin Ash. In the 1960s, he spent time back in Indiana and also learned to play valve trombone, often performing with Smoky Stover's band. Although active during the 1970s, a serious stroke in 1979 forced his retirement. Pete Daily had a hard-driving yet lyrical style and he was always an asset on Dixieland dates.
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