A brilliant technician with a beautiful tone and a wide range, Ernie Royal spent most of his career in the anonymous settings of studio bands, uplifting the music but only gaining fame among those in the music industry. The younger brother of altoist Marshall Royal (who was nine years older), the trumpeter picked up early experience playing in Los Angeles with Les Hite & His Orchestra (1937-1938) and with Cee Pee Johnson (1939). Both of the Royal brothers were with Lionel Hampton & His Big Band (1940-1942) and Ernie Royal hit the famous screaming high notes on the original Hampton version of "Flying Home." After a period in the Army (1942-1945), he worked in San Francisco with Vernon Alley and in Los Angeles with Phil Moore, and then spent much of 1946 with Count Basie & His Orchestra. Royal was a member of Woody Herman's ...
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