John McGhee

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While the most famous McGhee in jazz trumpet is undoubtedly the bebop dignitary, big band trumpeter John McGhee recorded with both Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald in the '30s. On the other side of…
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While the most famous McGhee in jazz trumpet is undoubtedly the bebop dignitary, big band trumpeter John McGhee recorded with both Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald in the '30s. On the other side of the railroad tracks, an old-time country harmonica player, singer, and guitar picker with the same name was making recording history with partner Frank Welling, causing many a fan to weep in reaction to their sentimental lyrics. Also weeping at times could have been either McGhee, whose royalty payments and musician's union disbursements were sometimes tangled up with each other. The trumpeter, who built his reputation as a member of the Glenn Miller big band, made most of his recordings in the late '30s and early '40s. Apparently, he could also be coerced into hauling a squeezebox into the studio; he is credited with playing accordion on the Ella Fitzgerald track "Patootie Pie." There is also a younger jazzer with the same name, this one an Australian mainstream drummer who has backed touring artists such as Dizzy Gillespie.