Musician; born in Clarinda, Iowa. A trombonist, he attended the University of Colorado before joining Ben Pollack's orchestra in Chicago in 1924. He moved to New York in 1928, where he free-lanced for the next nine years as a studio musician and worked as a sideman with a succession of bandleaders, including Red Nichols, the Dorsey Brothers, and Ray Noble.
After his first band failed in 1937, he put together a second orchestra in 1938. For the next four years, with hits such as "Moonlight Serenade" and "In the Mood," it was the most successful dance band of the period.
In 1942, he joined the U.S. Air Force, for which he organized the Glenn Miller Army Air Force Band to entertain the troops. While stationed in Europe, he died on a flight from England to France in a plane that disappeared over the English Channel. -BIOGRAPY.COM