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Buddy Morrow

At 91, Buddy Morrow had to be helped onstage to lead the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra in Ormond Beach, Fla., on Sept. 24, but once the music started, his energy never wavered. He even played the trombone solo on “Night Train, which had sold more than a million copies for him in 1952.

Buddy Morrow in the 1940s.

But when Mr. Morrow left the stage to tumultuous applause, it ended the final performance of a career that spanned more than seven decades. Mr. Morrow died Monday at his home in Maitland, Fla., his daughter Sara Morrow said.

Mr. Morrow was born Muni Zudekoff on Feb. 8, 1919, in New Haven to Sophie and David Zudekoff. He was the fifth of six siblings, all musicians, and played trombone because trumpet was taken.

At 15, he toured with the jazz ensemble the Yale Collegians. He soon moved to New York to play full time with established musicians like Harry James, Buddy Rich and Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey. He won a scholarship to the Juilliard School, but left before graduating to continue playing professionally.

He played lead trombone for the Navy Band while serving in the Navy on Staten Island from 1941 to 1944.

Mr. Morrow got his first job as a bandleader in 1945, when he covered for Jimmy Dorsey one night when Mr. Dorsey was sick. He formed the Buddy Morrow Orchestra in 1947. He played intermittently with the “Tonight Show” band in the 1960s. His band broke up in 1968, but he continued performing, recording and leading different bands until he became the conductor of the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra in 1977. (Tommy Dorsey had died in 1956, Jimmy Dorsey in 1957.)

Mr. Morrow recorded the albums “Big Band Guitar” and “The Golden Trombone” and the hits “One Mint Julep” and “Hey Mrs. Jones,” among many others. In 2008 he received a lifetime achievement award from the International Trombone Association.

International Trombone Association

Honorary Life Members

WindSong Press Limited
PO Box 146
Gurnee, Illinois 60031 USA
Phone 847 223-4586

© Copyright 2014 WindSong Press Limited. All rights reserved. Revised: May 14, 2015