Woody Herman Biography

Songwriter, Conductor, Singer, Saxophonist (1913–1987)
Woody Herman was a clarinetist, saxophonist, singer and leader of one of the most popular big bands in jazz.


Woody Herman formed his first band in 1936. Known as “The Band That Plays the Blues,” the group had a hit in 1939 with “Woodchopper's Ball.” His 1940s bands, the Thundering Herds, evolved into powerful and colorful ensembles that combined a light rhythm-section sound with explosive, forward-looking arrangements. He led his bands almost continuously for more than 50 years.

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