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William C. (Bill) Rank

Bill Rank is most famous for having participated on some classic recordings with Bix Beiderbecke and Frankie Trumbauer in the 1920's. He began his professional career in 1921, playing with Collins' Jazz Band in Florida and then in Indianapolis as part of Tade Dolan's Singing Orchestra. Rank joined Jean Goldkette's Orchestra in 1923 and was with Goldkette through the summer of 1927 including the Beiderbecke era. He was with Adrian Rollini's legendary (if short-lived) orchestra, recorded with Sam Lanin, Roger Wolfe Kahn and Nat Shilkret and then was with Paul Whiteman's Orchestra from Dec. 1927 up until 1938, appearing on many recordings. After four years playing in the Hollywood studios, Rank moved to Cincinnati where he led his own bands by night while working in the insurance industry by day. In the late 1960's he became more active in music, visiting Europe a few times and appearing at numerous classic jazz festivals in the 70's where he was treated as a legend. Bill Rank led his lone record date in 1973, a tribute to Bix Beiderbecke for Fat Cat's Jazz.


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