All About Jazz

Home » Musicians » Joe Bushkin

Joe Bushkin Joe Bushkin

Joe Bushkin, who passed away in November 2004, was a legend in his time. A pianist, composer, arranger and vocalist of superb talents and impeccable taste. A professional for over 70 years, he started at age 15 playing gigs with Benny Goodman, Bunny Berigan and Eddie Condon.

Among his many achievements, he had the distinction of accompanying Billie Holiday on her first recording, as a leader, writing Frank Sinatra’s first hit song, “Oh! Look At Me Now” when they were with Tommy Dorsey’s band, and serving as Bing Crosby’s last musical director and playing on his last recording session. In between, he also wrote songs for Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong, the Andrews Sisters, Louis Jordan and Nat “King” Cole.

After serving in the Army Air Corps in WWII, Bushkin became one of New York City’s most popular nightclub performers, frequently appearing on radio and television in the late 40’s and 50’s. Joe had also enjoyed a prolific recording career, appearing on countless studio sessions and recording dozens of albums as a leader. His series of eight popular “mood albums” with full orchestra for Capital Records in the 1950’s are among the best selling albums ever by a Jazz artist. He also found time to appear as an actor on Broadway in Garson Kanin’s The Rat Race, later reprising his role in the Hollywood movie version.

Joe Bushkin’s exuberant piano style was developed in the pioneer days of American Jazz, and he raised the roof of every club and concert hall around the world that was lucky enough to host one of his selectively rare performances.

Read more


Album Review
Read more articles


Album Live At The Embers 1952 by Joe Bushkin

Live At The Embers...

Dot Time Records

Album In Concert Town Hall by Joe Bushkin

In Concert Town Hall



Play It Again, Joe

Kedar Entertainment Group


Night Sounds San...

Kedar Entertainment Group


Night Sounds - San...

Kedar Entertainment Group


In Concert, Town Hall

Kedar Entertainment Group




Lee Wiley Lee Wiley
voice / vocals
Eddie Lang Eddie Lang
Helen Ward Helen Ward
voice / vocals
Joe Sullivan Joe Sullivan
Johnny Mandel Johnny Mandel
Sammy Davis Jr. Sammy Davis Jr.
voice / vocals

Shop Amazon

All About Jazz needs your support

All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.