Trumpet Player Mac Gollehon of New York was born and raised in North Carolina and began playing guitar in blues and what was then called uptown country bands four nights a week at age 10. At around that same time his father Joe Gollehon, a trumpet player with natural ability and tone quality much like Billy Butterfield, started him on the trumpet. At the same time he taught Mac on trombone, euphonium, French horn and a few years later tuba. Mac's dad would always stress focus of tone center and not to over blow past pitch center.
Around age 13, Mac played the circus and the band-leader Merle Evans had returned from retirement briefly. Merle was well known as a great cornetist and on these gigs Mac did with him he was playing a pocket trumpet. Up to this point Mac was always trying to emulate the sounds he was surrounded by so listening and imitating was a valuable experience. Mac continued through high school playing rock, blues, and jazz on all the instruments he had learned and was performing occasionally with the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra. Mac gravitated more toward one nighters and club work just because he found it to be more fun. Also at age 17, Mac briefly raced late model modified stock cars.
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