Snooky Young

Snooky Young is an NEA Jazz Master Eugene “Snooky” Young was an American jazz trumpeter. He was known for his mastery of the plunger mute, with which he was able to create a wide range of sounds.

oung was lead trumpeter of the Jimmie Lunceford band from 1939 to 1942. He played with Count Basie (three stints totalling eight years) and Lionel Hampton, among others, and was an original member of the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Big Band.

His longest engagement was with NBC, where, as a studio trumpeter, he joined the Tonight Show Band in 1967 and stayed with them until 1992, when the band was replaced by a new, smaller group.

He was also part of the touring ensemble that traveled with Doc Severinsen, performing live concert dates, corporate events, and headling shows in the main rooms of Las Vegas. The one nighters usually occurred on Fridays, Saturdays, or Sundays, as Severinsen was committed to the Tonight Show on weeknights.

For the Las Vegas gigs, the nucleus of Severinsen's touring band (Young, Conductor Steve Thoma, and drummer Paul Line) would commute to Vegas nightly, leaving Van Nuys airport around 6:00pm via Lear Jet, arriving in Las Vegas by 7:00. A limousine would transport the musicians directly backstage, where they would dress & prepare for an 8:00 pm & midnight show. Then back to the airport for the ride back to Los Angeles, where Severinsen and Young had their NBC gig, and Steve Thomas and Paul Line were undertaking studio sessions daily.

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