Sentimental Journey Through the 1940s
Join the Ted Lewis Museum on a Sentimental Journey through the big band era featuring the music of famed Ohio native big bandleader and trumpet player Clyde McCoy and his “Sugar Blues” Orchestra.
Few musical trademarks were so instantly recognized as the first five notes played by Clyde McCoy in his famous Sugar Blues. McCoy (whose ancestors feuded with the Hatfield clan) started his musical career at the age of nine on the trombone in his hometown of Portsmouth, Ohio. He later mastered his golden trumpet on which he developed a unique, muted “wah-wah” style which was widely copied, but never equaled. In his teenage years, McCoy found work playing on riverboats and assembled his first jazz band in 1920. In 1930, McCoy was engaged at Chicago’s Drake Hotel where he introduced what was to become his theme song, Sugar Blues. His record of that number sold over a million copies, no small feat in the depths of the depression.
McCoy developed a special brand of Dixieland influenced big band music and originated the concept of “battle of the bands,” with two orchestras facing off on stage. McCoy toured the country with his orchestra until 1942, when he and all his musicians joined the Navy as a unit where they entertained the troops. After the war, McCoy reorganized his big band, touring until 1955. After a brief retirement, McCoy organized a seven-piece Dixieland band and resumed touring through the 1980s.
Hear Clyde McCoy’s recently discovered original musical arrangements for the first time in six decades as Joseph Rubin and his 15-piece Orchestra perform all your favorite song hits from the fabulous forties: Stompin’ At The Savoy, When You’re Smiling, Stardust, Opus No. 1, Sentimental Journey, and of course Sugar Blues. Don’t miss this exciting concert celebrating the centennial of Clyde McCoy’s first band!