Home » Jazz Musicians » Snooky Young

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.

Young performed nightly with Severinsen, and he was featured prominently for several solos, as well as a trumpet version of "Dueling Banjos". He continued to perform in Los Angeles, appearing on the classic 1976 Coconut Grove recording Bobby Bland and B.B. King Together Again...Live and again on King's 2008 album One Kind Favor.

His 1978 album with altoist Marshall Royal, Snooky and Marshall's Album, featured pianist Ross Tompkins, rhythm guitarist Freddie Green, bassist Ray Brown and drummer Louie Bellson.

He was one of horn players that accompanied rock group The Band on their live album Rock of Ages.

Young recorded only three albums under his own name.

He received a NEA Jazz Masters Award for 2009 on October 17, 2008 at Lincoln Center in New York City.

Through the years, Snooky has recorded and performed with Gerald Wilson (a good friend since the Lunceford days) and his Orchestra. Until 2010 he was still playing and recording with the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra.

Tags

5
Liner Notes

Raul De Souza: Colors

Read "Raul De Souza: Colors" reviewed by Arnaldo DeSouteiro


Raul De Souza's life can be seen as a one-of-a-kind story. Indeed, it would make a perfect novel or film script. It may not be as big a tragedy as 'Round Midnight or Bird, but it has drama, love, adventure, and great music. Picture this: a poor child grows up in Brazil working as a weaver and practicing trombone in conversations with a buffalo in the jungle, dreaming of someday becoming an internationally famous jazzman. Suddenly, this dream ...

5
Liner Notes

Paul Quinichette: Like Basie

Read "Paul Quinichette: Like Basie" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan


Like any business concerned with making a profit, the record industry has often resorted to questionable concepts, tributes, or other hooks to lure more costumers to their product. Currently we find ourselves in an era where the quality of original music is arguably on the decline, thus it has become even more prevalent to use nostalgia as a selling point. While ghost bands and one-off tributes may be a way to bring a new audience to the music of some ...

47
Radio & Podcasts

February Birthdays and Snooky @100

Read "February Birthdays and Snooky @100" reviewed by Marc Cohn


It's the monthly jazz birthdays edition of Gift and Messages, direct from our turntables and CD players in mid-city Baton Rouge to you! We salute the late trumpeter Snooky Young on his 100th birthday with one of the rare recordings under his own name, the out-of-print Horn of Plenty. Great listening, along with tenor birthday madness and a very deep dive into the vault. Enjoy the show! Playlist Kamasi Washington “Isabelle" from The Epic (Brainfeeder) 00:00 Joshua ...

552
Profile

Snooky Young

Read "Snooky Young" reviewed by Rex  Butters


When they called Eugene Edward Young up to the podium to receive his 2009 NEA Jazz Master's award, he was called by his professional name, Snooky. “I don't know how I got it," he said. “It started when I was a real little kid. I don't know where it came from. It used to be Snookum and it finally wound up being Snooky." The first chair trumpet player with Jimmie Lunceford, Count Basie, Lionel Hampton, Gerald Wilson, Thad ...

272
Album Review

Paul Quinichette & His Basie-ites: Like Basie

Read "Like Basie" reviewed by Nic Jones


Like Basie has already seen the light of day in the CD era as an OJC release, but given its qualities, its reappearance here is welcome anyway. Paul Quinichette's career was perhaps more dogged than aided by the lazy “Vice-Pres" tag that was placed upon him because of his stylistic allegiance to Lester Young. As ever the details of the matter were somewhat different. His work was in fact rhythmically far less oblique, whilst the timbre of his playing was ...

Read more articles
148

Obituary

Snooky Young, 1919-2011

Snooky Young, 1919-2011

Source: Rifftides by Doug Ramsey

Reports emerged late last night that Snooky Young died on May 5 at the age of 92. Young was that rare combination, a great lead trumpeter who was also a soloist of exceptional imagination, taste and humor. He began as a professional musician when he was a teenager in Dayton, Ohio. At 20, he joined he joined the Jimmie Lunceford band and in the course of his career played key roles in virtually every big jazz band of importance except ...

Dave Banks
trumpet

Photos

Music

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Like Basie

Mighty Quinn Productions
2006

buy

Colors

Milestone
1999

buy

Snooky & Marshal's...

Contemporary Records
1978

buy

3 Shades Of Blue

Flying Dutchman
1970

buy

Videos

Similar

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.