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Peanuts Hucko

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  • Born: Syracuse, NY
  • Died: Fort Worth, TX
  • Years Active: 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s


Biography All Music Guide

All Music Guide:

Peanuts Hucko long had a sound on clarinet that is nearly identical to that of Benny Goodman. A fine tenor player in his early days (although he largely gave up the instrument after the 1940s), Hucko's clarinet is an attractive addition to any Dixieland or swing combo. He started out as a tenor saxophonist playing in the big bands of Will Bradley (1939-1941), Charlie Spivak (1941-1942), and Bob Chester. Hucko was a member of Glenn Miller's Army Air Force Band, where he was a star clarinet soloist. After being discharged from the military and playing with Benny Goodman (1945-1946) and Ray McKinley (1946-47), Hucko started an on-and-off association with Eddie Condon. He worked in the studios in the 1950s, visited Europe with Jack Teagarden and Earl Hines in 1957, toured the world with Louis Armstrong's All-Stars (1958-1960), and in the 1960s often led his own Dixie/swing band. In the 1970s, for a period, he was the leader of the Glenn Miller ghost orchestra and is credited with returning the group to an authentic swing sound. In the '90s Hucko often headed groups featuring his wife, vocalist Louise Tobin. He continued to play until the very end of the '90s, but health problems eventually sidelined his playing career. On June 19, 2003 Peanuts Hucko passed away at the age of 85 in a Fort Worth, Texas hospital.