Ziggy Elman

Harry Aaron Finkelman (May 26, 1916 – June 26, 1968), also known as Ziggy Elman was an American jazz trumpeter best known for his association with Benny Goodman. However, he also managed Ziggy Elman and His Orchestra. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he moved to Atlantic City with his family when he was just four years old. His father, a violinist, had hoped that he would also play the violin. Harry preferred to play the brass instruments, even though he was able to play the violin. At 15 years old, he began playing in Jewish nightclubs and weddings. In 1932, he recorded his first recording as a trombone player. He adopted the name ZiggyElman sometime in the tenth of the century. Elman is an abbreviation of Finkelman, while Ziggy is thought to be a reference Florenz Ziegfeld. In 1936, he was a trumpet player for the Benny Goodman Orchestra. Johnny Mercer’s 1939 composition, “And the Angels sing”, became the country’s number one single. He was asked in 1956 to recreate his famous frailach solo with Martha Tilton, the original vocalist, but he was unable to do so, his technique having declined. Manny Klein, a trumpeter, performed the solo, but Elman performed it in the movie. The song is his most lasting musical legacy. It has been featured in films from 1997 to now and was inducted into Grammy Hall of Fame 1987. He joined Tommy Dorsey’s group and was also a military member during World War II. He was a fan of frailach music (later known as klezmer) and recorded a few tracks with Mickey Katz. He was awarded six times in the Down Beat magazine readers poll between 1940 and 1947. His own bands were formed in 1947. In the 1950s, big bands had declined. He switched to entertainment work for a while. He appeared mostly in films as himself during this decade. He suffered a heart attack in 1956 that ended his musical career. He was financially bankrupt by the end of 1950s and had to start working for a car dealer. At an alimony hearing, 1961, it was revealed that he was almost bankrupt. Later, he worked in a music shop and taught trumpet to aspiring musicians. He died at the age of 54 in 1968 and was buried at Mount Sinai Memorial Park Cemetery. User-contributed text may also be available under Creative Commons By–SA License.

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