The World is Waiting for the Sunrise
March 31, 1908 – April 6, 1999
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Vibraphonist and composer Kenneth Norville “Red Norvo” was born March 31, 1908 in Beardstown, Illinois.
An early jazz xylophonist he enjoyed great success during the swing era playing with Paul Whiteman, Benny Goodman, Charlie Barnet, and Woody Herman as well as accompanying Mildred Bailey (his wife), Billie Holiday, Dinah Shore, Frank Sinatra and others.
Norvo was an important innovator who helped popularize the vibraphone and marimba as a jazz instrument.
Norvo got his start in Chicago with a band called “The Collegians” in 1925 before progressing to perform in many others.
In the mid-1930s he cut a number of innovative swing records for Brunswick with Benny Goodman.
He would command his own orchestra during the ’30s and ’40s accompanying his wife Mildred Bailey, and scoring a huge hit with their 1938 offering “Please Be Kind.”
During the mid-’40s as a member of the “Benny Goodman Sextet” Red took part in an historic collaborative effort with Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie.
While trying to find work on the West coast in 1949 he found success once again when he formed a trio with guitarist Mundell Lowe and bassist Red Kelly.
This first line up was soon replaced with Tal Farlow and Chales Mingus, followed later by Jimmy Raney and Red Mitchell.
Red Norvo continued to tour and perform until his death in 1999.
Benny Goodman is featured performing with Red Norvo on June 19, 1960.
Red Norvo, Vibraphone,
John Bunch, piano
John Mosher, bass
John Markham, drums