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Biography

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Overview (2)

Born in Detroit, Michigan, USA
Died in Reno, Nevada, USA  (cancer)

Mini Bio (1)

Tenor saxophonist, who formed his first band in Detroit in the mid 1930's but subsequently relinquished the leader position to Sonny Burke and joined Gene Krupa and His Orchestra. He remained for two years, then briefly worked with Harry James and Benny Goodman, before once again leading his own band on the East Coast in the early 40s. Donahue did most of the arrangements and the band had a strong Lunceford-inspired swinging style. The band attracted good bookings into some of the top spots, such as the Glen Island Casino.

In 1942, Donahue was drafted, wound up in Artie Shaw's navy band and assumed leadership of the band when Shaw left the service. This was considered one of the best of all wartime swing bands. Four years later, Donahue mustered yet another new outfit with a five-man strong saxophone section. Between 1946 and 1951 (when Donahue was asked to re-enlist because of the Korean War), band personnel included trumpeter Doc Severinsen, Wayne Herdell, Harry Gozzard, Leo Reisman (arranger) and vocalists Jo Stafford and Frances Wayne. With the decline of the big bands in the 1950s, Donahue worked variously with leaders such as Tommy Dorsey and Stan Kenton, briefly becoming frontman of Billy May's orchestra. From 1961 until the end of the decade, he assumed leadership of the original Tommy Dorsey orchestra, highlighting vocalist Frank Sinatra Jr..

- IMDb Mini Biography By: I.S.Mowis

Spouse (1)

Patricia Donahue (? - ?) (divorced) (2 children)

Trivia (1)

Father, with Patricia Donahue, of sons Marc Donahue and Jerry Donahue.

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