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Louise Tobin


(1918 - )

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Louise Tobin introduced “I Didn’t Know What Time It Was” with Benny Goodman’s band in 1939. But her biggest hit with Goodman was “There’ll Be Some Changes Made” which was number two on the Hit Parade in 1941 for 15 weeks. At the time she was married to trumpeter Harry James, whom she had worked with in Ben Pollack’s band in 1935 when they were married. Harry joined Goodman in 1936 and left to form his own band in 1939. It was Tobin who heard a young singer on the radio and recommended him to James. The singer was Frank Sinatra. After a year with the band, Sinatra left to join Tommy Dorsey, much to the regret of James.

After two children, Tobin and James divorced and he married Betty Grable in 1943. Tobin was interviewed by Peter J. Levinson for his book about James, Trumpet Blues, published in 1999.

In 1960 Tobin ran into Peanuts Hucko, a clarinetist who had played on her first recording in 1939 with Jack Jenney’s band. When Hucko opened his jazz club in Denver in 1967, he hired Tobin as his vocalist and she became his wife. They sold the restaurant in 1969 and Hucko led the Glenn Miller band in the early ‘70s and was also a favorite performer on the Lawrence Welk show. In the ‘80s the pair performed together in Hucko’s own band.

Although Tobin did not become the star that other singers did with Goodman’s band, she can be heard on several of the early recordings.

The Huckos moved to Texas where Peanuts was honored on his 80th birthday in 1998 when the first annual Texas Big Band Jazz Festival was held in his honor. Peanuts died in 2003 but Louise Tobin still resides in Texas as of this writing in November, 2007.

- Sandra Burlingame

Swing That Music

Peanuts Hucko & His All Stars

Big Bands: King of Swing

Louise Tobin, Mildred Bailey, Helen Forrest, Fred Astaire, Peggy Lee, Art London, Eve Young, Benny Goodman

Benny's Girls: Goodman's Rare Songbirds

Benny Goodman features Tobin
Reading and Viewing

At Amazon.com you can often buy used for a fraction of the new price

Peter J. Levinson

Trumpet Blues: The Life of Harry James

Oxford University Press, USA

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