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Will Hudson


Composer, Bandleader

(1908 - 1981)

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Big Bands Database
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Will Hudson put together his first big band in the ‘30s in Detroit, but in 1935 he teamed with Eddie De Lange and formed the Hudson-DeLange Orchestra which made several recordings for the Brunswick label. The band’s theme song, “Eight Bars in Search of a Melody,” was written by Hudson. Although the band was successful, clashes of personalities between the two leaders led to its demise in 1938, and Hudson led his own band until 1940.

He was active as an arranger for several of the top bandleaders of the day such as Cab Calloway and McKinney’s Cotton Pickers. He also wrote for Fletcher Henderson, who recorded his “Hocus Pocus” in 1934, and Jimmie Lunceford, who took Hudson’s instrumental, “Organ Grinder’s Swing” to number two on the charts in 1936. Three other recordings of the number also made the charts that year, and some of Lunceford’s most successful charts, such as “White Heat,” were arranged by Hudson.

Hudson’s “Sophisticated Swing” with lyrics by Mitchell Parrish was recorded by several bands in 1938, including Woody Herman’s, and the title came to describe a particular West Coast dance style. The songwriting duo of Hudson and DeLange has one of the finest standards to its credit, “Moonglow,” written in 1934. It was published by Irving Mills who is also credited, as many publishers were then, with contributing to its origin. While the song has never lost favor, it enjoyed a resurgence of popularity when it was feature in the 1955 film Picnic.

- Sandra Burlingame


Organ Grinder Swing

Jimmy Smith



Sophisticated Swing: Best of the Big Bands, Vol. 2

Les & Larry Elgart



Moonglow

Nat King Cole



Moonglow

Dakota Staton



Moonglow

Bucky Pizzarelli, Frank Vignola
Reading and Viewing

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Freddie Slack, Will Hudson

Cuban Sugar Mill

Robbins Music Corporation


Will Hudson, Irving Mills, Mitchell Parish

Mr. Ghost Goes to Town

Exclusive Publications


Will HUDSON

Piracy on the High C's

Robbins Music Corporation


Kim Novak/William Holden

Picnic (1955)

DVD

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