Ray McKinley

Real Name:Raymond McKinley

American jazz drummer, singer and big band leader, born June 18, 1910 in Fort Worth, Texas, died May 7, 1995 in Largo, Florida.
The drumming of Ray McKinley was a driving force that contributed greatly to the success of Jimmy Dorsey before WW II and the Glenn Miller American Band Of The Allied Expeditionary Forces during the war. As part of the Will Bradley aggregation, which he co-led between his stints with Dorsey and Miller, his personable and humorous vocals were an added attraction.
McKinley's first sides were recorded with Red Nichols for Brunswick in 1931. In 1932 McKinley again worked with Glenn Miller in the Smith Ballew band as well as in the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra in 1934-1935. In May of 1934 he recorded four sides with a Benny Goodman small group.
When the feuding Dorsey Brothers broke up in 1935, McKinley joined Jimmy Dorsey's new orchestra, where he remained until 1939.
In 1939 Ray McKinley became a partner of trombonist Will Bradley, co-leading a band that recorded under Bradley's name. This band cut dozens of boogie woogie laden sides for Columbia between September of 1939 and January of 1942. Unfortunately there was friction between the two stars, and the two had a less than amicable split in 1942 as reported by Down Beat magazine.
In 1942 McKinley formed his own short-lived band recording briefly for Capitol and then joined the Army. While in the service he joined Glenn Miller’s AEF band and while in Europe formed his own “Swing Shift” group, culled from the heart of Miller’s band. After Miller’s disappearance McKinley co-led Glenn Miller's American Band Of The Allied Expeditionary Forces briefly with Jerry Gray.
Back in the U.S. Ray formed his own civilian band, recording for Majestic in 1946 and Victor 1947-1950.
From 1950-1955 McKinley free-lanced, occasionally leading his own bands, and working as a TV singer in NYC. In 1956 he was commissioned by the widow of Glenn Miller to organize a new band under Miller’s name, using the original library and style. This band made a successful tour of Iron Curtain countries in 1957 and continued to tour the U.S. until 1966. McKinley then free-lanced again, leading an orchestra under his own name and recording for Dot in 1966. His last recording session was cut with just himself on drums and pianist Lou Stein, who recorded five sides together for the Chiaroscuro label in 1977.

Sites:Wikipedia , ,
Aliases:Z. (12)
In Groups:Glenn Miller And The Army Air Force Band, Jazz Club Mystery Hot Band, Jimmy Dorsey And His Orchestra, Ray McKinley And His Famous Orchestra, Ray McKinley And His Orchestra, Ray McKinley And His Sextet, Ray McKinley And His Soda Fountain Seven, Ray McKinley And Some Of The Boys, Ray McKinley Quartet, The Army Air Force Band, The New Glenn Miller Orchestra, The Ray McKinley Trio, Will Bradley And His Orchestra, Will Bradley Trio
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