DOC SEVERINSEN Biography - Musicians


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Name: Carl Hilding Severinsen                                                       
Born: July 7, 1927 Arlington, Oregon U.S.                                           
Carl Hilding "Doc" Severinsen (born July 7, 1927 in Arlington, Oregon) is an         
American pop and jazz trumpeter, best known for leading the NBC Orchestra in the     
Johnny Carson era.                                                                   
Carl Severinsen's accomplishments began in his hometown of Arlington, Oregon,       
population: 600. Carl H Severinsen was born on July 7th, 1927, and was nicknamed     
"Little Doc" after his father, Dr. Carl Severinsen a dentist. Little Doc had         
originally wanted to play the trombone. But the senior Severinsen, a gifted         
amateur violinist, urged him to study the violin. The younger Severinsen             
insisted on the trombone, but had to settle for the only horn available in           
Arlington's small music store — a trumpet. A week later, with the help of his     
father and a manual of instructions, the seven-year-old was so good that he was     
invited to join the high school band. At the age of twelve, Little Doc won the       
Music Educator's National Contest and, while still in high school, was hired to     
go on the road with the Ted Fio Rito Orchestra. However, his stay with the group     
was cut short by the draft. He served in the Army during World War II.               
Following his discharge from the army at the end of the war, Severinsen landed a     
spot with the Charlie Barnett Band. When this band broke up, Severinsen toured       
with Tommy Dorsey, and then, the Benny Goodman big band in the late 40's.           
Sometime in late 1948, Doc arrived in New York City and was hired to be a staff     
musician for NBC. After years of playing with the peacock network’s studio bands, 
Severinsen was invited to do a gig with the highly respected Tonight Show Band.     
An impressed conductor, Skitch Henderson, asked him to join that band in 1962 as     
first trumpet. Five years later, Doc took over as Music Director for The Tonight