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Joe Venuti


Although renowned among the world’s great practical jokers (he once called a few dozen bass players with an alleged gig and asked them showing up making use of their instruments in a occupied street corner simply therefore he could view the resulting chaos), Joe Venuti’s true importance to jazz is really as improvised music’s first great violinist. He was a boyhood friend of Eddie Lang (jazz’s 1st great guitarist) as well as the duo teamed up inside a many settings through the second half of the 1920s, including documenting important duets. Venuti shifted to NY in 1925, and instantly he and Lang had been greatly popular for jazz recordings, studio room work, and golf club appearances. Venuti appeared to play with every best white jazz musician through the segregated period and, in 1929, he and Lang became a member of Paul Whiteman’s Orchestra, showing up within the film The Ruler of Jazz. Lang’s early loss of life in 1933 was a significant blow to Venuti, who steadily faded away through the limelight. In 1935, after going to European countries, the violinist shaped a big music group and, though it survived quite awhile and helped introduce both vocalist Kay Starr and drummer Barrett Deems, it had been a minor-league orchestra that just recorded four tracks (which Venuti characteristically entitled “Turn,” “Flop,” “Something,” and “Nothing at all”). His short stint within the armed service during World Battle II ended the best band, so when he was discharged, Venuti trapped to studio function in LA. He was frequently presented on Bing Crosby’s early-’50s radio display, but in actuality the 1936-1966 period was the Dark Age groups for Venuti as he drifted into alcoholism and was mainly forgotten from the jazz globe. Nevertheless, in 1967 Joe Venuti started a major return, playing in the maximum of his forces at Dick Gibson’s Colorado Jazz Party. His long-interrupted documenting career resumed numerous fine classes (coordinating his violin with famous brands Zoot Sims, Earl Hines, Marian McPartland, George Barnes, Dave McKenna, and Bucky Pizzarelli, amongst others) and, despite his more and more bad wellness, Venuti’s final 10 years was a triumph.

Quick Facts

Full Name Joe Venuti
Date Of Birth September 16, 1903
Died August 14, 1978, Seattle, Washington, United States
Profession Jazz Violinist, Fiddler
Music Songs Stringing the Blues, Doin' The Uptown Lowdown, Pretty Trix, Tea for Two, Four String Joe, A Mug of Ale, Sweet Sue, Just You, Pardon Me, Pretty Baby, Satan's Holiday, The Wild Dog, The Wolf Wobble, Raggin' the Scale, The Man from the South, Beatin' the Dog, Penn Beach Blues, Doin' Things, Someday Sweetheart, Cheese & Crackers, Black and Blue Bottom, Little Buttercup, Hiawatha's Lullaby, Goin' Places, There's No Other Girl, Kickin' the Cat, Almost Like Being in Love, Running Ragged, Tempo Di Modernage, Vibraphonia, Moon Glow, Tattle Tale Eyes, Really Blue, Wild Dog
Albums Venupelli Blues, Joe Venuti and Zoot Sims, Joe and Zoot, Never Before... Never Again, Electric Joe, Joe Venuti in Milan With Lino Patruno & His Friends, Four String Joe 1926-1946 (Jazz Archives No. 192), Joe Venuti With Russ Morgan At the Piano (Mono Version), A Thousand and One Strings, Joe Venuti & Eddie Lang 1928-31, Venuppelli Blues, Early Jazz (Remastered), Complete Jazz Series 1930 - 1933, Cool Breeze, Joe Venuti and Eddie Lang Selected Favorites, Vintage Jazz Nº 37 - EPs Collectors, "Swing" Violín, S'Wonderful, The Master of Jazz Violin - Joe Venuti -1934 (Remastered), Violin Jazz 1927 To 1934, Gems, Alone At the Palace, the New York Sound of Joe Venuti, Eddie Lang & Joe Venuti (Doxy Collection Remastered), Joe Venuti Diamond, Take a Coffee Break, The King of Jazz Story - All Original Recordings - Remastered, Joe in Chicago, 1978, Orange Juice (Electronic, Jazz & Mood Music, Direct from the Boneschi Archives), Stringin' the Blues, The Wild Dog, Running Ragged, Pink Elephants, I'll Never Be the Same, Hot Strings, Joe Venuti (Doxy Collection), The John R T Davies Collection - Volume 1: Jazz Classics (CD C), The Cool Jazz Movement (Remastered), 50 Hits : Joe Venuti, Jazz Figures / Joe Venuti & Eddie Lang (1926-1933), The Dutch Swing College Band Meets Joe Venuti - From The Archives (Digitally Remastered), The Chronological Classics: Joe Venuti 1930-1933, Vintage Jazz Nº22 - EPs Collectors "Melodías Inolvidables", A Summer Sky Shines, Out of Breath, Dancing with Tears in My Eyes, The Magic Masters, The Very Best Of, It Can Only Be, The Chronological Classics: Joe Venuti 1928-1930, The Chronological Classics: Joe Venuti 1926-1928, Complete Jazz Series 1928 - 1930
Movies Pete Kelly's Blues, Garden of the Moon, Flying Down to Rio, Belle of Old Mexico, Disc Jockey

  • Facts
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1 Was renowned for his clowning during performances, but was also reputed to be volatile and intolerant of criticism from both audiences and other musicians. His practical jokes were legendary. On one occasion he put an inebriated Bix Beiderbecke into a bath of purple Jell-O, on another he emptied a bag of flour into the bell of a tuba, as it turned out to the detriment of a musician in Paul Whiteman's band.
2 Was afflicted by alcoholism by the 1960's.
3 Venuti and his friend Eddie Lang bought two instruments at a pawn shop in Philadelphia, and, according to legend, flipped a coin to decide who would play which instrument. Lang got the guitar, Venuti the violin -- the rest is history.
4 Toured Europe in 1937 (with Teddy Hill's band), 1952 (with Bill Coleman's Swing Stars), 1959 and 1961 (with Buck Clayton's All-Stars), 1965 (solo) and 1978 (with Earle Warren and Claude Hopkins).
5 Was affiliated in the 1920's with Roger Wolfe Kahn, Paul Whiteman and Red Nichols. He also directed the Book-Cadillac Hotel Orchestra for Jean Goldkette (1924) and worked as a free-lance and session player in New York before starting his first band in 1934.
6 Was seriously injured during a mugging in 1976, but recovered.
7 His theme song was "Last Night".
8 He was a famous jazz violinist.
9 Inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame in 2000.



Climax! 1955 TV Series Bobcat
Pete Kelly's Blues 1955 Tuxedo Band Member (uncredited)
Disc Jockey 1951 Joe Venuti
Belle of Old Mexico 1950 Joe Venuti
Sarge Goes to College 1947 Violin, The Jam Session
The Little Broadcast 1943 Short Jazz Violinst (uncredited)
Syncopation 1942 Joe Venuti
Garden of the Moon 1938 Musician
Flying Down to Rio 1933 Violinist in Orchestra (uncredited)
King of Jazz 1930 Violinist / Violin Sextet (uncredited)



Sweet and Lowdown 1999 performer: "After You've Gone" 1918
The Fortune 1975 writer: "Pretty Trix" - uncredited
Inserts 1975 performer: "Moonglow"
Sarge Goes to College 1947 performer: "Blues In B Flat and Old Black Joe"
Garden of the Moon 1938 performer: "The Lady on the Two Cent Stamp" 1938, "The Girl Friend of the Whirling Dervish" 1938 - uncredited
Hollywood Hotel 1937 music: "Satan's Holiday" 1934 - uncredited
King of Jazz 1930 music: "Wild Cat" - uncredited / performer: "Wild Cat", "Caprice Viennois, Op. 2", "Tambourin Chinoise, Op. 3" - uncredited



Big Band Bash 1978 TV Movie Himself
Tonight! 1956 TV Series Himself - Musican
Teresa Brewer and the Firehouse Five Plus Two 1951 Short Himself
Sing, Helen, Sing 1943 Short Himself (bandleader)
The Voice of Hollywood No. 3 1930/II Short Himself
The Voice of Hollywood No. 3 1930/I Short Himself

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