Bill Finegan


Bill Finegan

William James Finegan (3 April, 1917 — 4 June, 2008) was an American jazz bandleader, pianist, arranger, and composer.

Born in Newark, New Jersey, Finegan grew up in a household full of piano players. He spent time studying at the Paris Conservatory and had his first professional experience leading his own piano trio. Finegan was offered a job as a staff arranger for Glenn Miller after Tommy Dorsey bought a copy of his "Lonesome Road" and recommended him; he remained with Miller until 1942, and arranged such hits as "Little Brown Jug", "Sunrise Serenade", and "Song of the Volga Boatmen". Finegan also arranged music for films in which the band appeared, such as "Sun Valley Serenade" (1941) and "Orchestra Wives" (1942). He then worked off and on for Tommy Dorsey from 1942 to 1952, including on the 1947 film "The Fabulous Dorseys".

In 1947-48 Finegan studied with Stefan Wolpe, and lived in Europe from 1948-1950. After returning to the United States, Finegan and Eddie Sauter formed a highly successful ensemble, the Sauter-Finegan Orchestra, which remained active until 1957. His composition "Doodletown Fifers" was one of the Sauter-Finegan Orchestra's best-known originals. Following this Finegan found work in advertising, writing music for commercials. In the 1970s he arranged for the Glenn Miller Orchestra and Mel Lewis's orchestra. He taught jazz at the University of Bridgeport in the 1980s.

References

* [http://www.jazz.com/jazz-blog/2008/6/8/remembering-bill-finegan "Remembering Bill Finegan"] by Jeff Sultanof, ( [http://www.jazz.com Jazz.com] )
*Leonard Feather and Ira Gitler. "The Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz". Oxford, 1999, p. 225.


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