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Bill Finegan, 1917-2008

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Bob Brookmeyer sent this message today:

Bill Finegan passed peacefully on today with his son James and his daughter Helen by his side. He was a hero, a dear friend and one of the most gifted arrangers we have ever had. Somewhere an orchestra sounds better.

Finegan was an arranger who gave Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Red Norvo, Ray McKinley and Tommy Dorsey some of their most substantial music. In 1952 he and Eddie Sauter formed the Sauter-Finegan Orchestra, which was famous for its musicianship, wit and a couple of hits that included its theme song, a panoramic arrangement of “Doodletown Fifers." At one time or another, the band included musicians of the quality of Nick Travis, Urbie Green, Eddie Bert, Mundell Lowe, George Duvivier, Eddie Costa and Don Lamond. This CD has a cross-section of the band's work.

Finegan once said, ”From the time the late Eddie Sauter and I started this band, everything went wrong but the music." To read more, go here.  

Bill Finegan was ninety-one.

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