Earl Burtnett

Earl Burtnett

Earl Burtnett (1896–1936) was a bandleader, songwriter and pianist.  Burtlett was popular in the 1920's and 1930's.

In 1918 he joined Art Hickman's band as lead arranger and writer for the orchestra.  He penned some successful songs for Hickman including "Sleep", "Leave Me With A Smile", "Mandalay", and "If I Should Lose You".

In 1929, he took over as band leader on Hickman's retirement. His band then had a residency at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, and recorded for Brunswick Records backing the Biltmore Trio. They played across the country in the early and mid 1930's, with periods at both the Rice Hotel in Houston, and later at the Drake Hotel and other venues in Chicago, where their concerts were often broadcast on WGN radio.

Burtnett recorded for Columbia from 1926 through 1928 when he signed with Brunswick again and recorded prolifically through mid-1931.

On Christmas Eve, 1935, Burtnett underwent an emergency appendectomy in Chicago. However, peritonitis set in after the operation, and he died on January 2, 1936 at the age of 39.  He unfortunately passed away right as swing music was starting to take hold in the United States.  One can only imagine the great music he would have created.

You can hear Earl Burtnett right here on Swing City Radio.

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