Red Norvo

Picture of Red Norvo

Red Norvo was known as Mr. Swing and enjoyed a musical career that spanned over six decades.  Along with Lionel Hampton, Red helped establish the xylophone, marimba, and vibraphone as jazz instruments.

Norvo began his career in Chicago, IL in the mid 1920's playing for the famous "Collegians" in 1925.  Throughout the 1930's and 40's, Red played in the orchestras of Benny Goodman, Paul Whiteman, Charlie Barnet and Woody Herman.  He also led his own band at times, which proved very successful.

In 1933, Norvo married vocalist Mildred Bailey, and they soon became known as Mr. and Mrs. Swing.  The marriage lasted almost ten years and even after their divorce in 1942, the two remained friends and continued to record together. 

During the height of his career, Norvo also recorded tracks with Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday, Dinah Shore, Dean Martin and many others. He landed a bunch of charted hits and also managed to appear in a handful of films.

Listen to: "Says My Heart" by Red Norvo with Mildred Bailey on vocals from 1938.

You can hear the music of Red Norvo right here on Swing City Radio.

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