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Henry Busse

Henry Busse (May 19, 1894 – April 23, 1955) was a German-born jazz trumpeter.

In 1917, Busse played the trumpet with the "Frisco "Jass" Band". He then formed his own band, Busse's Buzzards (which was the nucleus of the Paul Whiteman orchestra of the mid-1920s), featuring Henry Busse — they made four sides in total.

Busse was the subject of discrimination because of his German accent, which caused concern among those living in post-World War I America.

At one point, eight out of the top ten sheet music sales spots belonged to the band. During his peak with them, Busse was earning $350 weekly, while fellow band member Bing Crosby was earning just $150. Busse co-composed several of the band's early hit songs, including "Hot Lips" and (with Gussie Mueller) "Wang Wang Blues". The latter sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc in 1920.

While with the Paul Whiteman Orchestra, Henry Busse played alongside brothers Tommy Dorsey and Jimmy Dorsey (who later left to start their own separate bands). He played with Ray Bolger at the Chez Paree, a night club owned by notorious gangster Al Capone; Busse ran the house band there and worked for Capone.

Busse hit his peak in 1930-45, playing dance music before the war, and swing during the war. His music was often berated by Down Beat magazine, which called his a "sweet" or "Mickey Mouse" band. Busse and his band appeared in an MGM color movie in 1935 called Starlit Days at the Lido, filmed at the Ambassador Hotel, along with Clark Gable and MGM's stable of stars and in the movie Lady Let's Dance.

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