Buddy Childers

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Buddy Childers
Childers (left) and Stan Kenton, ca. 1947.
Childers (left) and Stan Kenton, ca. 1947.
Background information
Birth nameMarion Childers
Born(1926-02-12)February 12, 1926
Belleville, Illinois, United States
DiedMay 24, 2007(2007-05-24) (aged 81)
Woodland Hills, California, United States
Occupation(s)Musician, composer
LabelsCandid Records
Associated acts

Marion "Buddy" Childers (February 12, 1926 – May 24, 2007) was an American jazz trumpeter, composer and ensemble leader. Childers became famous in 1942 at the age of 16, when Stan Kenton hired him to be the lead trumpet in his band.


Buddy Childers, here playing fluegelhorn, at Newport Beach CA in 2003

As Childers later told Steve Voce:

At the rehearsal he sat me down in the first trumpet chair, had the first trumpet player sit out. I played about eight or nine things in a row and the adrenalin was really flying that day. I was 16 I probably looked about 13, but I played considerably more maturely than that. 'Well, what do you want to do?' he said after that was over. 'I want to join your band.' 'But you're so young.' 'I gotta join your band,' I said. I had this thing in my mind that I had to join a name band at 16 or I'd never be able to make it as a musician. I was thinking of Harry James so young with Ben Pollack and then with Benny Goodman, and Corky Corcoran who joined Sonny Dunham when he was 16 and then became Harry James's leading soloist the next year. So I made it by three weeks. I only had a couple of months before I graduated but I wasn't interested in that, I was only interested in playing.[1]

Childers worked with Kenton for years, and also performed with Tommy Dorsey, Woody Herman, Les Brown, Charlie Barnet,[2] Dan Terry,[3] and others. He worked on television programs and in films, and put together a big band that recorded for Candid Records in the 1980s and 1990s.

Childers became a member of the Baháʼí Faith by 1982.[4] He died of cancer on May 24, 2007, age 81.[5]


With the Toshiko Akiyoshi – Lew Tabackin Big Band

With Gene Ammons

With Elmer Bernstein

With Maynard Ferguson

With Clare Fischer

With Milt Jackson

With Quincy Jones

With Stan Kenton

With Carmen McRae

With Oliver Nelson

With Shorty Rogers

With Pete Rugolo

With Lalo Schifrin


  1. ^ "Buddy Childers, 81, trumpeter and composer" (PDF). Jersey Jazz. New Jersey Jazz Society. 35 (8): 14. September 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 3, 2016.
  2. ^ Jazz Professional – Buddy Childers – Big Band lead trumpet playing Archived February 8, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Lonely Place, 1969
  4. ^ Jazz Professional – Buddy Childers – Head Arrangements Archived October 18, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Stewart, Jocelyn Y. (May 30, 2007). "Marion 'Buddy' Childers, 81; composer, trumpeter played with big-band bigwigs". Los Angeles Times.