Buddy Stewart

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Buddy Stewart
Birth nameAlbert James Byrne, Jr
Also known asBuddy Stewart; Buddy Stuart
Born(1922-01-02)January 2, 1922
Derry, New Hampshire, U.S.
DiedFebruary 1, 1950(1950-02-01) (aged 28)
Deming, New Mexico, U.S.
Genresvocal jazz, swing
Years active1930–1950

Buddy Stewart (né Albert James Byrne, Jr; 1922 in Derry, New Hampshire — 1 February 1950 Deming, New Mexico) was an American jazz singer. His adopted stage surname is standardized in most biographies, including The Jazz Discography, as "Stewart;" but it was sometimes also spelled "Stuart."[1][2][3][4][5]

Growing up[edit]

Stewart's parents were dancers, so he entered at the age of eight years in vaudeville and sang in a number of groups. As a member of The 1940s vocal group The Snowflakes, he sang with the Claude Thornhill orchestra. A fellow singer with Thornhill was Martha Wayne (born Martha Haworth), and some sources claim he and Wayne married, but The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) and other sources make it clear he and Wayne never married. Buddy Stewart and Martha Wayne appeared in at least three "Soundies" with the Thornhill orchestra in 1942. Martha Wayne went on to become an actress at 20th Century-Fox under the name Martha Stewart, and she told an interviewer (film historian Laura Wagner) that when she and Buddy Stewart were briefly engaged in the early 1940s she took his last name and kept it as her stage name.

Post World War II career[edit]

After serving in the U.S. Army (from March 1942 to 1944) he sang with the Gene Krupa orchestra, sometimes as a member of "The G-Noters" vocal group. In 1945, Stewart and Dave Lambert sang together (backed by Krupa's band) on "What's This?," sung in the improvisational scat style. Stewart remained with Krupa through 1946, often singing alongside Anita O'Day and Carolyn Grey. In the following years, he worked with Lambert, recording for a small label Sittin 'In With, arranged by Gerry Mulligan. In 1947 he sang a recording with the Charlie Ventura Orchestra — Synthesis and East of Suez, Savoy Records. Beginning January 1948, he appeared under his own name, and as co-leader with Kai Winding — and 1949 with Charlie Barnet's bebop orchestra. In 1948, he recorded as a band leader. Stewart and Lambert recorded with Blossom Dearie, a third voice and two horns, Bennie Green and Allen Eager added. In February 1949, they were together with Charlie Parker's quintet on the air. Stewart was killed in 1950 in an automobile accident when he went to visit his wife and their child in New Mexico.[6]

After Stewart's death, when his wife was left penniless, friends organized a benefit concert on March 24 at the Birdland Jazz Club in New York City. The concert included Ella Fitzgerald, Charlie Ventura, Stan Getz, Tony Scott, Al Cohn, Lester Young, Lennie Tristano, Harry Belafonte, JJ Johnson, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie,[7] and Oscar Pettiford.


Stewart's sister, Beverly Rita Byrne, who had been a vocalist with the Gene Krupa band, married Stan Getz on November 7, 1946; they had three children together.


  1. ^ Biography Index, A Cumulative Index to Biographical Material in Books and Magazines, Vol. 17: September 1990 — August 1992, New York: H. W. Wilson Company (1992) ISSN 0006-3053 Parameter error in {{issn}}: Invalid ISSN.
  2. ^ The Complete Encyclopedia of Popular Music and Jazz, 1900-1950, three volumes, by Roger D. Kinkle (1916–2000), New Rochelle: Arlington House Publishers (1974) (under "Stewart" in Vol. 3) OCLC 897890
  3. ^ The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, First edition, two volumes, edited by Barry Dean Kernfeld, PhD, London: Macmillan Press, 1988 OCLC 16804283 (under "Stewart" in Vol. 2)
  4. ^ The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, edited by Barry Dean Kernfeld, PhD New York: St. Martin's Press, 1994 OCLC 30516743
  5. ^ The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, Second Edition, three volumes, edited by Barry Dean Kernfeld, PhD, London: Macmillan Publishers, 2002 OCLC 46956628 (under "Stewart" in Vol. 3)
  6. ^ Leonard Feather, The Encyclopedia of Jazz (1955; revised 1960 & 1984) OCLC 10299332 ISBN 0306802147 ISBN 9780306802140
  7. ^ The concert was one of the last public photos of Parker and Gillespie, also Gillespie's former tenor saxophonist John Coltrane is seen. See Friedwald, page 167