Dick McDonough

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Dick McDonough
Dick McDonough.jpg
Background information
Born(1904-07-30)July 30, 1904
New York City, New York, U.S.
Died(1938-05-25)May 25, 1938
New York City
Years active1921–1938
Associated actsThe Dorsey Brothers, Red Nichols, Carl Kress, Eddie Lang

Dick McDonough (July 30, 1904 – May 25, 1938) was an American jazz guitarist and banjoist. He was best known for his duets with guitarist Carl Kress.

McDonough began playing banjo and mandolin in high school. An athlete, he played left-handed because, according to McDonough, that was how he held his hockey stick. At Georgetown University, he performed professionally at weekend dances and two years later started a band. He attended Columbia Law School after college and while there played with bands in New York City. McDonough played with Red Nichols in 1927 as a banjoist, and soon after played with Paul Whiteman. He began studying the guitar, and eventually was in demand for session work, recording with The Dorsey Brothers, Red Nichols, and Miff Mole. In the 1930s, he performed in a duo with jazz guitarist Carl Kress.[1]

Other credits include session work with Mildred Bailey, Smith Ballew, The Boswell Sisters, Rube Bloom, Chick Bullock, The Charleston Chasers, Cliff Edwards, Gene Gifford, Benny Goodman, Adelaide Hall, Annette Hanshaw, Billie Holiday, Baby Rose Marie, Glenn Miller, Irving Mills, Red McKenzie, Johnny Mercer, Red Norvo, Fred Rich, Adrian Rollini, Pee Wee Russell, Ben Selvin, Artie Shaw, Frank Signorelli, Jack Teagarden, Claude Thornhill, Frankie Trumbauer, Joe Venuti, Don Voorhees, and Ethel Waters.[2] He played in the Jam Session at Victor with Fats Waller, Bunny Berigan, and George Wettling.

McDonough was an alcoholic and died in 1938.[3]


  • Dick McDonough and His Orchestra Vol. 1 (Swing Time)
  • Dick McDonough and His Orchestra Vol. 2 (Swing Time)
  • The Guitar Genius of Dick McDonough and Carl Kress in the Thirties (Jazz Archives, 1976)
  • Pioneers of Jazz Guitar (Retrieval, 1997)


  1. ^ Kernfeld, Barry (2002). Kernfeld, Barry (ed.). The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz. 2 (2nd ed.). New York: Grove's Dictionaries Inc. p. 172. ISBN 1-56159-284-6.
  2. ^ Yanow, Scott (2013). The Great Jazz Guitarists. San Francisco: Backbeat. p. 131. ISBN 978-1-61713-023-6.
  3. ^ Yanow, Scott. "Dick McDonough". AllMusic. Retrieved 18 August 2016.