Dick McDonough

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Dick McDonough
Dick McDonough.jpg
Background information
Birth name Richard McDonough
Born 1904
Origin New York City
Died May 25, 1938(1938-05-25) (aged 33–34)
New York City
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Guitar
Years active 1921–1938
Associated acts The Dorsey Brothers, Red Nichols, Carl Kress, Eddie Lang

Richard "Dick" McDonough (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 The Boswell Sisters, Joe Venuti, Benny Goodman, Adrian Rollini, Red Norvo, Jack Teagarden, Johnny Mercer, Billie Holiday, Artie Shaw, Claude Thornhill, Pee Wee Russell, Frankie Trumbauer, Glenn Miller, and Gene Gifford. He played in the Jam Session at Victor with Fats Waller, Tommy Dorsey, Bunny Berigan, and George Wettling.

McDonough was an alcoholic, and died as a result of this in 1938.[2]


  • Dick McDonough & His Orchestra, Vol. 1 (Swing Time, 2000)
  • Dick McDonough & His Orchestra, Vol. 2 (Swing Time, 2000)
  • Eddie Lang, Carl Kress, and Dick McDonough (Retrieval)


  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. "Dick McDonough | Biography & History | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 18 August 2016.