Ashby was born in Somerville, Massachusetts. After playing rhythm guitar in Lionel Hampton's orchestra, he played in the Nat King Cole Trio from 1947 to 1951. He then briefly replaced Charlie Smith, a drummer, in the Oscar Peterson Trio, producing a lineup (piano, guitar, bass) similar to the Cole Trio's; the substitution of a guitarist for a drummer continued until 1958. After leaving the Peterson Trio, Ashby concentrated on recording session work. His subsequent work included sessions with Norman Granz, Sheb Wooley, LaVern Baker, Howard Roberts, B.B. King, Louis Jordan, and Pat Boone. In addition to guitar, Ashby also played the upright bass.
- Imperial 5445: "Guitar Rock" / "Gonna Have a Good Time"
- Imperial 5426: "Night Winds" (E. Freeman) / "Loco-Motion" (I. Ashby & E. Hall)
With Illinois Jacquet
- Illinois Jacquet and His Orchestra (Verve, 1956)
- Thedeadrockstarsclub.com - accessed September 2010