Pee Wee Hunt

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Pee Wee Hunt
Hunt in 1941
Hunt in 1941
Background information
Birth nameWalter Gerhardt Hunt
Born(1907-05-10)May 10, 1907
Mount Healthy, Ohio, U.S.
DiedJune 22, 1979(1979-06-22) (aged 72)
Plymouth, Massachusetts, U.S.
Occupation(s)Trombonist, vocalist, bandleader

Walter Gerhardt "Pee Wee" Hunt (May 10, 1907 – June 22, 1979)[1] was an American jazz trombonist, vocalist, and bandleader.[2] Hunt was born in Mount Healthy, Ohio.[3] He developed a musical interest at an early age, as his mother, Sadie, played the banjo and his father, Edgar C., played violin.[1] He had a younger sister, Marian, and younger brother, Raymond. The teenage Hunt was a banjoist with a local band while he was attending college at Ohio State University,[1] where he majored in Electrical Engineering,[4] and during his college years he switched from banjo to trombone.[1] He graduated from the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music.[4] He joined Jean Goldkette's Orchestra in 1928.[4]

Pee Wee Hunt was the co-founder and featured trombonist with the Casa Loma Orchestra,[1] but he left the group in 1943 to work as a Hollywood radio disc jockey, before joining the Merchant Marine near the end of World War II.[4] He returned to the West Coast music scene in 1946.[1] His "Twelfth Street Rag" was a three million-selling,[2] number one hit in September 1948.[3] He was satirized as Pee Wee Runt and his All-Flea Dixieland Band in Tex Avery's animated MGM cartoon Dixieland Droopy (1954). His second major hit was "Oh!" (1953), his second million-selling disc, which reached number three in the Billboard chart.[5]

At age 72, Hunt died after a long illness in Plymouth, Massachusetts.[1] Hunt and his wife, Ruth, had a daughter, Holly, and a son, Lawrence.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 1209x. ISBN 0-85112-939-0.
  2. ^ a b "Pee Wee Hunt - Hollywood Star Walk - Los Angeles Times". 1979-06-24. Retrieved 2015-08-17.
  3. ^ a b Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 44. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
  4. ^ a b c d Biographical notes by Roger St. Peirre on LP record MFP1151 Twelfth Street Rag
  5. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 65. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.

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