Shorty Rogers

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Shorty Rogers
Shorty Rogers.jpg
Background information
Birth nameMilton Rajonsky
Born(1924-04-14)April 14, 1924
Great Barrington, Massachusetts, U.S.
DiedNovember 7, 1994(1994-11-07) (aged 70)
Van Nuys, California, U.S.
  • Musician
  • composer
  • arranger
  • Trumpet
  • flugelhorn

Milton "Shorty" Rogers (born Milton Rajonsky; April 14, 1924 – November 7, 1994)[1] was an American jazz musician, one of the principal creators of West Coast jazz. He played trumpet and flugelhorn and was in demand for his skills as an arranger.


Rogers was born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, United States.[1] He worked first as a professional musician with Will Bradley and Red Norvo.[2] From 1947 to 1949, he worked extensively with Woody Herman and in 1950 and 1951 he played with Stan Kenton.[1]

On June 7, 1953, Rogers and his orchestra, including Johnny "Guitar" Watson, performed for the famed ninth Cavalcade of Jazz concert at Wrigley Field in Los Angeles, produced by Leon Hefflin, Sr. Also featured that day were Roy Brown and his Orchestra, Don Tosti and His Mexican Jazzmen, Earl Bostic, Nat "King" Cole, and Louis Armstrong and his All Stars with Velma Middleton.[3]

From 1953 through 1962, Rogers recorded a series of albums for RCA Victor (later reissued on RCA's Bluebird label), as well as a series of albums for Atlantic Records with his own group, Shorty Rogers and His Giants, including Shorty Courts the Count (1954), The Swinging Mr. Rogers (1955), and Martians Come Back (1955),[2] the album title alluding to the tune "Martians Go Home" which Rogers had composed and performed on The Swinging Mr. Rogers earlier the same year. These albums incorporated some of his more avant-garde music. To some extent they could be classified as "cool" jazz; but they also looked back to the "hot" style of Count Basie, whom Rogers always credited as a major inspiration.[4] In 1957, Rogers composed the music for the Friz Freleng cartoon Three Little Bops, notably the first Warner Bros. cartoon short not to have music by either Carl Stalling or Milt Franklyn, and scored the music for the MGM film Tarzan, the Ape Man two years later.

Rogers died of melanoma in Van Nuys, California, at the age of 70.[1]


As leader[edit]

As sideman[edit]

With Elmer Bernstein

With Teddy Charles

With Jimmy Giuffre

With Stan Kenton

With Eartha Kitt

  • St. Louis Blues (RCA Victor, 1958)

With Perez Prado

  • Voodoo Suite (RCA Victor, 1955)

With Pete Rugolo

As arranger[edit]

With Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass

With Ernie Andrews

  • Soul Proprietor (Dot, 1968)

With Chet Baker

With Elmer Bernstein

With Les Brown and His Band of Renown

  • The Young Beat (Capitol, 1963)

With Bobby Bryant

  • The Jazz Excursion Into "Hair" (Pacific Jazz, 1969)

With Bobby Darin

With Frances Faye

  • You Gotta Go! Go! Go! (Regina, 1964)

With Bobbie Gentry

With Terry Gibbs

With Jerry Goldsmith

With Vince Guaraldi

With Lena Horne

With Helen Humes

  • Midsummer Night's Songs (RCA, 1974) with Red Norvo and His Orchestra

With Dean Jones

  • Introducing Dean Jones (Valiant, 1963)

with Frankie Laine

  • You Gave Me a Mountain (ABC, 1969)

With Peggy Lee

With Harvey Mandel

  • Righteous (Philips, 1969)
  • Baby Batter (Janus, 1971)

With Shelly Manne

With Carmen McRae

With The Monkees

With Michael Nesmith

With Jack Nitzsche

With Buddy Rich

With Bud Shank

With Mel Tormé

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Shorty Rogers, 70, Jazz Trumpeter". The New York Times. 9 November 1994.
  2. ^ a b Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Who's Who of Jazz (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. pp. 339/340. ISBN 0-85112-580-8.
  3. ^ “More Big Names in Cavalcade” Article, Los Angeles Sentinel, May 21, 1953.
  4. ^ Yanow, Scott. "Shorty Rogers: Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 14 September 2010.
  5. ^ "Reviews: Jazz-Fusion". Billboard. Nielsen. 12 January 1985. pp. 101–. ISSN 0006-2510.

External links[edit]