Herfurt was born in Cincinnati and raised in Denver and played in bands while attending the University of Colorado. He performed with Smith Ballew (1934), Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey (together 1934–1935, Jimmy 1935–1937, and Tommy 1937–1939), and Ray Noble. After moving to California, he worked with Alvino Rey, then served in the Army from 1944 to 1945. After the war, he flourished as a studio musician in Hollywood, led his own band, and performed with Benny Goodman from 1946 to 1947 and Earle Spencer in 1946.
His studio credits, into the 1960s, include sessions with Billy May, Louis Armstrong, Georgie Auld, Jack Teagarden, and Stan Kenton. He worked with Goodman again in 1961 and 1964. End of the 1960s he joined the Ray Conniff orchestra for several tours (a. o. Japan and Germany) and recording sessions during the 1970s. Herfurt was a member of Lawrence Welk's orchestra and weekly television show from 1979 to 1982, performing on lead alto saxophone.
He died in New Orleans at the age of 80.
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The Jazz Discography, by Tom Lord, lists Herfurt on 341 jazz recordings.
With Georgie Auld
With Stan Kenton
- Kenton in Hi-Fi (Capitol, 1956)
With Pete Rugolo
- 10 Saxophones and 2 Basses (Mercury, 1961)
- The Complete Encyclopedia of Popular Music and Jazz, 1900-1950, Vol. 2 (of three volumes), by Roger D. Kinkle (1916–2000), New Rochelle, New York: Arlington House Publishers (1974) OCLC 0870002295
- The Encyclopedia of Popular Music, Third edition, Eight volumes, edited by Colin Larkin, London: Muze (acquired in 2009 by Rovi Corporation) (1998)
- The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, First edition, Two volumes, edited by Barry Kernfeld, London: Macmillan Press, 1988
- The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, edited by Barry Kernfeld, New York: St. Martin's Press (1994)
- Who's Who of Jazz: Storyville to Swing Street, by John Chilton, Philadelphia: Chilton Book Co. (1972)
- The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, Second edition, three volumes, edited by Barry Kernfeld, London: Macmillan Publishers (2002)
- The Jazz Discography, by Tom Lord, West Vancouver: Lord Music Reference OCLC 182585494