Zeke Zarchy

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Zeke Zarchy
Armstrong and Zarchy.jpg
Trumpeters Zeke Zarchy (right) and Louis Armstrong visit during a rehearsal for a Los Angeles TV show in the late 1960s
Background information
Birth nameRubin Zarchy
Born(1915-06-12)June 12, 1915[1]
New York, New York, United States[1]
DiedApril 12, 2009(2009-04-12) (aged 93)
Irvine, California, United States[1]
Associated actsJoe Haymes, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Red Norvo, Bob Crosby, Glenn Miller, Mildred Bailey, Frank Sinatra, Helen Ward, Judy Garland, Tommy Dorsey, Ella Fitzgerald, Lawrence Welk

Rubin "Zeke" Zarchy (June 12, 1915 – April 12, 2009[1]) was an American lead trumpet player of the big band and swing eras.

He joined the Joe Haymes orchestra in 1934, then played with Benny Goodman in 1936 and Artie Shaw in 1937. From 1937 to 1942, he worked and recorded with the bands of Red Norvo, Bob Crosby, Glenn Miller, Mildred Bailey, Frank Sinatra, Helen Ward, Judy Garland, Tommy Dorsey, and Ella Fitzgerald.

Zeke's trumpet can be heard on recordings as Benny Goodman's "Bugle Call Rag", Glenn Miller's "Moonlight Cocktail", and Bob Crosby's South Rampart Street Parade.[2]

When World War II broke out, Zarchy was the first musician chosen by Glenn Miller for what became Miller's Army Air Force Band (officially, the 418th Army Band) where Zarchy played lead trumpet and was Master (First) Sergeant from 1942 to 1945.[1]

After the war, singer Frank Sinatra invited Zarchy to move to Los Angeles, where he became a first-call studio musician.[1] He played on the recordings of hundreds of vocalists, including Louis Armstrong, Tony Bennett, Dinah Shore, and The Mills Brothers. His trumpet is heard in the soundtracks of many classic Hollywood movies, including West Side Story (1961), Dr. Zhivago (1965) and The Glenn Miller Story (1954).

During the 1960s and 1970s, he played in the house bands of several CBS TV variety shows, including The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, The Danny Kaye Show and The Jonathan Winters Show, and was a member of the NBC Staff Orchestras in New York and Los Angeles.[1] From 1968 to 1969, he played the trumpet for ABC's The Lawrence Welk Show.

In his later years, Zarchy made many music tours of Europe, South America, and Australia, as well as thirty-two concert trips to Japan.[1] He tutored several young trumpet players who became successful performers and studio musicians. He died on April 12, 2009 at the age of 93.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Thurber, Jon (17 April 2009). "Rubin 'Zeke' Zarchy dies at 93; big band trumpeter". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 21 August 2015.
  2. ^ Carr, Ian; Fairweather, Digby; Priestley, Brian (1995). Jazz: The Rough Guide. The Rough Guides. p. 716. ISBN 1-85828-137-7.

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