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Bunny Berigan and His Orchestra

Bunny Berigan and His Orchestra are some of the most influential swing bands in the history of 20th century music. This ensemble was respected for defining the classic big band sound and their outstanding level of sophistication and skill playing all the popular classic hits. Their discography includes several classic albums, including Bunny Berigan and His Original Darktown Strutter’s Ballers, as well as instrumental tunes like Thunder and Blazes, Tiger Rag, and I Can't Get That Rhyming Feeling Out of My Head. Throughout his career, Berigan produced an immense body of sonically engaging recordings at a rate greater than one single per day on average across his 6 year career span. Some of their best songs have become jazz icons and classics that continue to leave listeners amazed more than 86 years after they were first released.
Bunny Berigan and His Orchestra: A Brief Musical Biography
Bunny Berigan and His Orchestra may not be a household name, but their music has reverberated through time. Bunny Berigan was a premier jazz trumpeter and bandleader of the swing era, who left his mark on some of the most iconic recordings of the era. With a career that spanned just over a decade, Berigan had an indisputable impact on the jazz and swing music scenes. In this article, we will delve into the life and times of Bunny Berigan and His Orchestra, as well as their best songs, music genres, and famous concerts.
Louis Berigan, known as Bunny, was born in Wisconsin in 1908. He began playing the trumpet at an early age, quickly mastering an instrument that would remain his trademark for the rest of his life. After honing his skills in various bands, Berigan landed a coveted spot in Benny Goodman's Orchestra. He soon caught the public's eye with his virtuosic trumpet solos and flair for improvised jam sessions that had the audience on their feet. He then formed his own band in 1937 to showcase his talent and unique style of music.
With Berigan on the trumpet and vocals, the Bunny Berigan and His Orchestra brought a new energy to the big band sound. Their music drew heavily from swing, jazz, and blues, with Berigan's trumpet taking center stage in most of their music. Some of their best songs include I Can't Get Started, The Prisoner's Song, and I'll Always Be in Love with You. These songs remain timeless masterpieces that showcase Berigan's unparalleled genius with the trumpet.
Bunny Berigan and His Orchestra were one of the most popular big bands of their time. They played at some of the most famous jazz and swing venues of the era, including New York's famed Cotton Club and Chicago's Ambassador Hotel. Their music was enjoyed by all audiences, with many of their songs making it onto the Billboard charts. However, Bunny Berigan's life was cut short due to alcoholism, and his orchestra disbanded after his untimely death at the age of 33.
Despite the band's short-lived career, Bunny Berigan and His Orchestra left an indelible mark on the world of jazz and swing music. The band's style was characterized by its use of the trumpet, a signature sound that was widely imitated by other big bands of the time. Berigan's influence on jazz is widely recognized, with many musicians citing him as an inspiration. His virtuosic style and emotional playing continue to captivate listeners to this day.
Critics praised Bunny Berigan and His Orchestra for their unique blend of swing and jazz music, with Berigan's trumpet playing earning him many accolades. He was often compared to other great trumpet players of his time, including Louis Armstrong and Bix Beiderbecke. Despite facing personal battles with alcoholism and addictions, Bunny Berigan remained a beloved musician and bandleader throughout his career.
While Bunny Berigan and His Orchestra may not be a household name, their music has left an indelible mark on jazz and swing music. Bunny Berigan's virtuosic trumpet playing and unique style continue to inspire musicians even today. With hits like I Can't Get Started, The Prisoner's Song, and I'll Always Be in Love with You, Bunny Berigan and His Orchestra will always be remembered as one of the most influential bands to emerge from the swing era.


1 - The Prisoner's Song
2 - Trees
3 - Mother Goose
4 - Blues