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Origin:
Terre Haute, IA, USA
Decades:
1908-1965

Claude Thornhill (10 August 1908 at Terre Haute, Indiana – 1 July 1965, New Jersey) was an American pianist, arranger, composer, and bandleader. He composed the jazz and pop standards "Snowfall" and "I Wish I Had You", which was recorded by Billie Holiday. As a youth, he was recognized as an extraordinary talent and formed a traveling duo with Danny Polo, a musical prodigy on the clarinet and trumpet from nearby Clinton, Indiana. As a student at Garfield High School in Terre Haute, he played with several theater bands.

Thornhill entered the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music at age 16. That same year he and clarinetist Artie Shaw started their careers at the Golden Pheasant in Cleveland, Ohio with the Austin Wiley Orchestra. Thornhill and Shaw went to New York together in 1931.

Claude went to the West Coast in the late 1930s with the Bob Hope Radio Show, and arranged for Judy Garland in Babes in Arms.

In 1935, he played on sessions for Glenn Miller's first recordings under his own name, as Glenn Miller and His Orchestra. He played on Glenn Miller's composition "Solo Hop," which was released on Columbia Records.


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