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Eddie Duchin


Eddy Duchin’s Musical Career

Eddy Duchin was a popular American pianist and bandleader during the 1930s and 40s.

He had no formal musical training which is probably why he created his own unique style called “sweet” music. This lack of formal training did frustrate other musicians trying to work with him. Despite this, Eddy became quite famous for "sweet" big band music during the time of jazz. His musical pioneering paved the way for other band leaders such as Joe Reichman, Dick Gasparre, and Carmen Cavallaro. He enjoyed romantic songs and favored soft-voiced sings such as Lew Sherwood.

Early Life

Duchin was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1909. The son of Jewish immigrants, he attended public school in Massachusetts and then the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy. However, he left his career as a pharmacist, and turned toward music instead. His first paying music job was with an orchestra at the Central Park Casino in New York. When the orchestra’s leader, Leo Reisman left, Eddy assumed the leadership role. Regular radio broadcasts help him gain popularity and increased his record sales.


Duchin caused a scandal in 1938 with the release of his song "Ol' Man Mose" which caused the record to hit #2 on the Billboard charts. The lyric "bucket" was heard as "f*ck it" which was considered unacceptable and down-right vulgar at the time, however sales of the record skyrocketed.

Late Career and Death

During World War II Duchin served as a lieutenant commander in the Navy. He received numerous awards and medals for his service. After being discharged, he attempted to restart his musical career with a radio show in 1949, but soon found himself in the hospital. He died of acute myelogenous leukemia at the early age of 41, in 1951.


In 1956, Columbia Pictures recorded a moving feature film biography called The Eddy Duchin Story.

Duchin married Marjorie Oelrichs and had a son, Peter Duchin in 1937. His son, Peter, carried on his father's legacy and became a pianist and popular bandleader too.

An anthology of Eddy Duchin’s best recordings was released in 2002 called Dancing with Duchin.

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Eddy Duchin & His Orchestra, with SYLVIA FROOS, 1933


dave S on February 01, 2011:

EDDIE SR:: lives on! a pianist...I've just introduced it into our ME Ski Resort and the "comment's are unbelieveable; not to say I used any other style, it's just beautiful and of course Carmen C. was known as the Poet of the Piano and Eddie with his sweet music...and Liberace copied both of them to carry on the legacy, that---I----now enjoy...its been a exciting life and not over yet....dave S .... although, I'm two years older than Pete parallel life, was a surprise when reading Pete's ....a Ghost of a chance, which is another favorite of mine....used at the SKiier's WEDDing last Thursday....

Mable on September 19, 2010:

I did have the longplay record of the Eddie Duchin Story but gave it away when moving. How I wish I had it now! The same with Harry James, Billy Vaughn, Burt Bacharat, all the wonderful bands of that era - you just don't hear music like that now, unfortunately. Wish the big band sound would come back!!!

Peter from Australia on May 11, 2010:

I do remember seeing the movie about Eddie Duchin and loved the story. :-)

Cheryl Evans (author) from Pennsylvania, USA on August 12, 2008:

I'm glad you enjoyed it and it's nice to know your connected to our collective conscious! :)

Audrey V. on August 12, 2008:

He's a great pianist, funny, I was thinking about him just the other day. =)

Great Hub !

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