.

'Tonight Show' Drummer Ed Shaughnessy Dead at 84

Jazz drummer performed with Aretha Franklin and Johnny Cash

Ed Shaughnessy of the Tonight Show band records in a studio in 1986 in Los Angeles, California.
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty
May 26, 2013 6:20 PM ET

Ed Shaughnessy, who played drums with Doc Severinsen's Tonight Show band for nearly 30 years, died on Friday at the age of 84. The Los Angeles Times reports that the drummer had suffered a heart attack at his home in Calabasas, California.

Shaughnessy joined the band for Johnny Carson's Tonight Show in 1963, after working for years as a CBS staff musician on the Steve Allen and Garry Moore shows. He remained with Severinsen's band until 1992.

'Tonight Show' Moving Back to New York With Jimmy Fallon As Host

Even before gaining the exposure brought on by the television gigs, Shaughnessy found a place playing alongside big names like Billie Holiday, Bennie Goodman and Count Basie. In addition to his prolific jazz career, the Tonight Show work brought Shaughnessy together in performances with a range of rock, pop, soul and country stars including Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard. The trumpeter and band-leader Don Ellis once said of Shaughnessy: "Ed's one of the only guys I know from his generation who's open-minded enough to try something new."

Shaughnessy, who was married to Ilene Woods, the voice of Disney's Cinderella, is survived by his son, Daniel Shaughnessy, along with three grandchildren. 

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Madame George”

Van Morrison | 1968

One of the first stream-of-consciousness epics to make it onto a Van Morrison record, his drawn-out farewell to the eccentric "Madame George" lasted nearly 10 minutes, combining ingredients from folk, jazz and classical music. The character that gave the song its title provoked speculation that it was about a drag queen, though Morrison denied this in Rolling Stone. "If you see it as a male or a female or whatever, it's your trip," he remarked. "I see it as a ... a Swiss cheese sandwich. Something like that."

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com