May 26, 2013

Ed Shaughnessy dies at 84

Ed Shaughnessy dies
Ed Shaughnessy dies at 84
Ed Shaughnessy, a drummer on TV's "The Tonight Show" for nearly three decades, has died at the age of 84.

He passed away at his home in Calabasas, a Los Angeles suburb, on Friday according to multiple media reports.

Shaughnessy grew up in New Jersey in the 1930s and began playing drums while in his teens. He soon began playing jazz drums in New York City and became a staff musician at CBS in the 1950s. He also became a well-known big band drummer, playing with stars such as Benny Goodman and Tommy Dorsey.

In 1963, Shaughnessy joined the Tonight Show Band, and he played throughout the show's Johnny Carson years, mainly under bandleader Doc Severinsen.

As a teenager, he apprenticed with trumpeter Charlie Ventura and joined Benny Goodman's band in 1950. He went on to work in the Tommy Dorsey and Count Basie orchestras, and would record with Gene Ammons, Dizzy Gillespie, Oliver Nelson and Jimmy Smith, among others.