Born Walter Gerhardt Hunt in Mt. Healthy, Ohio, Pee Wee developed an early musical interest since his mother played the banjo and his father played violin. The teenage Hunt was a banjoist with a local band while he was attending college at Ohio State, and during his college years he switched from banjo to trombone. He joined Jean Goldkette’s Orchestra in 1928.
Pee Wee Hunt was the co-founder and featured trombonist with the Casa Loma Orchestra, but he left the group in 1943 to work as a Hollywood radio disc jockey before joining the Merchant Marine near the end of the war. He returned to the West Coast music scene in 1946. His Twelfth Street Rag was a number one hit in September, 1948. He was satirized as Pee Wee Runt and his All-Flea Dixieland Band in Tex Avery’s animated MGM cartoon, Dixieland Droopy (1954).
At age 72, Hunt died after a long illness in Plymouth, Massachusetts, where his Casa Loma partner Glen Gray also lived.
Edited by digitig on 6 Jun 2007, 10:20
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