Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Started piano lessons while in grade school, drums in high school. Started his jazz career as a dixieland drummer, doubling on piano. First became aware of vibraharp/vibraphone when he heard a record of "Shine" by Louis Armstrong with a solo by Lionel Hampton; also said to have heard Red Norvo live. Got his first set of vibes in 1935.
By 1939, he was playing vibes regularly and drumming on the side. In house band at Mitch's in Mendota MN he worked with Bob Zurke, Joe Sullivan, Bob Eberle, Jack Teagarten, Isham Jones, Peggy Lee, and Mel Torme. Later in the 1940's he formed his own vibes trio and worked 'gin mills' throughout the midwest, but mostly in the Twin Cities and in the lively dixieland scene that continued in Mendota after Mitch's closed. Worked and recorded frequently with the Doc Evans band and Harry Blons.
In 1990s worked mostly with the Jurassic Trio with Biddy Bastien (bass) and Bob 'Doc' Caldwell.