Inducted into the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame in 2009, known for his performances, leadership, and compositions. He formed his own orchestra in 1931.
He attended the Boston Conservatory and Storer's College before joining the Fletcher Henderson orchestra and beginning to compose.
He was a prolific composer who helped pioneer big band swing music.
He was born and raised in Piedmont, West Virginia.
He wrote and arranged many hit songs for Count Basie.