The images included in this photo gallery are from the collection of Michael P. Zirpolo. Although many of these photos appear in the book, not all of them do because of space limitations. These images are included here for the enjoyment of Berigan fans. More images will be added in the future.
Bunny Berigan, 1936 publicity photo.
Berigan with his first personal manager, Arthur Michaud, fall 1937.
From Left to Right: Donald Berigan, Bunny’s older brother; Bunny, and their cousin Charles Casey, Jr.; Fox Lake, Wisconsin, 1912
Four generations of Berigans-Fox Lake, WI June, 1933. L-R: Bunny’s mother Mary Catherine (Mayme); brother Donald; wife Donna; daughter Patricia being held by Bunny; grandmother Margaret McMahon Berigan; and father, William Patrick (Cap) Berigan. The family was gathered for little Pat’s baptism.
Bernard “Bun” Berigan, Lyndon Dale Island, Fox Lake, WI, June 1921. This photo was taken at a class picnic. Bunny had taken the ribbon in his hair from one of his female classmates.
Berigan sings, 1941.
Many of Berigan’s sidemen went on to very successful careers in music. In this photo taken outside the Stanley Theater in Pittsburgh in late August 1938, L-R: Hank Wayland, Clyde Rounds, Ray Conniff, Nat Lobovsky, Joe Dixon, and Buddy Rich.
Berigan solos with Tommy Dorsey’s band at the Paramount Theater, NYC; March-April, 1940.
Hal Kemp sideman Saxie Dowell and Bunny; probably in England, summer, 1930.
Berigan solos in front of his band at the Paramount Theater, NYC; November-December, 1937.
Berigan, June, 1937, shortly after he organized his first big band.
A smiling Berigan resplendent in evening clothes in front of his band in early 1941
At the Metronome All-Star recording session, January 12, 1939, NYC; L-R: Tommy Dorsey and his manager, Bobby Burns; Berigan; Metronome chief writer and editor, George T. Simon; Benny Goodman.
Berigan sings at the Famous Door, 35 West 52nd St., NYC; February-May, 1936.
The Berigan band takes five from rehearsal in humorous fashion at Chicago’s Hotel Sherman; July-August, 1939. The man lying on his back is pianist Joe Bushkin.
Seventeen year-old Bunny Berigan as he began his career as a full-time professional musician, Madison, WI; fall, 1925.
Paul Whiteman, 1932. Whiteman hired Bunny in late 1932 and featured him as a soloist. When Berigan left Whiteman’s employ a year later, he was one of the best-known trumpeters in the nation.
A headline and photo from a feature article on Berigan that appeared in the Milwaukee Journal on February 27, 1938. At this time, he was still receiving a big promotional push from his booking agency, Music Corporation of America (MCA).
The Berigan band in rehearsal at Chicago’s Sherman Hotel; July-August, 1939.
A gathering of Donna McArthur Berigan’s family in 1948. L-R: Joyce McArthur and her husband, Donna’s brother Darrell. After Bunny’s death, his daughters went to live with Joyce and Darrell until they married. Patricia Berigan (next right) was then 16; Darrell’s father John J. McArthur, youngest sister Maddie, and 12 year-old Joyce Berigan.
A ticket to one of many dances where Bunny Berigan and His Orchestra played.
Paul Whiteman on tour spring, 1933, while Berigan was a member of his orchestra
Patricia, Joyce and Donna Berigan, Fox Lake, WI; September, 1939.
Bunny with his two daughters in July, 1939, at the Schlitzberg-Berigan house, Fox Lake, WI. Patricia is age 7; Joyce 3.
Berigan’s best male vocalist was Danny Richards, shown here onstage with the Berigan band at Eastwood Gardens, Detroit, MI; June, 1939.
Donna McArthur in 1930, at the time she met Bunny Berigan. They married in 1931
Singer Lee Wiley, 1936. Wiley and Berigan were romantically linked from 1936 to 1940. His ill-starred relationship with her provided the inspiration for much of his greatest playing.
Statuesque Kathleen Lane, pictured here in 1938, was Berigan’s best female vocalist. Unfortunately, like Danny Richards, she was unable to make very many records with the Berigan band.
Berigan and drummer George Wettling stroll along the sidewalks of New York, summer, 1937. Wettling was the first great drummer to drive the Berigan band. Others who followed included Dave Tough, Johnny Blowers, Buddy Rich, and Jack Sperling.
Berigan loved to jam with fellow jazz musicians in the years before he became a bandleader. Here he is pictured with singer Red McKenzie, and tenor saxists Bud Freeman and Forrest Crawford at a jam session organized by Eddie Condon at the Belmont Plaza Hotel in Manhattan; spring, 1936.
Sixteen year-old Bunny Berigan, pictured here with the Merrill Owen band in early 1925 at a place where they played for an extended period of time in Milwaukee, WI. Bunny commuted by train to the gig on weekends from his home in Fox Lake, where he still attended high school.
Ten year-old Bunny Berigan, at about the time he began to play the trumpet.
Comedian Jerry Colonna was Bob Hope’s sidekick and comedy foil for decades. But in the early 1930s, he was one of the finest studio trombonists in New York City. He and Berigan worked together very often while Bunny was employed at CBS in the years 1934-1936. This photo dates from 1936.
Another view of the seventeen year-old Bunny Berigan.
Berigan solos in front of his band in an unknown theater, spring 1937. This was the time when Bunny was breaking in his new big band before audiences in and around New York City.
Publiity cartoon of Paul Whiteman. Whiteman was a master of public relations.
A publicity photo from August, 1940 promoting a school for underprivileged children in New York City. L-R: trombonist/arranger Fred Norman; Berigan; Tommy Dorsey, Eleanor Roosevelt; Lionel Hampton; and Frank Sinatra.
Berigan’s portrait graced the cover of Metronome magazine in December of 1937.
An on-air jam session from the studios of WNEW-New York, June 14, 1940. L-R: Coleman Hawkins; Jack Jenney; Tommy Dorsey; unknown technician; Gene Krupa; Martin Block of WNEW; Harry James; Berigan and Count Basie.
Bing Crosby, 1935. Crosby started his career as a singer with Paul Whiteman’s band. From there he went on to a spectacularly successful career on records, in the movies, and on radio. Berigan worked in a number of bands backing Crosby on records in the early 1930s.
Berigan worked at CBS in 1931 and again from 1934-1936. He was required to play a wide variety of music as a studio musician at CBS. In 1936, CBS built a jazz program around him, the Saturday Night Swing Club. This program had a lot to do with creating an awareness of jazz among a large (mostly young) segment of the CBS listening audience.
The stunningly beautiful Harriet Lake starred in the Broadway production called Everybody’s Welcome in late 1931-early 1932. Berigan left CBS to play in the pit band (led by Tommy Dorsey) for the run of the show, which turned out to be rather brief. Harriet Lake soon left Manhattan for Hollywood, where she had a successful career using the name Ann Sothern.
Berigan in early 1942. Although Bunny was dying from cirrhosis, he continued performing on the road before large and appreciative audiences until three days before his death on June 2.
A snapshot of the Berigan band in action at an outdoor concert, summer 1938. L-R: Bassist Hank Wayland; guitarist/vocalist Dick Wharton; drummer Buddy Rich; tenor saxophonist Georgie Auld; trumpeter Irving Goodman.
Sheet music for the selections from the “Beiderbecke Suite” recordings Berigan made at the end of 1938.
Berigan on film. This still is from the short film Berigan made with an orchestra under the baton of Fred Rich in 1936. Berigan often worked with Rich while he was employed at CBS.
Vocalist Mildred Bailey was also a graduate of Paul Whiteman’s orchestra. She loved Berigan’s playing and hired him as often as possible to support her in the bands that backed her on recordings.
“A Symposium of Swing” was an album containing four 12-inch 78rpm records made by four different RCA Victor recording artists (Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, Fats Waller, and Bunny Berigan), released in the fall of 1937. The disk Berigan made for this album contained “I Can’t Get Started” on one side and “The Prisoner’s Song” on the other.
The sheet music cover page for the novelty tune “Wacky Dust,” composed by Bunny’s friend, the eccentric and brilliant Oscar Levant. Bunny made a good recording of this tune for Victor.
The label for the lovely recording Berigan made of Bix Beiderbecke’s composition “Flashes.” RCA Victor was rather out of touch with what Berigan was recording by the time this record was produced in late 1938. (Note the misspelling.)
The Orpheum Theater in Madison, WI, where Berigan worked in the theater’s orchestra in 1928-1929.
Hotel Pennsylvania in NYC. Site of many Berigan successes in 1937 with his new band.
A post card from Hotel Sherman in Chicago. The Berigan band had a musical truimph there for six weeks in the summer of 1939. All the while, Bunny was being sucked into a quagmire of debt.
The capitol building in Madison, WI. Bunny started his career as a full-time professional musician in Madison in 1925.
The Fox Theater in Detroit, where Berigan had many successes in the late 1930s.
Sunnybrook Ballroom, Pottstown, PA, one of the prime venues on the big band circuit, and a site of many notable events in Bunny Berigan’s career.
The Savoy Ballroom in Harlem, NYC. Few white bands were invited to play there because of their lack of swing. Berigan played there a number of times, always to great acclaim.
The marquee outside the Earle Theater in Philadelphia, early January, 1938.
Despite the fact that Berigan was very serious about music making, he never took himself too seriously. Here he clowns during the summer of 1939 at Jacobs Beach, CT.
Berigan with the saxophone section of his band, late 1937. L-R: Georgie Auld, Clyde Rounds, tenors; Joe Dixon, Mike Doty, altos.
Berigan at the Metronome All-Star recording session, January 12, 1939. The jazz solo he played on “Blue Lou” on that date is among his best.
The Berigan family, Mary Catherine (Mayme), William Patrick (Cap), Donald, and Bernard; Fox Lake, WI, 1915.
Two of Bunny’s colleagues at CBS: drummer Johnny Williams, father of multi-Oscar winning film composer John Williams, was a close friend. Pianist, composer, musical eccentric Raymond Scott’s music has been used on the soundtrack of cartoons for the last 70+ years.
Billie Holiday in 1936. Berigan backed Billie on the first recordings where her name was printed on the record label. She, like many other vocalists, greatly appreciated Bunny’s sensitive support.
Berigan solos in front of his band, early 1941.
A blurb from Down Beat, June, 1940, reporting an all-star jam session that took place at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, to welcome jazz titan Coleman Hawkins and his new big band on their opening at the Apollo. Berigan greatly enjoyed the musical stimulation of such gatherings. His was one of very few white bands to be presented at the Apollo.
Donald and Bernard Berigan with some Civil War veterans, Fox Lake, WI, summer 1912. Bunny was not quite four years old when this photo was taken.
Drummer Dave Tough was one of the finest during the swing era. He powered the Berigan band in early 1938.
St. Malachy’s Church, 239 West 49th Street, in the heart of Manhattan’s theater district, is where Berigan worshipped when he was in New York City. It was also the site of his funeral in June of 1942.
Berigan recorded many trumpet solos for the feature film Syncopation in January of 1942. Here he is pictured with film composer Leith Stevens, an old friend from CBS, and fellow trumpeter George Thow on the soundstage at RKO in Hollywood.
Berigan worked for Paul Whiteman from late 1932 to late 1933. Here the entire Whiteman troupe takes their bows on the stage of the Metropolitan Theater, Houston, TX, April 24,1933. Berigan is in the back row at the extreme left. A relatively svelte Paul Whiteman is in front with a black jacket and gray slacks.
Berigan in 1939.
From the same photo shoot as image 1.
Berigan shown at the Burbank-Glendale, CA airport upon leaving Benny Goodman’s band, October 2, 1935. Note the bulge in his right inside jacket pocket and rumpled suit. At this point, Bunny still had a number of rough edges that would soon be smoothed out. As a bandleader, no matter how dire his financial straits, he always looked perfectly turned-out.
Berigan in the fall of 1940, after he left Tommy Dorsey’s band and resumed leading his own band.
Somewhere on the road, early 1942. L-R: Berigan, his manager Don Palmer, and vocalists Danny Richards and Kay Little, who were husband and wife. Palmer was a very effective manager who moved Berigan’s career out of the doldrums. By 1942, Berigan was on the comeback trail. Tragically, at this same time, his health declined rapidly leading to his death on June 2, 1942.
Last known photo of Berigan, May 1942. To his right is saxophonist Bernie Scherr.
Berigan onstage at the Loew’s-State Theater, New York City, August 24-30, 1939.
Paul Whiteman’s trumpet section, 1933: L-R Anthony “Nat” Natoli, Berigan, Harry Goldfield.
Berigan on board the S.S. Majestic going to England and the Continent with the Hal Kemp band; May 15-21, 1930.
Berigan in March, 1940, soon after joining the Tommy Dorsey band. The derby on his head was used to mute the sound of his trumpet.
Bunny clowns at a college dance date, spring, 1942. Note the suits and ties of the young male dancers.
Berigan appears at an all-star jam session on the stage of the Apollo Theater, New York City, June 14, 1940.
Berigan is pictured with other musicians who made an all-star recording for Metronome magazine in January of 1939. This is Metronome’s February, 1939 cover.
Magazine feature on the new Berigan band, summer, 1937, explores Bunny’s radio show “Fun in Swingtime,” which was presented on the Mutual Broadcasting System.
Berigan, early 1936.
Berigan at the famous Imperial Theater Swing Concert, May 23, 1936. To his right, clarinetist Artie Shaw, guitarist Eddie Condon. Behind him at the drums is Chick Webb. The left-handed bassist behind him is Morty Stulmaker.
Berigan sings at the Loew’s-State Theater, NYC, August 24-30, 1939.
The Berigan band onstage at the Lowe’s State Theater, NYC, August 24-30, 1939. L-R: Berigan; bassist Morty Stulmaker; guitarist Tommy Moore; trumpeter Joe Bauer; tenor saxophonist Don Lodice; trumpeters Johnny Napton and Jake Koven; alto saxophonist Gus Bivona; trombonist Mark Pasco; alto saxophonist Charlie DiMaggio
Berigan caught at the Valencia Ballroom, York, Pennsylvania on Thanksgiving night, November 24, 1938. The saxophonists L-R are probably Charlie DiMaggio (subbing that night), and definitely Gus Bivona. Note Berigan playing fron a high stool: this was necessary because at the time he was nursing a broken ankle.
Singer Danny Richards, the best male vocalist ever to sing with the Berigan band, shortly after joining Bunny in early 1939. Richards’s recording of “Skylark” with Berigan is a swing era classic.
The softball fields near the southwest corner of Manhattan’s Central Park as they look today. They have changed little since the swing era, when musicians from many bands played softball games there. In the summer of 1940, Berigan surprised the members of the Tommy Dorsey softball team with his athletic prowess.
Trumpet virtuoso Mannie Klein in the 1950s. In the early and mid 1930s in New York, Klein often worked with and substituted for Berigan in the radio and recording studios. His succinct appraisal of Berigan’s impact on any band he played in: “You didn’t know sometimes if he was gonna show up for a session. But when he did show up–well, nobody played with the balls and the beat he did.”
Drum legend Buddy Rich outside of the Avedis Zildjian cymbal factory in Quincy Massachusetts, September 20, 1938. The night before, as a member of Bunny Berigan’s band, he played the opening of a prestigious two-week engagement at the roof garden of Boston’s Ritz Carleton Hotel. The next night, the great hurricane of 1938 struck Boston and blew the Berigan band out of work for several days. Rich once told me: “playing with Bunny Berigan’s band was my first big-time jazz gig. He was a hell of a musician, and his band was one of the best in the business then.”