It is taking longer than expected to fetch the next song to play. The music should be playing soon. If you get tired of waiting, you can try reloading your browser.

Please check our Help page for information about troubleshooting Pandora on your browser.

Please ensure you are using the latest Flash Player.

If you are unable or do not wish to upgrade your Flash Player,
please try a different browser.

Please check our Help page for information about troubleshooting Pandora on your browser.
Your Pandora Plus subscription will expire shortly.
More Info
No Thanks
Your Pandora Plus trial will expire shortly.
Your Pandora Plus trial subscription will expire shortly. Upgrade to continue unlimited, ad-free listening.
Upgrade Now
You've listened to hours of Pandora this month. Consider upgrading to Pandora Plus.
More Info
No Thanks
Hi . Pandora is using Facebook to personalize your experience. Learn MoreNo Thanks
 Upgrade  sign up   |   help   |  
Change Skin

Free personalized radio that
plays the music you love

Now Playing
Music Feed
My Profile
Create a Station
People who also like this

Woody Herman

A fine swing clarinetist, an altoist whose sound was influenced by Johnny Hodges, a good soprano saxophonist, and a spirited blues vocalist, Woody Herman's greatest significance to jazz was as the leader of a long line of big bands. He always encouraged young talent and, more than practically any bandleader from the swing era, kept his repertoire quite modern. Although Herman was always stuck performing a few of his older hits (he played "Four Brothers" and "Early Autumn" nightly for nearly 40 years), he much preferred to play and create new music.

Woody Herman began performing as a child, singing in vaudeville. He started playing saxophone when he was 11, and four years later he was a professional musician. He picked up early experience playing with the big bands of Tom Gerun, Harry Sosnik, and Gus Arnheim, and then in 1934, he joined the Isham Jones orchestra. He recorded often with Jones, and when the veteran bandleader decided to break up his orchestra in 1936, Herman formed one of his own out of the remaining nucleus. The great majority of the early Herman recordings feature the bandleader as a ballad vocalist, but it was the instrumentals that caught on, leading to his group being known as "the Band That Plays the Blues." Woody Herman's theme "At the Woodchopper's Ball" became his first hit (1939). Herman's early group was actually a minor outfit with a Dixieland feel to many of the looser pieces and fine vocals contributed by Mary Ann McCall, in addition to Herman. They recorded very frequently for Decca, and for a period had the female trumpeter/singer Billie Rogers as one of its main attractions.

By 1943, the Woody Herman Orchestra was beginning to take its first steps into becoming the Herd (later renamed the First Herd). Herman had recorded an advanced Dizzy Gillespie arrangement ("Down Under") the year before, and during 1943, Herman's band became influenced by Duke Ellington; in fact, Johnny Hodges and Ben Webster made guest appearances on some recordings. It was a gradual process, but by the end of 1944, Woody Herman had what was essentially a brand new orchestra. It was a wild, good-time band with screaming ensembles (propelled by first trumpeter Pete Candoli), major soloists in trombonist Bill Harris and tenorman Flip Phillips, and a rhythm section pushed by bassist/cheerleader Chubby Jackson and drummer Dave Tough. In 1945 (with new trumpeters in Sonny Berman and Conte Candoli), the First Herd was considered the most exciting new big band in jazz. Several of the arrangements of Ralph Burns and Neal Hefti are considered classics, and such Herman favorites entered the book as "Apple Honey," "Caldonia," "Northwest Passage," "Bijou" (Harris' memorable if eccentric feature), and the nutty "Your Father's Mustache." Even Igor Stravinsky was impressed, and he wrote "Ebony Concerto" for the orchestra to perform in 1946. Unfortunately, family troubles caused Woody Herman to break up the big band at the height of its success in late 1946; it was the only one of his orchestras to really make much money. Herman recorded a bit in the interim, and then, by mid-1947, had a new orchestra, the Second Herd, which was also soon known as the Four Brothers band. With the three cool-toned tenors of Stan Getz, Zoot Sims, and Herbie Steward (who a year later was replaced by Al Cohn) and baritonist Serge Chaloff forming the nucleus, this orchestra had a different sound than its more extroverted predecessor, but it could also generate excitement of its own. Trumpeter/arranger Shorty Rogers and eventually Bill Harris returned from the earlier outfit, and with Mary Ann McCall back as a vocalist, the group had a great deal of potential. But, despite such popular numbers as Jimmy Giuffre's "Four Brothers," "The Goof and I," and "Early Autumn" (the latter ballad made Getz into a star), the band struggled financially. Before its collapse in 1949, such other musicians as Gene Ammons, Lou Levy, Oscar Pettiford, Terry Gibbs, and Shelly Manne made important contributions.

Next up for Woody Herman was the Third Herd, which was similar to the Second except that it generally played at danceable tempos and was a bit more conservative. Herman kept that band together during much of 1950-1956, even having his own Mars label for a period; Conte Candoli, Al Cohn, Dave McKenna, Phil Urso, Don Fagerquist, Carl Fontana, Dick Hafer, Bill Perkins, Nat Pierce, Dick Collins, and Richie Kamuca were among the many sidemen. After some short-lived small groups (including a sextet with Nat Adderley and Charlie Byrd), Herman's New Thundering Herd was a hit at the 1959 Monterey Jazz Festival. He was able to lead a big band successfully throughout the 1960s, featuring such soloists as high-note trumpeter Bill Chase, trombonist Phil Wilson, the reliable Nat Pierce, and the exciting tenor of Sal Nistico. Always open to newer styles, Woody Herman's bop-ish unit gradually became more rock-oriented as he utilized his young sidemen's arrangements, often of current pop tunes (starting in 1968 with an album titled Light My Fire). Not all of his albums from this era worked, but one always admired Herman's open-minded attitude. As one of only four surviving jazz-oriented bandleaders from the swing era (along with Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Stan Kenton) who was still touring the world with a big band, Herman welcomed such new talent in the 1970s as Greg Herbert, Andy Laverne, Joe Beck, Alan Broadbent, and Frank Tiberi. He also recorded with Chick Corea, had a reunion with Flip Phillips, and celebrated his 40th anniversary as a leader with a notable 1976 Carnegie Hall concert.

Woody Herman returned to emphasizing straight-ahead jazz by the late '70s. By then, he was being hounded by the IRS due to an incompetent manager from the 1960s not paying thousands of dollars of taxes out of the sidemen's salaries. Herman, who might very well have taken it easy, was forced to keep on touring and working constantly into his old age. He managed to put on a cheerful face to the public, celebrating his 50th anniversary as a bandleader in 1986. However, his health was starting to fail, and he gradually delegated most of his duties to Frank Tiberi before his death in 1987. Tiberi continued to lead a Woody Herman Orchestra on a part-time basis but it never had the opportunity to record. Fortunately, Herman was well documented throughout all phases of his career, and his major contributions are still greatly appreciated. ~ Scott Yanow
full bio

Selected Discography


Track List: The Best Of Woody Herman And His Big Band

1. Lemon Drop

2. Early Autumn

3. That's Right

4. Keeper Of The Flame

5. The Great Lie

6. Tenderly

7. Rhapsody In Wood

8. Spain

9. The Nearness Of You

10. Sonny Speaks

11. Four Brothers

12. Blue Flame

13. Goosey Gander

14. Northwest Passage

15. Caldonia

16. (At The) Woodchopper's Ball


Track List: The Everest Years

1. Caldonia

2. Black Orchid

3. Blowin' Up A Storm

4. Bijou

5. Crazy Rhythm

6. Woodchoppers Ball

7. Mambo Herd

8. Tito Meets Woody

9. Latin Fight

10. Hail Hail The Herds All Here

11. Yes Indeed

12. It's Delovely

13. Mt. Everest

14. Bamba Samba (Bossa Nova)

15. Origional #2

16. Love Song Ballad

17. Prelude Ala Cha Cha

18. Ebony Concerto: Moderato

19. Ebony Concerto: Andante

20. Ebony Concerto: Moderato


Track List: Blowin' Up A Storm; The Columbia Years 1945-47

Disc 1

1. Apple Honey

2. Caldonia

3. Happiness Is A Thing Called Joe

4. Goosey Gander

5. Northwest Passage

6. The Good Earth

7. Bijou

8. Your Father's Mustache

9. Wildroot

10. Blowin' Up A Storm

11. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

12. Igor

13. Fan It

14. Lost Weekend

15. Ebony Concerto

16. Sidewalks Of Cuba

Disc 2

1. Summer Sequence (Part 1)

2. Summer Sequence (Part 2)

3. Summer Sequence (Part 3)

4. Everywhere

5. Backtalk

6. Someday Sweetheart

7. Woodchopper's Ball

8. Blue Flame

10. The Goof And I

11. Four Brothers

12. Summer Sequence (Part 4)


Track List: Jazz Masters 54

1. Don't Get Around Much Any More

2. Sister Sadie

3. Camel Walk

4. Body And Soul

5. Better Get It In Your Soul

6. Jazz Me Blues

7. Caldonia (What Makes Your Big Head So Hard?)

8. The Good Earth

9. Deep Purple

10. Cousins

11. Just Squeeze Me (But Don't Tease Me)

12. Dr. Wong's Bag

13. Dear John C.


Track List: Giant Steps

1. La Fiesta

2. A Song For You

3. Freedom Jazz Dance

4. The Meaning Of The Blues

5. The Firstthing I Do

6. Think Of Me

7. Giant Steps

8. A Child Is Born

9. Be-Bop And Roses


Track List: Big New Herd at the Montery Jazz Festival

1. Four Brothers

2. Like Some Blues Man

3. Skoobeedoobee

4. Monterey Apple Tree

5. Skylark

6. The Magpie


Track List: Woody Herman (And The Herd) At Carnegie Hall, 1946

Disc 1

1. Bijou (Live)

2. Sweet And Lovely (Live)

3. Superman With A Horn (Live)

4. Blowin' Up A Storm (Live)

5. The Man I Love (Live)

6. Four Men On A Horse (Live)

7. The Good Earth (Live)

8. Woody Herman Introduces Ebony Concerto (Live)

9. Ebony Concerto - Third Movement (Incomplete) (Live)

10. Herman Introduces 2nd Half Of Concert (Live)

11. Your Father's Moustache (Live)

12. Everywhere (Live)

13. Mean To Me (Live)

Disc 2

11. Your Father's Moustache


Report as inappropriate
Say iphone 5 times
Say a color
Put this on 5 other songs
Look under your pillow
Report as inappropriate
An amazing leader and performer The herd set the table for me . He must have a hell of an arranger to keep his music so fresh and you could actually
Dance to his music
Report as inappropriate
The herd rules
Report as inappropriate
Fu ck u clarinet player trumpet players da bomb
Report as inappropriate
Report as inappropriate
Great music...mmmm m m !
Report as inappropriate
Memories! Beautiful memories of the 1930 !
Report as inappropriate
In the early 60's Woody and the Thundering Herd made an unannounced appearance between gigs in Syracuse and Buffalo in my hometown of Sodus Point, NY, on a rainy night at the Dolphin, a local club overlooking Sodus Bay. As word of mouth got out, most residents reacted by saying, Woody Herman...yea h right...wher e ' d ya hear that? Woody played the entire evening with rain dripping through the roof onto the stage, but with no audience, save the bartenders and the owner, Dominic DerCola.
Report as inappropriate
In the early sixties Woody and the Thundering Herd stopped in my hometown of Sodus Point, NY. The unadvertised appearance was in between gigs in Syracuse and Buffalo, and he got a rainy 1-night stand at the Dolphin, a club overlooking Sodus Bay. Word of mouth alerted a few locals to the rarity, but most people were inclined to say, WoodyHerman. . . y e a h , right...wher e ' d ya hear that? Anyway, Woody played all evening with rain leaking through the roof onto the stage and no audience.
Report as inappropriate
Isn't it great to enjoy fine music from a wonderful era. these musicians were out-of-sight !
Report as inappropriate
Went into the Air Force that year 1954.
Report as inappropriate
I used to play the Clarinet but never like him. Great band too.
Report as inappropriate
Great...lege n d a r y , mmmm!
Report as inappropriate
I'm sixteen and this music is definitely the greatest of all time. I love me some swing.
Report as inappropriate
There will never be songs like these on earth again. These artists are still swinging it is that we are not able to tune them in where we are. Someday tho!
Report as inappropriate
An all time great!
Report as inappropriate
I saw Woody twice in concert - once in the 70s and again in the 80s before his passing. Both times were swinging! I'm in my 50s, but his music was always reasonably current and his concerts always fun. His young talent helped keep him going. If you haven't heard his Grammy-winni n g album Giant Steps (Best Jazz album 1971), check it out along with his other vast material. A gentleman and class act.
Report as inappropriate
I love this big band swing!! I maybe 55 years of age but this is GOOD music!!!!
Report as inappropriate
I Saw Woody back in the 60's. Was impressed with the amount of young players in his band. He has left a lasting impression on me.. Tom
Report as inappropriate
Absolutely,! ! ! ! Comes from a wholesome time when a guy could name his album Blowin Up A Storm : )
Report as inappropriate
This music puts me in a good mood!!!!!:)
Report as inappropriate
An outstanding musician.
Report as inappropriate
Very balanced and well written bio - thanks!
Report as inappropriate
My Mom and Dad sponsored Woody and his Band while on tour in Northern California, He play at Deerwood Swim/tennis club in Ukiah ca. circa 1983. Outdoors under a starry but stormy sky, it was simply magic.
Mark Heller for Shirley and Don Heller
Report as inappropriate
John Cap Ifirst danced to Woody circa 1939 at Hamid's Million dollar pier in Atlantic City. Then years later at the Starlight Roof of the St Regis Hotel inNYC. His band was always a pleasure.
Report as inappropriate
Saw Woody in person many times, a true gentleman. The '45 band was the wildest...dr o v e my parents crazy playing his records when I got a weekend home from the Navy.
Report as inappropriate
Woody Herman was my favorite bandleader whom I first saw at the Michigan Theater in Detroit in 1945 and they knocked me out. A thrilling band with Bill Harris, Flip Phillips, Pete Candoli playing "Caldonia", Apple Honey, Goosie Gander, etc. They were electric and very exciting!! The trumpet riff in Caldonia was my favorite
Report as inappropriate
I love swing and jazz, especially in the big band era and most of all the instrumental artists. The only artist I neve liked is Louis Armstrong. Thanks for playin all of my favorite types of music and me to create my own stations, including classical. Dr. Bob M.
Report as inappropriate
This may draw some jeers, but I really like his efforts to keep pace with the times -- particularly his albums from the 1970s. It wasn't straight jazz, but I thought it cooked all the same. Woody was always great about surrounding himself with young up-and-comin g players. His bands played great jazz-rock as well as jazz.
Report as inappropriate

Report as inappropriate
Myself and a buddy getting ready to go to Japan (Air Force) got to see Woody Herman and his Band in San Franciso (1949)He was great that night,introd u c e d us to the many there..What a thrill... Always loved his music,Great jazz...
Report as inappropriate
Woody always had a "driving" band. His Four Brothers and Early Autumn were classics and he always played them as requests from the audience. As a reed man, Iwas impressed with the quality of his sax section. Names such as Getz, Phillips, Sims, etc. playing in unison plus solos was unique for one band!
Report as inappropriate
He was one of the greatest of the big band leaders.I saw his band many times in person,and had quite a few conversation s with him.Loved that band as well as Kenton,Basie , E l l i n g t o n , R i c h , F e r g u s o n , S h a w , G o o d m a n , t h e Dorseys,Barn e t , H a r r y James,

Don't have a Pandora account? Sign up

We're sorry, but a browser plugin or firewall may be preventing Pandora from loading.

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please upgrade to a more current browser.

Please check our Help page for more information.

It looks like your browser does not support modern SSL/TLS. Please upgrade your browser.

If you need help, please email:

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please upgrade to a more current browser
or install a newer version of Flash (v.10 or later).

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please install Adobe Flash (v.10 or later).

[117, 120, 119, 78, 88, 66, 120, 96, 93, 73, 69, 110, 80, 122, 69, 67, 69, 91, 65, 101, 80, 122, 72, 108, 126, 114, 108, 65, 95, 106, 111, 119, 80, 90, 95, 89, 87, 73, 116, 97, 77, 64, 114, 111, 120, 91, 93, 97, 111, 126, 87, 112, 112, 126, 123, 67, 79, 111, 113, 88, 116, 101, 97, 118, 108, 85, 101, 122, 116, 91, 97, 105, 108, 64, 67, 92, 70, 101, 92, 105, 116, 122, 81, 101, 75, 98, 112, 80, 100, 80, 127, 125, 83, 109, 86, 97, 118, 125, 101, 71, 102, 125, 121, 108, 94, 107, 102, 123, 68, 72, 108, 87, 89, 66, 115, 90, 91, 123, 111, 90, 103, 115, 88, 114, 94, 85, 69, 98, 100, 125, 119, 85, 93, 85, 109, 117, 93, 124, 69, 93, 124, 106, 77, 89, 74, 97, 107, 109, 95, 98, 96, 89, 120, 92, 88, 93, 106, 125, 96, 113, 108, 84, 109, 81, 111, 126, 124, 96, 125, 98, 112, 94, 85, 75, 95, 116, 86, 105, 123, 77, 67, 109, 98, 90, 72, 83, 125, 73, 107, 102, 80, 127, 106, 121, 66, 121, 97, 108, 110, 103, 127, 87, 117, 120, 69, 70, 104, 75, 100, 88, 95, 94, 120, 69, 68, 68, 81, 119, 106, 83, 75, 97, 110, 90, 71, 74, 111, 122, 119, 67, 109, 109, 95, 72, 120, 80, 98, 67, 122, 95, 126, 89, 113, 109, 89, 125, 118, 107, 92, 64, 69, 104, 98, 77, 111, 93, 89, 98, 119, 115, 87, 113, 64, 98, 109, 109, 113, 100, 127, 126, 68, 121, 97, 125, 75, 122, 66, 69, 102, 75, 93, 120, 125, 103, 89, 118, 84, 81, 67, 69, 86, 95, 118, 68, 109, 88, 98, 117, 115, 121, 107, 75, 71, 72, 99, 80, 100, 78, 114, 93, 87, 71, 94, 96, 115, 92, 119, 123, 70, 91, 73, 102, 103, 89, 99, 68, 108, 122, 126, 98, 84, 88, 125, 106, 69, 107, 80, 108, 112, 120, 98, 105, 94, 85, 66, 80, 80, 85, 73, 95, 119, 97, 102, 66, 109, 86, 70, 65, 85, 115, 100, 121, 91, 86, 127, 82, 64, 118, 106, 91, 115, 71, 102, 121, 91, 113, 90, 124, 112, 86, 71, 88, 115, 120, 85, 102, 84, 108, 81, 105, 83, 113, 65, 103, 85, 111, 111, 88, 124, 85, 95, 68, 92, 111, 65, 124, 88, 117, 77, 124, 72, 111, 70, 75, 117, 72, 98, 118, 86, 86, 94, 84, 80, 95, 106, 113, 111, 98, 85, 66, 85, 117, 93, 95, 87, 106, 69, 105, 104, 64, 78, 117, 95, 92, 105, 77, 103, 126, 104, 103, 85, 72, 123, 90, 113, 123, 74, 95, 116, 99, 109, 122, 79, 69, 99, 117, 94, 73, 103, 73, 102, 123, 114, 69, 117, 92, 102, 72, 107, 109, 87, 64, 89, 115, 103, 87, 65, 94, 77, 113, 79, 82, 117, 116, 127, 67, 100, 111, 70, 124, 93, 127, 118, 116, 74, 82, 77, 71, 70, 101, 76, 64]