Hy White is another of those great players from the late 30s through 50s who should be much better known to today’s jazz aficionados. He played with the Woody Herman Orchestra (with whom he recorded River Bed Blues – see below), recorded with Coleman Hawkins and Ben Webster, pop singers Doris Day, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and others, and became the house guitarist on the Ed Sullivan Show for fifteen years. That’s quite a CV!
I came across an edition of his solos, called “Guitar Digest by Hy White” which you can download HERE. The contents include a transcription of his great River Bed Blues with the Woody Herman Orchestra, which you can hear in this video:
Another item from the Guitar Digest is his Twilight Reverie, which Hy describes as “an example of a melodic chord study…must be played with feeling and at a slow tempo”.
While working on the Ed Sullivan Show, Hy was asked to fill out The Beatles’ guitar parts, which weren’t recorded too well. He laughs about becoming for a short time, the Fifth Beatle. He tells the story in this enjoyable video: