Jazz Musician. Bunny Berigan and his virtuoso trumpet rose to fame during Jazz's "Swing Era." Born Rowland Bernard Berigan, in a small town in Wisconsin, Bunny began his career by freelancing with various Jazz bands, including those of the Dorsey Brothers and Glenn Miller, even appearing on some of Miller's earliest recordings. In 1935 Berigan made the move that catapulted him to stardom - he joined Benny Goodman's band. Included in the Goodman band was drummer Gene Krupa who insisted that Berigan be added before he would commit to performing. After leaving Goodman's band and having a short stint with Tommy Dorsey, Bunny finally formed his own band in 1937. It was a band that created songs on a par with the rest of his peers, but that failed to gain their popularity. Berigan, a heavy drinker to start with, began drinking more heavily as he came to realize that his managerial skills fell far short of his musical skills and he was forced to declare bankruptcy. His doctors warned him off the booze and to take an indefinite leave of absence from performing, but Bunny did neither. He died from Cirrhosis of the liver at the young age of thirty three. Bunny Berigan was buried in his hometown of Fox Lake, Wisconsin. The town continues to this day to celebrate its annual Bunny Berigan Jazz Festival. (Death 2ur Find-a-Grave biography)





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