Ed Shaughnessy, a drummer on TV's "The Tonight Show" for nearly three decades, has died at the age of 84.
He passed away at his home in Calabasas, a Los Angeles suburb, on Friday according to multiple media reports.
Shaughnessy grew up in New Jersey in the 1930s and began playing drums while in his teens. He soon began playing jazz drums in New York City and became a staff musician at CBS in the 1950s. He also became a well-known big band drummer, playing with stars such as Benny Goodman and Tommy Dorsey.
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In 1963, Shaughnessy joined the Tonight Show Band, and he played throughout the show's Johnny Carson years, mainly under bandleader Doc Severinsen.
As a teenager, he apprenticed with trumpeter Charlie Ventura and joined Benny Goodman's band in 1950. He went on to work in the Tommy Dorsey and Count Basie orchestras, and would record with Gene Ammons, Dizzy Gillespie, Oliver Nelson and Jimmy Smith, among others.
The mutton-chop whiskered musician performed with Aretha Franklin, Jimi Hendrix, John McLaughlin, Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic, and George Balanchine and the New York City Ballet.
Shaughnessy also recorded with legendary Indian tabla player Alla Rakha and played with cutting-edge artists of his time, including bassist Charles Mingus and trumpeter Don Ellis.
Ed is survived by son Daniel Shaughnessy, daughter-in-law Nicah Shaughnessy and three grandchildren. Another son, Jimmy, died in a 1984 traffic accident.
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