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George Brunies (1902-1974)

George Brunies (1902-1974)Trombone player George Brunies (February 6, 1902 – November 19, 1974) got his start at age eight playing with Papa Jack Laine‘s band and later went on to play with Laine’s son Alfred “Baby” Laine’s band. He played in various bands in and around New Orleans including his brother Abbie’s Halfway House Orchestra, until he moved to Chicago in 1919. After playing for a while in Chicago he took a job on the Mississippi riverboat the S.S. Capitol.

Portrait of George Brunies and Tony Parenti, Jimmy Ryan's (Club), New York, N.Y.
Portrait of George Brunies and Tony Parenti, Jimmy Ryan’s (Club), New York, N.Y. (William P. Gottlieb )

He returned to Chicago in 1923 with his childhood friends Paul Mares and Leon Roppolo and joined the Friar’s Society Orchestra which later changed its name to the New Orleans Rhythm Kings after leaving the club. George’s brother Merritt took over the gig at the Friar’s Inn with his band which was called Merritt Brunies and his Friars Inn Orchestra. George Brunies left New Orleans Rhythm Kings in 1924 and signed up with Ted Lewis and his Band that same year. He stayed with Lewis until 1934. Throughout the rest of his career he played with Muggsy Spainer, Art Hodges, Louis Prima and Eddie Condon and many others.

George Brunies and his Jazz Band

Happiness Remedy 1931


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