He joined Ben Pollack’s group in 1936 but left the band in 1938 due to a debilitating alcohol related illness that almost killed him. Returning to music in 1939, he formed Muggsy Spanier’s Ragtime Band which featured George Brunies on trombone. By the 1940’s Muggsy was in New York performing with Max Kaminsky, Miff Mole and Brad Gowans, among others, which became the famous “Jam Session at Commodore” record from 1940. By Septemeber of 1940 Muggsy joined the Bob Crosby Dixieland big band but left and from 1941 to 1943 played with his own Dixieland big band which recorded for Decca.
From 1944 to 1948 Muggsy played mostly with small hot groups in New York City and from 1949 toured the U.S. extensively with his own sextet. By 1957 Spanier had settled in San Francisco and co-led some fine groups with pianist Earl Hines until his death in 1967.—by Ted Gottsegen
|Muggsy Spanier and his Ragtime Band||Muggsy Spanier and his Orchestra|
|Muggsy Spanier and his V-Disc All-Stars||Muggsy Spanier and his Ragtimers|
|Is Everybody Happy?||Archie Mayo||1929|
|Here Comes the Band||Paul Sloane||1935|
|Sis Hopkins||Joseph Santley||1941|
|Muggsy Spanier: The Lonesome Road, A Biography and Discography by Bert Whyatt, Jazzology Press, 1995|