George Thow, Trumpet (1956-1961)
George Thow was born in Cleveland on July 8, 1908. He sang in the school glee club and played in the school orchestra. After graduating high school in 1925, he was awarded a scholarship to Harvard University. At Harvard, Thow played trumpet in a band led by Johnny Green and graduated in 1929 with a bachelor of arts degree in French literature, a rarity for jazz musicians. After graduation, Thow joined the Isham Jones Orchestra, which included such future stars as Jack Jenney, Pee Wee Erwin, Gordon Jenkins, and Woody Herman. Thow recorded in 1934 with the early, but unheralded, Benny Goodman Orchestra which included Jack Teagarden and Teddy Wilson.
Thow played for a while with Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw, and went to California where he became a member of the NBC staff orchestra and played trumpet for a number of movies including a film called Syncopation. In 1956, Thow joined the popular Lawrence Welk Orchestra and served as part of the Welk TV show's production staff. He left the show in 1961 but stayed on as a production staff member through 1982. Thow passed away in 1987.