Deane Kincaide, 81; Big Band Arranger, Performer


Deane Kincaide, who arranged such big-band hits as "Boogie Woogie" for Tommy Dorsey and "Bugle Call Rag" for Benny Goodman and played reeds in the Ben Pollack band that spawned Glenn Miller, Goodman and many other musical giants, has died in St. Cloud, Fla., it was learned this week.

Donna King Conkling, one of the singing King Sisters featured for many years with the Alvino Rey band, said her friend and former colleague was 81 when he died Aug. 14 from the effects of a stroke suffered two years ago.

Kincaide was a skilled and versatile instrumentalist who taught himself to play saxophone, clarinet, flute and piccolo. He joined Pollack in 1933 after performing with smaller groups in the Midwest. The next year he signed on with Goodman, who had just left Pollack to form what was to become the first integrated big band. Besides "Bugle Call Rag," Kincaide recorded and arranged "Dixieland Band" and "Down by the River" while with the clarinetist. He later served as an adviser for "The Benny Goodman Story," the 1955 film biography.

From 1935 to 1937 Kincaide was one of the original Bobcats with Bob Crosby's Orchestra. His arrangements for the group included "Goody Goody" and "If I Had You."

After a brief stint with Lennie Hayton and Woody Herman, he rejoined Crosby and then signed with Dorsey, where he arranged or recorded "Hawaiian War Chant," "Down Home Rag" and "Panama" and composed a set of spirituals.

He next arranged for Fred Waring. He played and wrote for Ray Noble and then for the blind pianist Alec Templeton on the NBC radio show that starred Templeton from 1940 to 1941.

He was with Ray McKinley after the drummer took over the Miller orchestra when Miller was killed in the war, and went to TV when singer Kate Smith began her series in the early 1950s.

In the 1960s he was featured with the "Tonight Show" band when Skitch Henderson was its leader, with Jackie Gleason on his old variety series and as an arranger for Lawrence Welk in Los Angeles.

He is survived by his wife, Dorothy.

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