A great stylist of the trumpet, Eugene "Snooky" Young was the absolute master of the plunger mute, an instantly recognizable star with whomever he played. He was known for making his horn speak, shout, growl, and sigh with his mutes, while always swinging irresistibly. Yet Young made his reputation almost entirely from within the bands who employed him, rarely stepping out on his own since leading his own band in his hometown of Dayton, Ohio from 1947 to 1957.
Young was lead trumpeter of the Jimmie Lunceford band from 1939 to 1942. He played with Count Basie (three stints totalling eight years), Gerald Wilson and Lionel Hampton, among others, and was an original member of the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Big Band.
His longest engagement was with NBC, where, as a studio trumpeter, he joined The Tonight Show Band in 1967 and stayed with them until 1992, when the band was replaced by a new, smaller group.
He was also part of the touring ensemble that traveled with Doc Severinsen, performing live concert dates, corporate events, and headling shows in the main rooms of Las Vegas. The one nighters usually occurred on Fridays, Saturdays, or Sundays, as Severinsen was committed to The Tonight Show on weeknights.
The Tonight Show Band is the house band which plays on the American television variety show, The Tonight Show. From 1962 to the 1990s, during the years the show was known as The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, the band was a 17-piece Big Band, and was an important outlet for jazz on American television. During the Carson era, the band was always billed as "The NBC Orchestra" (not to be confused with the NBC Symphony Orchestra) and sometimes "Doc Severinsen and the NBC Orchestra".
Doc Severinsen, Snooky Young, Tommy Newsom, and the NBC Orchestra play the One O'Clock&Bugle Call Rag.