The Song That Changed My Life: Doc Severinsen

7th May 2021

The Song That Changed My Life is a segment that gives us the chance to talk with some of our favorite artists about the music that made them who they are today. This time around, we’re joined by American jazz trumpeter Carl Hilding “Doc” Severinsen. Doc is an amazing trumpet player who led the band over at “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” for thirty years and almost the entirety of Carson’s run. He’s known for his impeccable-styled costumes and eclectic musical styles. He’s recorded with Eddie Fisher, Dinah Shore and still tours at 93 years old. He’s had an enchanted career that extends all the way back to the second world war where a chance encounter gave him the opportunity to play for his childhood idol—trombonist Tommy Dorsey. Catch “Never Too Late: The Doc Severinsen Story” on your local PBS station.

Episode notes

Photo Credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

The Song That Changed My Life is a segment that gives us the chance to talk with some of our favorite artists about the music that made them who they are today. This time around, we’re joined by American jazz trumpeter Carl Hilding “Doc” Severinsen.

Doc is an amazing trumpet player who led the band over at “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” for thirty years and almost the entirety of Carson’s run.

Born and raised in Arlington, Oregon he was a talented musician from a young age. His father had been a violinist and wanted him to do the same, however, he ultimately landed on the clarinet as his instrument of choice.

He’s recorded with Eddie Fisher and Dinah Shore among others and still tours at 93 years old. He’s had an enchanted career that extends all the way back to the second world war where a chance encounter gave him the opportunity to play for his childhood idol—trombonist Tommy Dorsey.

Click here to check out Never Too Late: The Doc Severinsen Story or find it on your local PBS station.

In this episode...

Producer
Associate Producer
Associate Producer
Maximum Fun Production Fellow
Maximum Fun Production Fellow

Guests

  • Doc Severinsen

About the show

Bullseye is a celebration of the best of arts and culture in public radio form. Host Jesse Thorn sifts the wheat from the chaff to bring you in-depth interviews with the most revered and revolutionary minds in our culture.

Bullseye has been featured in Time, The New York Times, GQ and McSweeney’s, which called it “the kind of show people listen to in a more perfect world.” Since April 2013, the show has been distributed by NPR.

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People

Producer

Associate Producer

Associate Producer

Maximum Fun Production Fellow

Maximum Fun Production Fellow

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