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Al Hirt
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Musician
    (November 7, 1922-April 27, 1999)
    Born in New Orleans, Louisiana
    Birth name was Alois Maxwell Hirt
    Trumpeter and bandleader
    Recorded 'Java'
    Died of liver failure in New Orleans at age 76
    Elected to the Louisiana Hall of Fame (November 7, 2009)
    His girth inspired the nicknames 'Jumbo' and 'The Round Mound of Sound.'
    He was a one hit wonder.
    He was married three times.
    Though he made several recordings in the genre, he once stated, 'I'm not a jazz trumpeter and never was a jazz trumpeter.'
    While performing on a float in a Mardi Gras parade (February 8, 1970), he was stuck by a projectile thrown at him, which for some reason was parodied in a 'Saturday Night Live' skit from their second season Mardi Gras special, the 'Let's Hit Al Hirt in the Mouth with a Brick Contest,' with John Belushi portraying him.
    His policeman father bought him his first trumpet at age six and he took to it immediately.
    He studied and graduated a from the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music.
    He was a bugler for the U.S. Army during World War II.
    He played in swing and big bands with Benny Goodman and Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey.
    Both 'Java' and the album that contained the song, 'Honey in the Horn,' were million sellers and awarded gold discs.
    The song earned him the Grammy Award for Best Performance by an Orchestra or Instrumentalist with Orchestra in 1964.
    He provided the riveting trumpet theme for the '60s TV series 'The Green Hornet,' which was also heard in the 2003 Quentin Tarantino movie 'Kill Bill Vol. 1' soundtrack.
    His Mardi Gras injury required surgery and months of rehab before he could perform again.
    He performed a solo rendition of 'Ave Maria' for Pope John Paul II on his 1987 visit to New Orleans.
    The last year of his life he was confined to a wheelchair due to edema in his leg.

Credit: Scar Tactics


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