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Obituaries
August 22, 2013

Ed Shaughnessy, Longtime Tonight Show Drummer

Schaughnessy began working on the iconic Johnny Carson talk show in 1963 and went on to play in the band for 29 years.

Ed Shaughnessy, a musician who played the drums in the orchestra of Johnny Carson's Tonight Show for 29 years, died May 24, 2013, in Calabasas, California. He was 84. According to news reports, the cause was a heart attack. A native of Jersey City, New Jersey, Shaughnessy, took piano lessons as a child before switching to drums at age 14 He began playing professionally as a high school sudent. In the 1950s and 1960s he was a busy studio musician who played with such jazz greats as Benny Goodman, Count Basie and Duke Ellington. He was offered a spot in the Tonight Show band in 1963 and went on to stay with the show for 29 years, following it from New York to Los Angeles along the way. Read more about Shaughnessy at: New York Times

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