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'Tonight Show' drummer Ed Shaughnessy dies of heart attack

A longtime drummer for” The Tonight Show’s” band died Friday at age 84.

Ed Shaughnessy

Ed Shaughnessy died of a heart attack while at home in Calabasas, California.

Shaughnessy played in Doc Severinsen's band from 1963 to 1992. The jazz drummer performed for artists such as Aretha Franklin, Johnny Cash and Oscar Peterson.

He joined the New York jazz scene as a teen before being added later to the band for the Johnny Carson program. He also studied with Indian table player Alla Rakha. After he parted ways with the show, he kept performing and playing concerts and teaching privately, conducting over 600 clinics.

Shaughnessy was married to Ilene Woods, voice of “Cinderella” in the Disney animated film. Woods died in 2010.

Shaughnessy wrote a memoir entitled “Lucky Drummer” chronicling his life story. He was known for his mutton-chop whiskers, and was an early bebop advocate.

Drummer and producer Brian Stephens said on twitter “RIP Ed Shaughnessy. Thanks for being so nurturing & encouraging to a kid who, at the time, really didn't have a clue.”

Musician Gordon Goodwin said “RIP Ed Shaughnessy, a great drummer and a wonderful and generous guy. We'll miss you, Ed.”

- The Tonight Show

Written by: KurtK26
May 26th, 2013, 12:45 pm

Images courtesy of NBC

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