Sam Donahue

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Sam Donahue
Sam Donahue, Aquarium NYC, ca December 1946 (Gottlieb).jpg
at the Aquarium New York City, c. December 1946
Background information
Birth nameSamuel Koontz Donahue
Born(1918-03-18)March 18, 1918
DiedMarch 22, 1974(1974-03-22) (aged 56)
Reno, Nevada
Instrumentstenor saxophonist

Samuel Koontz Donahue (18 March 1918 – 22 March 1974) was an American swing music jazz tenor saxophonist, trumpeter and musical arranger. Born in Detroit, Michigan, he is known for his work with Gene Krupa, Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, Billy May, Woody Herman, Stan Kenton, among many others.[1]


Donahue was born in Detroit. He played in the bands of Gene Krupa, Harry James, and Benny Goodman. During World War II, Donahue took over the Navy band of Artie Shaw, and after the war he assembled and led a group that had several successful recordings for Capitol Records.[2]

He is the father of guitarist Jerry Donahue and plays sax on the Fotheringay 2 album.


Donahue died from pancreatic cancer on March 22, 1974, 4 days after his birthday.


With Stan Kenton


  1. ^ Carr, Ian; Digby Fairweather; Brian Priestley (1995). Jazz: The Rough Guide. The Rough Guides. pp. 175–176. ISBN 1-85828-137-7.
  2. ^ Vera, Billy (2000). From the Vaults Vol. 3: Capitol Jumps (CD). Hollywood: Capitol Records. p. 6.