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High-note specialist and LA fixtureCopyright © 2008
A performer with a love of showmanship and the chops to cut it as a high-note specialist in the bands of Woody Herman, Stan Kenton, Tex Beneke and others, Pete Candoli died of prostate cancer at the age of 84.
Born Walter Joseph Candoli, he was a veteran performer by the time he joined the Woody Herman Herd in 1944 at the age of 21. A natural showman, he made a name for himself by wearing a Superman costume while blasting out high notes on a feature called "Superman With A Horn."
Candoli, whose younger brother, Conte, was also a big band trumpeter, moved to Los Angeles in 1955. He quickly embraced the West Coast studio scene, recording with Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald, among others, and had cameo acting roles on TV programs like Peter Gunn. He also stayed in the limelight by marrying three actresses: Vicky Lane, Betty Hutton and Edie Adams.
The Candoli brothers co-led a small group from 1957 to 1962, and they continued to work together -- including a stint in Doc Severinsen's orchestra on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson -- into the 1990s. Conte Candoli died at 74 in 2001.
Pete Candoli is survived by his partner, Sheryl Deauville, two daughters, a sister and two grandchildren.