Saturday, August 8, 2020

Don Shaw and his Trombonaires


     A quick look through the old Huron Daily Plainsmans has ample advertisements for local and area bands, playing at venues such as Daumino and the Band Box, and many more playing at barn dances throughout the county.  

     But Don Shaw and His Trombonaires was a unique band, consisting of brothers from Huron as well as others.  Don and brother Mike played the trombone, brother Sam played bass, and brother Bob played piano.  They were known as the "Trombonaires" due to the unusual arrangement of using 4 trombones rather than a saxophone section.

     The sons of Frederick Lonsdale and Nellie Belle Shaw, the family moved to Huron in 1924.  The earliest newspaper ads for the band began appearing in 1940 and appear steadily through June of 1957, with the exception of 1944 and 1945.  One newspaper account states that the band was composed of World War II veterans, which probably explains the absence of advertisements during that time period.  The band played all over the midwest - South Dakota, North Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, even Kansas City on several occasions.

     One of the brothers, Bob, worked at the Weather Bureau in Huron until his enlistment during the war, but then joined his brothers in the band in 1946 as pianist.   He later led the Bob Shaw Quartet in Sioux Falls, and was personal pianist to Henry Mancini on his Hawaiian tour.  Bob was later inducted into the South Dakota Music Hall of Fame.


Huronite (Huron, SD) 14 Apr 1943
Huronite and Daily Plainsman (Huron, SD)  11 Dec 1946
Huronite and Daily Plainsman (Huron, SD) 08 April 1946
Huronite and Daily Plainsman (Huron, SD) 05 Sep 1946
Huronite and Daily Plainsman (Huron, SD) 25 Mar 1948
Hawarden Independent (Hawarden, IA) 04 Feb 1943
Kansas City Star (Kansas City, MO) 25 Mar 1956
Rapid City Journal (Rapid City, SD) 14 Oct 2015
numerous other newspapers noting places and dates

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