Jazz Legend Louise Tobin Receives Doctorate from A&M-Commerce
Commerce, Texas (Aug. 8, 2011)--Legendary jazz musician Louise Tobin-Hucko will receive an honorary doctorate of letters from Texas A&M University-Commerce Saturday August 13 in recognition of her lifelong contributions to society through music. The formal degree presentation will take place during the 2:00 p.m. graduation ceremony at the University Field House in Commerce, Texas.
“I am excited to receive this honor because it is an indication of the impact our music has had on the fabric of the culture of America and around the world,” Tobin said. “It will be one of the most treasured days of my life.”
Born in Aubrey, Texas in 1918, Tobin began touring around large Texas cities as a singer when she was only 13. She eventually married trumpeter Harry James in 1935, and made her way up to New York with the band at the beginning of the swing era.
Tobin’s outstanding talent eventually led her to be hired in 1939 by Benny Goodman, “The King of Swing,” at the very height of the “Swing Era.” Her Goodman hits sold more than 3 million records. After retiring to Texas to focus on raising her children, an invitation from jazz critic and publisher George Simon convinced her to launch a second jazz career at the 1962 Newport Jazz Festival, where she met future husband Peanuts Hucko.
In the years that followed, Tobin toured with Hucko and made several recordings with him, which are preserved on YouTube and through the jazz collection of Louise Tobin and Peanuts Hucko, which is now part of the Texas A&M University-Commerce Special Collections.
In an effort to keep swing alive in the hearts and minds of today’s youth, Tobin donated her extensive music collection to A&M-Commerce. Now scholars around the globe have access to the memorabilia of her career and that of her husband, Peanuts Hucko.
“A&M-Commerce has a legacy of producing outstanding musicians and music educators,” said Tobin, a native North Texan. “I trust the staff at A&M-Commerce to use the collection in ways that will inspire students, and teach them about a bygone era of music that they can pass on to the next generation.”
For more information about the honorary doctorate presentation, contact Ashley Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 903-468-8171.