|David Jarvis Tough|
April 26, 1907|
Oak Park, Illinois, U.S.
December 9, 1948 (aged 41)|
Newark, New Jersey
Born in Oak Park, Illinois, Tough was a friend of Bud Freeman, who was part of a group of musicians known as the Austin High School Gang in Chicago. In 1925, he became a professional musician, playing with Jack Gardner, Art Kassel, Sig Meyers, and Husk O'Hare's Wolverines. After two years in Europe, he returned home and played with Benny Goodman and Red Nichols.
He left music for three years until 1935, then joined the big bands of Ray Noble, Tommy Dorsey, Red Norvo, Bunny Berigan, and Benny Goodman. He played Dixieland jazz with Bud Freeman, Jack Teagarden, Mezz Mezzrow, and Joe Marsala. In the 1940s, he played in a naval band led by Artie Shaw, then joined Woody Herman's big band. He worked with Eddie Condon, Jerry Gray, Muggsy Spanier, and Jazz at the Philharmonic.
Tough struggled with alcoholism throughout his life. He died at the age of 41 after falling down and hitting his head on the street in Newark, New Jersey.
Dave Tough has been described as "the most important of the drummers of the Chicago circle".
In 2000, he was inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame.
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With Benny Goodman