Ted (Teddy) McRae

Teddy McRae (January 22, 1908 – March 4, 1999) was an American jazz tenor saxophonist and arranger.

McRae was born in Waycross, Georgia, and brought up in Philadelphia and played with local ensembles, including one composed of family members, when young. He played with June Clark in 1926 before moving to New York City to found his own band. Following this he played with Charlie Johnson, Elmer Snowden (1932), Stuff Smith (1934), Lil Armstrong (1935), and Chick Webb (1936-39), the last as both a soloist and arranger. After Webb's death he was musical director for the orchestra during its tenure under the leadership of Ella Fitzgerald (1939–41). He recorded in the decade of the 1930s with Benny Morton, Teddy Wilson, and Red Allen.

In the 1940s McRae worked in the orchestras of Cab Calloway (1941–42), Jimmie Lunceford (1942), Lionel Hampton (1943), and Louis Armstrong (1944-45); he also served as Armstrong's musical director during his period with that band. He wrote tunes for Artie Shaw and formed his own band in 1945. He and Eddie Wilcox formed their own R&B label, Raecox, in the 1950s, though it was short-lived. Much of his work in subsequent decades was as an arranger, though he recorded with Champion Jack Dupree in 1955-56, and recorded a few sides for Groove Records in 1955 and Moonshine Records in 1958.

Some of his recordings billed him as "Teddy (Mr. Bear) McRae", or simply as "Mr. Bear".

Birth and Death Data: Born January 22, 1908 (Waycross), Died March 4, 1999 (New York City)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1936 - 1944

Roles Represented in DAHR: tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, leader

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 152 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor MS-031431 16-in. (33-1/3 rpm) approximately late Jan. 1939 Tea for two Chick Webb Orchestra Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, tenor saxophone  
Victor MS-031432 16-in. (33-1/3 rpm) approximately late Jan. 1939 Crazy rhythm Chick Webb Orchestra Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, tenor saxophone  
Victor MS-031433 16-in. (33-1/3 rpm) approximately late Jan. 1939 Blue skies Chick Webb Orchestra Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, tenor saxophone  
Decca 61123 10-in. 6/2/1936 Go Harlem-1 Chick Webb Orchestra instrumentalist, tenor saxophone  
Decca 61124 10-in. 6/2/1936 Sing me a swing song (and let me dance) Chick Webb Orchestra instrumentalist, tenor saxophone  
Decca 61125 10-in. 6/2/1936 A little bit later on Chick Webb Orchestra instrumentalist, tenor saxophone  
Decca 61126 10-in. 6/2/1936 Love, you're just a laugh Chick Webb Orchestra instrumentalist, tenor saxophone  
Decca 61127 10-in. 6/2/1936 Devoting my time to you Chick Webb Orchestra instrumentalist, tenor saxophone  
Decca 61361 10-in. 10/29/1936 (If you can't sing it) You'll have to swing it Chick Webb Orchestra instrumentalist, tenor saxophone  
Decca 61362 10-in. 10/29/1936 Swinging on the reservation Chick Webb Orchestra instrumentalist, tenor saxophone  
Decca 61363 10-in. 10/29/1936 I got the Spring fever blues Chick Webb Orchestra instrumentalist, tenor saxophone  
Decca 61364 10-in. 10/29/1936 Vote for Mr. Rhythm Chick Webb Orchestra instrumentalist, tenor saxophone  
Decca 61419 10-in. 11/18/1936 My last affair Ella Fitzgerald and her Savoy Eight instrumentalist, baritone saxophone, tenor saxophone  
Decca 61420 10-in. 11/18/1936 Organ grinder's swing Ella Fitzgerald and her Savoy Eight instrumentalist, baritone saxophone, tenor saxophone  
Decca 61421 10-in. 11/19/1936 Shine Ella Fitzgerald and her Savoy Eight instrumentalist, baritone saxophone, tenor saxophone  
Decca 61422 10-in. 11/19/1936 Darktown Strutters' Ball Ella Fitzgerald and her Savoy Eight instrumentalist, baritone saxophone, tenor saxophone  
Decca 61520 10-in. 1/14/1937 There's frost on the moon-1 Chick Webb Orchestra instrumentalist, tenor saxophone  
Decca 61527 10-in. 1/14/1937 Take another guess Chick Webb Orchestra instrumentalist, tenor saxophone  
Decca 61528 10-in. 1/14/1937 Love marches on-1 Chick Webb Orchestra instrumentalist, tenor saxophone  
Decca 61530 10-in. 1/15/1937 Gee, but you're swell Chick Webb Orchestra instrumentalist, tenor saxophone  
Decca 62064 10-in. 3/24/1937 Rusty hinge Chick Webb Orchestra instrumentalist, tenor saxophone  
Decca 62065 10-in. 3/24/1937 Wake up and live-2 Chick Webb Orchestra instrumentalist, tenor saxophone  
Decca 62066 10-in. 3/24/1937 It's swell of you Chick Webb Orchestra instrumentalist, tenor saxophone  
Decca 62067 10-in. 3/24/1937 You showed me the way Chick Webb Orchestra instrumentalist, tenor saxophone  
Decca 62068 10-in. 3/24/1937 Clap hands! Here comes Charley Chick Webb Orchestra instrumentalist, tenor saxophone  
(Results 1-25 of 152 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "McRae, Ted (Teddy)," accessed January 22, 2022, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/206640.

McRae, Ted (Teddy). (2022). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved January 22, 2022, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/206640.

"McRae, Ted (Teddy)." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2022. Web. 22 January 2022.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/206640

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