We've just learned of the death of saxophonist and arranger Tommy Newsom this past Saturday. He was the butt of many of Johnny Carson's jokes, but man could he play that saxophone. This was from perhaps his last TV appearance, in January of 2005, shortly after the passing of Carson. David Letterman paid tribute to the man he almost replaced by bringing in Newsom on tenor sax, Doc Severinsen on fluegelhorn, and Ed Shaughnessy on drum set - three "Tonight Show" band veterans - as well as a full string section, on Johnny's favorite song, "Here's That Rainy Day". If I'm not mistaken, I think this was arranged by Newsom. Please enjoy.
(Newsom, of course, was one of many fine musicians who populated the Tonight Show Band. You also had Ernie Watts and Pete Christlieb in the sax section, the trumpets were led by Snooky Young and Conte Candoli, and Gil Falco led the trombones. A very tight sound!)
Very Early Friday Morning
1 hour ago