Jack Cathcart

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Jack Cathcart
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Born3 November 1912
Died24 December 1989
Las Vegas
CitizenshipUnited States of America
  • Trumpeter
  • Pianist
  • Orchestra leader
  • Arranger
Spouse(s)Barbara Steinle (second wife)
ChildrenTwo children from his second marriage

John "Jack" Wylie Cathcart, Jr. (3 November 1912 in Bloomington, Monroe County, Indiana; † 24 December 1989 in Las Vegas) was an American trumpeter, pianist, orchestra leader and arranger.


After college and attending university, he worked as a trumpet player in the Artie Shaw Band and arranged music for several well-known American orchestras such as Kay Kyser, Alvino Ray and Dave Rose.[1] In the late 1930s he appeared as a trumpeter and arranger for Joe Sanders and his orchestra.[2] During the Second World War he served at Camp Roberts and was a member of a Big band, which he eventually took over as musical director.[3] In 1941 he married Mary Jane "Suzanne" Gumm[4], a sister of Judy Garland. Together with the third sister, Virginia, they had performed as The Gumm Sisters (later The Garland Sisters[5]) in the 1920s and 1930s and became a popular Vaudeville act[6]. From late 1947 on Jack Cathcart was pianist with the American follow-up group of the Comedian Harmonists, which Erich Collin had founded. Collin, second tenor with the original Comedian Harmonists, was Jewish and had emigrated to the USA in 1941. The group toured several European countries including Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Belgium and Italy, and produced three records in Basel in February 1949. Shortly afterwards the group dissolved due to differences between original members Collin and Frommermann on one side and the American singers on the other.[7] In 1950 Cathcart founded "Jack Cathcart's Continentals". Members of the group were Fred Bixler, Ben Thomas Cruz. Bob Carson, Jay Moffet and Ed Millard.[8] Fred Bixler had also been a member of Erich Collin's ensemble. In October 1950, Billboard Magazine published a short review about a performance of the group in Chicago.[9] In 1951 the group performed at the California State Fair in Sacramento.[10] From 1952 on Cathcart worked as an arranger for his sister-in-law Judy Garland. For example, he was the musical director of her performance at the Ford Star Jubilee - The Judy Garland Special on 24 September 1955 and worked on her film A Star is born [11] as well as the December 1955 episode "Gold Records"[12] of the television series Shower of Stars. From 1959 on Cathcart worked as an orchestra leader at the Riviera Hotel[13] in Las Vegas.[14] Cathcart died on 24 December 1989 and was buried at Palm Downtown Cemetery in Las Vegas.[15]


He was the brother of jazz trumpeter Dick Cathcart and the brother-in-law of Judy Garland. In 1963 he and his wife divorced[16] and he later married Barbara Steinle. He had two children from his second marriage. Mary Jane Gumm Cathcart died in 1964.[17][18]

Audio and Video

Sabre Dance: Jack Cathcart and his Continentals on dailymotion.com

Ford Gold Star Jubilee: Judy Garland Special September 24,1955 on youtube.com

Judy Garland and Jack Cathcart, "Carolina In The Morning", 1955 on youtube.com

The Donkey Serenade, Comedian Harmonists, American Group


  1. "David Rose & His Orchestra". Discogs (in Deutsch). Retrieved 2020-12-06.
  2. "Night-Life in Indianapolis". The Indianapolis Star: 13. 1936-11-14.
  3. "Jack Cathcart Will Conduct 1956 State Fair Orchestra". Sacramento Bee: 21. 1956-07-28.
  4. "Judy Garland's Sister To Wed". Oroville Mercury Register: 6. 1941-09-20.
  5. "Gumm Sisters Shorts – The Judy Room". Retrieved 2020-12-05.
  6. Lobosco, David (2016-06-10). "A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE: JUDY GARLAND AND THE GUMM SISTERS". A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE. Retrieved 2020-12-05.
  7. Fechner, Eberhard (2003). Comedian Harmonists. Sechs Lebensläufe. Munich: Heyne. pp. 322ff. ISBN 3-453-87315-7.
  8. "Professional Talent Will Perform At Benefit". The Spokesman-Review: 32. 1951-09-16.
  9. Inc, Nielsen Business Media (1950-10-14). Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. {{cite book}}: |last= has generic name (help)
  10. "Continentals Are Added For Fair Shows". Sacramento Bee: 22. 1951-09-08.
  11. "A STAR IS BORN (1954)". Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA. Retrieved 2020-12-04.
  12. Levy, Ralph (1955-12-15), Gold Records (Adventure, Drama, Family, Musical), Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson, The Andrews Sisters, Gene Austin, Jack Benny, CBS, Desilu Productions, retrieved 2020-12-06
  13. McKay, Janis L. (2016-04-12). Played Out on the Strip: The Rise and Fall of Las Vegas Casino Bands. University of Nevada Press. ISBN 978-1-943859-03-0.
  14. Inc, Nielsen Business Media (1966-08-27). Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. {{cite book}}: |last= has generic name (help)
  15. "John Wylie "Jack" Cathcart (1912-1989) - Find A..." www.findagrave.com. Retrieved 2020-12-04.
  16. "Gets Divorce". Napa Valley Register: 3. 1963-02-02.
  17. "Suzanne Gumm Cathcart (1915-1964) - Find A Grave..." www.findagrave.com. Retrieved 2020-12-05.
  18. "Mrs Sue Cathcart, 48, Judy Garland's Sister (Published 1964)". The New York Times. 1964-05-29. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-12-05.

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