Shelly Manne

Shelly Manne

Drums icon Drums

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September 26, 1984 (Age 64) died

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June 11, 1920 Birthday

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New York, New York, U.S. Birthplace

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Shelly Manne was a versatile jazz drummer, associated with West Coast Jazz but skilled in a variety of styles. Manne first came to prominence in the 1940s and early 1950s playing in the bands of Stan Kenton and Woody Herman. In 1952 Manne and his wife decided to move to southern California and Manne soon became a key part of the West Coast Jazz scene playing with Chet Baker, Art Pepper, and Hampton Hawes, among others. Around this time he also started leading his own groups. Manne did significant work in the TV and film industry playing on soundtracks, composing and occasionally appearing on film. From 1960 to 1974 he owned and operated the jazz club Shelly's Manne-Hole in Hollywood where he would play and also host top talent from around the country including Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis and Sonny Stitt. Manne continued to perform until he died of a heart attack in 1984 at the age of 64.


In addition to music, Shelly Manne also raised horses and won several awards for Standardbred Trotters. Shelly Manne served as Frank Sinatra's instructor for the drumming sequences in the film "The Man With The Golden Arm." Shelly Manne had a close relationship with Henry Mancini and played on nearly all of Mancini's scores, including "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and "The Pink Panther."

Early Life

Shelly Manne was born in New York into a family of drummers. His father was well known drummer Max Manne and exposed his son many types of music. Shelly Manne initially played the saxophone but by his teens had switched to the drums. As a teenager, Manne played in ocean liner bands and made his first recording with Bobby Byrne's band in 1939. Mannes played in a series of local bands before joining the Coast Guard during WWII. After completing his service in 1945 he resumed his music career.