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August 1, 2014

bandleader

Does Max Weinberg Want to Leave Conan for Jay?

by Brad Trechak, posted Apr 7th 2010 7:27PM
Max Weinberg is on Team Conan... for now.Let's hear it for high profile defections. According to Movieline, rumor has it that longtime Conan O'Brien bandleader Max Weinberg is seeking the coveted position of bandleader for 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno', a role that is soon to be abandoned by Kevin Eubanks.

While it's somewhat understandable that Weinberg would want the position, it is a bit of a slap to Conan. On the other hand, it's all about what's best for Max Weinberg and while things with Conan are currently up in the air, 'The Tonight Show' is a pretty solid position to be in. Like it or not, there are still a lot of viewers on Team Jay and he continues to pull in ratings despite his brief absence from the 11:30 spot.

At least Weinberg would also now have a lot to talk about with Stuttering John Melendez, who defected to Jay from 'The Howard Stern Show' ages ago.

[via TVWeek]

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Tommy Newsom dead at 78

by Bob Sassone, posted Apr 30th 2007 5:42PM

Tommy Newsom albumTommy Newsom, best known for being the bandleader on The Tonight Show when Doc Severinsen had the night off, died this weekend of cancer at his home in Virginia.

Newsom was also a saxophone player and joined the show in 1962, when Johnny Carson took over from Jack Parr. When Carson retired in 1992, so did Newsom. Newsom was a very dry, laid back guy, and Carson jokingly called him "Mr. Excitement."

Besides his work on The Tonight Show, Newsom also composed music for Kenny Rogers, John Denver, and Skitch Henderson, the first Tonight Show bandleader, who died in 2005.

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