Bitsy Mullins |
Bitsy is a native of Pine Bluff
and a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. A premier trumpeter, he's been featured with the bands of Randy
Brooks, Charlie Spivak, Buddy Rich, Ray McKinley, Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey, Tex Beneke, Buddy Morrow, and Claude Thornhill.
With the Dorseys, he did a TV series for Jackie Gleason in which he played with Count Basie, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington,
Dick Haymes, Kim Novak, Mel Torme, and, in 1955 (a full year before his Ed Sullivan performance) a young Elvis Presley. From
1955 to 1975 in Las Vegas, Bitsy was primarily the house band first trumpet player in the main showrooms of the major hotels,
including ten years at the Dunes. His playing credits in Vegas include Tony Bennett, Frankie Laine, Sammy Davis, Jr., Dean
Martin, Lena Horne, Peggy Lee, Patti Page, Paul Whiteman, Ted Lewis, Ernie Kovacs, Tony Martin, Patrice Munsel, Judy Garland,
Jayne Mansfield, Tiny Tim, Walter Winchell, Frankie Avalon, Mickey Rooney, Carol Channing, the Mills Brothers, Pinky Lee,
Polly Bergen, Jane Powell, Howard Keel, Kathryn Grayson, Kay Starr, Sid Caesar, George Burns, Jimmy Durante, the McGuire Sisters,
George Gobel, Henny Youngman, Peter Marshall, Zsa Zsa Gabor and Bitsy's favorites - Jimmy Dean and Wayne Newton.
addition to his main gig playing with the artists listed above; Bitsy's lesser known appearances are with Louis Bellson, Charlie
Shavers, Jo Jones, Mel Lewis, Charlie Teagarden, Sy Oliver, Neal Hefti and Gordon Jenkins. Most of his recordings are with
the Dorseys and Buddy Rich; there are also some with Charlie Spivak and Tex Beneke.
|University of AR at Fayetteville, 1947