Michener Art Museum

Paul Whiteman » Education & Community

Education and Training:
Early training as a classical viola player
Employed by the Denver Symphony Orchestra, Denver, Colorado,1907-1914
Employed by the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra,San Fransisco, California, 1914-1916
Teachers and Influences:
His parents, Wilberforce and Elfrida Whiteman, were his mentors and a great influence. Both were musicians. His mother was a vocalist. His father apprenticed him to the violin at age seven.
Paul Whiteman included many young jazz artists in his bands such as Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey, Bix Beinderbecke, Jack Teagarden, Henry Bussee, Ferde Grofe, and Frank Trumbauer. Vocal soloists included Mildred Bailey, Morton Downey, and a three-man group called The Rhythm Boys which included a young Bing Crosby.
Connection to Bucks County:
Paul Whiteman resided at Walking Horse Farm in Lambertville, New Jersey from 1941 to 1961, and then at Great Oaks, which he nicknamed Coda Cottage, in Solebury Township from 1961 to his death in 1967. Delighting in the relaxed and congenial lifestyle of the Bucks County region, Whiteman kept a regular table at Colligan's Stockton Inn. Possessed of a strong social conscience, Whiteman hosted teen dances for the Lambertville Recreation Association in attempt to steer youth away from juvenile delinquency.
Colleagues and Affiliations:
Paul Whiteman collaborated with film producer Justin Herman, creating the film short The Lambertville Story about the bandleader's work with the Lambertville Recreation Association. Whiteman also worked with his friend St. John Terrell, director of the Lambertville Music Circus, conducting "A Night of George Gershwin" in 1960. Whiteman served as a trustee of the Bucks County Arts Foundation.