Bubba Kolb, Jack Sheldon, and Ira Sullivan, Village Jazz Lounge, Walt Disney World, c. 1980s

Jack Sheldon

Born November 30, 1931 (age 86)
Jacksonville, Florida
Occupation(s) Musician, singer, comedian, actor
Instruments Trumpet, vocals

Jack Sheldon (born November 30, 1931) is an American bebop and West Coast jazz trumpeter, singer, and actor. He is a trumpet player and was the music director on The Merv Griffin Show, as well as the voice heard on several episodes of the educational music television series Schoolhouse Rock!

Sheldon was born in Jacksonville, Florida. He originally became known through his participation in the West Coast jazz movement of the 1950s, performing and recording with such figures as Art Pepper, Gerry Mulligan, and Curtis Counce. Sheldon played the trumpet, sang, and performed on The Merv Griffin Show. He was Griffin’s sidekick for many years.

His voice is perhaps best known from the Schoolhouse Rock! cartoons of the 1970s, such as “Conjunction Junction” and “I’m Just a Bill”. He appeared in one episode of Johnny Bravo as the Sensitive Man. He sang a few songs in the episode similar to the Schoolhouse Rock! style. Sheldon returned to the Schoolhouse Rock! series for a 2002 episode titled “I’m Gonna Send Your Vote to College”, explaining the electoral college process, and distributed on the series’ DVD collection that same year. Sheldon sang and played trumpet for the new segment.

He sang the tune “King Putt” for The World According to Goofy Parade at Disneyland, which ran for five months in 1992. A trumpet solo of his is featured throughout the Francis Ford Coppola film, One from the Heart (1982). Tom Waits’ 1977 album Foreign Affairs includes Sheldon playing trumpet on several cuts, including the solo at the end of “Burma Shave”.

In the 1964–1965 season, Sheldon starred with Cara Williams and Frank Aletter on the CBS situation comedy, The Cara Williams Show in which Williams and Aletter played a married couple trying to keep their marriage a secret because their employer forbade husband and wife from working together. From 1966–1967, Sheldon starred in his own 16-episode CBS sitcom, Run, Buddy, Run, as Buddy Overstreet, a young accountant taking a steam bath who overhears a mobster’s plot to kill a colleague and then goes on the run to keep from being killed. Bruce Gordon, formerly of The Untouchables played the mobster, “Mr. D”. He made numerous appearances on the 1967–70 version of Dragnet. He also played John Davidson’s and Sally Field’s brother on The Girl with Something Extra (1974). In 2004, he performed live at the end of ALF’s Hit Talk Show.


As leader

1954 The Quartet and the Quintet (Jazz West)
1957 Jack Sheldon and His All Star Band (GNP Crescendo)
1957 Jack’s Groove (GNP)
1961 A Jazz Profile of Ray Charles
1962 Out! (Capitol)
1962 Oooo, But it’s Good (Capitol)
1964 Jack Sheldon Presents the Entertainers (VSOP)
1968 The Warm World of Jack Sheldon (Dot Records)
1978 Benny Goodman Live at Carnegie Hall, Rocky Raccoon (Capitol)
1979 Singular (Beez)
1980 Angel Wings (Atlas)
1980 Playin’ It Straight (Real Time)
1983 Stand by for Jack Sheldon (Concord Jazz)
1984 Blues in the Night (Phontastic)
1986 Playing for Change (Uptown)
1987 Hollywood Heroes (Concord Jazz)
1992 On My Own (Concord Jazz)
1992 Jack Sheldon Sings (Butterfly)
1995 Jack is Back! (Butterfly)
1997 Live at Don Mupo’s Gold Nugget (VSOP)
2001 Jack Sheldon & His All-Stars (GNP Crescendo)
2007 It’s What I Do
2010 Ho Ho Ho (MightyCore)

With others

With Tom Waits

Burma-Shave, on Foreign Affairs (Asylum, 1977) and Picking Up After You, Candy Apple Red, on One From the Heart (Columbia, 1982)

With Curtis Counce

The Curtis Counce Group (Contemporary, 1956)
You Get More Bounce with Curtis Counce! (Contemporary, 1957)
Carl’s Blues (Contemporary, 1957)
Sonority (Contemporary, 1957-8 [1989])

With Jimmy Giuffre

Jimmy Giuffre (Capitol, 1955)
Tangents in Jazz (Capitol, 1956)
The Jimmy Giuffre Clarinet (Atlantic, 1956)

With Stan Kenton

The Stage Door Swings (Capitol, 1958)
Kenton Live from the Las Vegas Tropicana (Capitol, 1959 [1961])
Hair (Capitol, 1969)

With Johnny Mandel

I Want to Live (United Artists, 1958)

With Herbie Mann

Great Ideas of Western Mann (Riverside, 1957)
With Shelly Manne

My Fair Lady with the Un-original Cast (Capitol, 1964)

With the Monkees

The Birds, the Bees & the Monkees (Colgems, 1968)

With Anita O’Day

Cool Heat (Verve, 1959)

With Art Pepper

The Return of Art Pepper (Jazz: West, 1956)
Smack Up (Contemporary, 1960)

With André Previn

The Subterraneans (Soundtrack) (MGM, 1960)

With Pete Rugolo

Behind Brigitte Bardot (Warner Bros., 1960)

With Sonny Stitt

Sonny Stitt Plays Jimmy Giuffre Arrangements (Verve, 1959)


1962 : Music of the 60’s : 3rd trumpet and featured soloist on several tunes
1966-1967 : Run, Buddy, Run (TV) : Buddy Overstreet (series star – all 13 episodes)
1967 : Dragnet (TV) : Various Characters (unknown episodes)
1969 : Under the Yum Yum Tree (TV) : Charlie Prokter
1969-1970 : Petticoat Junction (TV) : Freddie Kirby, Ronald “Ronnie” Coleman (episodes: The Organ Fund, Selma Plout’s Plout)
1973-2009 : Schoolhouse Rock! (TV series) : Conductor/The Bill/Additional Voices (voice)
1973 : The Girl with Something Extra (TV series) : Jerry Burton (unknown episodes)
1976 : Freaky Friday : Lloyd
1988 : Star Trek: The Next Generation (TV) : Holodeck Pianist (11001001)
1991 : For the Boys : Wally Fields
1993 : Lush Life (TV) : Norman
1994 : Radioland Murders : Ruffles Reed
1996 : Dear God : Homeless Trumpeter
1996 : The Simpsons (TV series) : The Amendment (voice) (episode: The Day the Violence Died)
1997 : Johnny Bravo (TV series) (voice)
1998 : Hard Time (TV) : Trumpet
1999 : Hard Time: The Premonition (TV) : Trumpet
1999 : Hard Time: Hostage Hotel (TV) : Trumpet
2000-2001 : Family Guy (TV series) : Conductor/The Bill (voice) (episodes: Running Mates, Mr. Griffin Goes to Washington)
2004 : Teacher’s Pet : Vocals on Song- “Take the Money and Run”
2010 : A Girl’s Life: Ford Mosquito (voice)

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