jazz arranger and composer PAUL VILLEPIGUE
Biography Part 1: Chanute to Chicago
Biography Part 2: East Coast
Feature Recording

        Welcome to the website celebrating the
life and the music of Paul Villepigue (19191953),
composer, arranger, and teacher of modern music during the innovative transition period in jazz history from the late 1930s to the early 1950s. From big band to bebop to modern jazz, Paul Villepigue did it all.
In commemoration of his birthday, this site was launched July 12, 2004. Research is ongoing and new material is continually being added to the site, so keep coming back often. Check for the latest updates on the Feature Recording page.
You might have found this site by searching for
a variation on the spelling of his name. Villepigue with a g is correct, but the literature runs the gamut of misspellings, from Paul Villepique to Villipeque to Villapeg. Or you might have searched for Eugipelliv, the title of his 1949 composition, recorded for Capitol Records by Charlie Barnet and his bop band:


        One of the band’s most interesting recordings was Eugipelliv, the title obviously

the backward spelling of its composer’s surname.

At its core a blues in G-minor, the piece is an amalgam of Ellington-like saxophone scoring

(led by the leader’s soprano), Latin rhythmic elements, and Villepigue’s considerable originality. Barnet also recorded Villepigue’s lovely ballad Lonely Street, but what could have become a major writing career was tragically

cut short in 1953 when Villepigue took his own life at the age of 33.

(Bill Kirchner, liner notes for Big Band Renaissance: The Evolution of the Jazz Orchestra—The 1940s and Beyond, Smithsonian Institution, 1995)

Although his career was brief, Villepigue rubbed shoulders with many of the jazz greats of his time, from Chicago to New York to Los Angeles. Between 1938 and 1953, he wrote charts for these bandleaders, musicians, and singers,
among others:


Buddy Baker, Charlie Barnet, Johnny Bothwell,

Ike Carpenter, Allyn Cassel, Bob Chester, Jimmy Dorsey, Tommy Dorsey, Sonny Dunham, Maynard Ferguson, Ted Fio Rito, Benny Goodman, Horace Heidt, Harry James, Jimmy Joy, Bob Keane, Stan Kenton, Gene Krupa, Chico Marx, Vaughn Monroe, Jerry Pettit, Ben Pollack, Boyd Raeburn, Ike Ragon, Alvino Rey, Buddy Rich, Charlie Spivak, Joe Swanson, Claude Thornhill, Jerry Wald


Chico Alvarez, John Anderson, Don Bagley,

Milt Bernhart, David Bryant, Bart Caldarell, Conte Candoli, Pete Candoli, Jimmy Cheatham, Buddy Childers, Bobby Clark, Buddy Collette, Bob Cooper, John Coppola, Corky Corcoran, Bob Dawes, Vinnie Dean, Bill Douglass, Ziggy Elmer, Gene Englund, Bob Gioga, Jimmy Giuffre, John Graas, Jewell Grant, Wardell Gray, Dick Hafer, Bill Holman, John Howell, Diego Ibarra, Tiny Kahn, Dick Kenney, Barney Kessel, Cliff Leeman, Shelly Manne, Ken Martlock, Obie Massingill, Dick Meldonian, Marty Napoleon, Ted Nash, Frank Nelson, Paul Nero, Lou Obergh, Tommy Pederson, Art Pepper, Al Porcino, André Previn, Uan Rasey, Shorty Rogers, Joe Rotondi, Eddie Safranski, Doc Severinsen, Bud Shank, Lucky Thompson, Donn Trenner, Joe Triscari, Matt Utal, Carlos Vidal, George Weidler, Dave Wells, Ray Wetzel, Gerald Wiggins, Claude Williamson, Gerald Wilson, Vern Yocum, Snooky Young, Si Zentner




David Allyn, Helen Carr, June Christy, Claire Hogan, Herb Jeffries, Kim Kimberly, Dave Lambert Singers, Peggy Lee, Frances Lynne, Skip Nelson, Loulie Jean Norman, The Skylarks, Buddy Stewart, Mel Tormé



To read more about Lonely Street,
click here and scroll down.