b. Louis Ferdinand Bush, 18 July 1910, Louisville, Kentucky, USA, d. 19 September 1979, Camarillo, California, USA. In his late teens Busch began playing with the George Olsen and Hal Kemp bands (he met and married his first wife, Janet Blair, when she was the singer in Kemp’s band). In the 40s, Busch became the in-house producer for Capitol Records and later, the A&R man. During this period he also played piano in the studio bands that backed artists such as Peggy Lee and Jo Stafford. In the early 50s his orchestra was prominent on hits by Margaret Whiting (who, after his divorce, became his second wife), and Kay Starr.
In the 50s, with the ragtime revival in full flow, Busch issued his self-penned ‘Ivory Rag’. Playing this style of music he recorded prolifically under the name of Joe ‘Fingers’ Carr (with the Carr-Hopps), and enjoyed US chart success with ‘Down Yonder’ and ‘Portuguese Washerwoman’, both featuring his honky tonk-style piano playing. His most famous record, ‘Zambesi’ (a UK Top 3 hit in early 1956), was covered in 1982 by the Piranhas and reached number 17 in the UK chart.
In the late 50s Busch left Capitol Records and began working for Warners Brothers Records as an A&R man plus as a recording performer. He was killed in a car crash in 1979.