Maurice Purtill

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Maurice "Moe" Purtill, also listed as Moe Purtill (May 4, 1916 – March 9, 1994), was an American jazz drummer who was a member of the Glenn Miller orchestra.

Born in Huntington, New York,[1] Purtill dropped out of high school and started his career as a freelance drummer in New York Studios. At the age of 20, he was with the band of Red Norvo at the beginning of 1936 before, he joined Glenn Miller in 1937, though the band was unsuccessful. He played with Tommy Dorsey before returning to Miller's band from 1939 to 1942.[1] While with Miller, he appeared in the films, Sun Valley Serenade (1941), and Orchestra Wives (1942).

After the breakup of Miller's band in 1942, Purtill played with Kay Kyser until 1944, then joined the U.S. Navy. After his discharge, he played briefly in 1946 with the reformed Glenn Miller Orchestra directed by Tex Beneke.[1]

Purtill went on to record in the studio on various projects, he participated in a few Miller reunions, although he did not like to discuss his time in the band. He was good friends with Buddy Rich, Trigger Alpert and saxophonist Jack Palmer. Purtill lived in New York City until the early 1970s when he moved to Sarasota, Florida. Moe Purtill retired in 1978, he died at Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, New Jersey.


  1. ^ a b c Yanow, Scott. "Moe Purtill". AllMusic. Retrieved 25 September 2018.