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'Tonight Show' Bandleader Melis Set a Standard

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'Tonight Show' Bandleader Melis Set a Standard

Remembrances

'Tonight Show' Bandleader Melis Set a Standard

'Tonight Show' Bandleader Melis Set a Standard

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/4605578/4605579" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

We mark the passing of Jose Melis, the Tonight Show bandleader under the late Jack Paar. Melis died April 7 at age 85. The Cuban-born musician who met Paar in the Army during World War II. The two were the template for the host-bandleader of later iterations of the show.