Kincaide, Deane (1911–1992)

By: Dave Oliphant

Type: Biography

Published: December 5, 2006

Updated: November 6, 2019

Jazz tenor saxophonist Robert Deane Kincaide was born in Houston on March 18, 1911. The Kincaide family moved to Decatur, Illinois, when Deane was still a child. During his youth Deane learned a number of instruments, including piano and trombone, before concentrating on the tenor saxophone. After playing in a local band in Illinois he joined in 1932 the band of trumpeter Wingy Manone in Shreveport, Louisiana. He returned to the Midwest in 1933 and worked in Chicago until 1935 with the Ben Pollack band, which also included Harry James of Beaumont.

Kincaide and several other band members left Pollack to form the Bob Crosby Orchestra, in whose reed section he played until June 1936, when he became the band's staff arranger. In the spring of 1937 he left Crosby for the Woody Herman band, then returned to the Crosby outfit for several months before rejoining Manone for two months. From March 1938 to January 1940 Kincaide was with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, and he briefly thereafter worked with Glenn Miller. After serving in the United States Navy Air Force from 1942 to 1945, he worked mainly as an arranger but also played in the band of Texan Ray McKinley from 1946 to 1950 and again in 1956.

As an arranger Kincaide is best-known for his neo-Dixieland versions of "Royal Garden Blues" (1936, on which he is a featured tenor soloist), "South Rampart Street Parade" (1937, co-arranged with Bob Haggart), and "Milenberg Joys" (1939). Other well-known arrangements include "Hawaiian War Chant" (1938) and "Boogie Woogie" (1938), the latter a huge hit for Tommy Dorsey. In the later part of his life Kincaide was active as an arranger for television. He himself was seen in a 1934 film entitled Ben Pollack and His Orchestra, which also featured Texas trombonist Jack Teagarden. Although the arranger-reedman left his home state at an early age he worked with a number of Texans throughout his career, as well as arranging for bands other than those mentioned here, such as that of Benny Goodman. He retired in 1981 and died on August 14, 1992, in St. Cloud, Florida. He was survived by his wife, Dorothy.

John Chilton, Who's Who of Jazz: Storyville to Swing Street (London: Bloomsbury Book Shop, 1970; American ed., New York and Philadelphia: Chilton, 1972; 4th ed., New York: Da Capo Press, 1985). Barry Kernfeld, ed., The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz (London: Macmillan, 1988; 2d ed., New York: Grove's Dictionaries, 2002).


  • Music
  • Genres (Jazz)


  • Houston
  • Upper Gulf Coast
  • East Texas

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Dave Oliphant, “Kincaide, Deane,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed September 24, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

December 5, 2006
November 6, 2019

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