Corky was born Gene Patrick Corcoran in Tacoma, Washington on July 28, 1924. A teenage prodigy, he began playing professionally with Sonny Dunham at the age of 16. A year later, he was a featured soloist with Harry James. He stayed with James from 1941-47, before leaving to perform briefly with Tommy Dorsey, to freelance and finally to form his own group. Corky Corcoran died in Tacoma October 3, 1979, at the age of 55.