Although Cy Oliver is remembered chiefly as an arranger, he was also a fine trumpet player, composer, and novelty vocalist. He arranged, sang, composed tunes and played trumpet, which included many solos for Jimmy Lunceford in the 1930s and in the '40s for Tommy Dorsey. He grew up in Zanesville, OH, where his father was a concert singer. Both his father and mother taught music in Zanesville, OH. Played trumpet while in high school. After graduting from High School, in June 1928, he joined Zach White's Orch. in Cincinati OH. Later, he moved back to Columbus OH where he played in pick-up groups and gave music lessons. It was there that he also taught himself arranging. Sy joined Lunceford in late 1933 as a trumpeter and arranger. He did novelty vocals and was part of the famous Lunceford Trio. More than any other of Lunceford's arrangers, it was Oliver's scores that gave the Lunceford orchestra it's distinctive sound. He stayed with Lunceford until mid-1939 when he joined Tommy Dorsey. He stayed with Dorsey until he was drafted in 1943. During World War 11 he served in the Army through 1945 as a bandmaster. After the service he returned to Dorsey but also began to branch out, freelancing arrangements for other orchestras. He led his own band from 1946 to 1947 but achieved only moderate success. He worked (on and off for 10 years) as musical director, staff arranger, and recording supervisor for Decca Records. During the '60s and '70s he contributed arrangements for virtually every top recording artist in the U.S. His most famous composition is Opus one.