After he had led dance bands in the 1930s (among a college orchestra at the University of Chicago, where he had studied, they were also at the World Expo 1933 on ), with whom he had been occurred primarily in the Midwest, he decided in the early 1940s to establish a jazz big band and left in 1942 to write a repertoire of Marge Gibson; the radio broadcasts of his performances at Chicago's Chez Paree made his band quickly became popular. From 1944 headed Raeburn a big band that struck thanks to new and advanced arrangements by George Handy (who also played piano ) by partial avant-garde dissonance (eg, Boyd Meets Stravinsky ), similar to the simultaneously active bands of Woody Herman and Stan Kenton.
With his new band Raeburn had an engagement at New York's Lincoln Hotel; in his band played and a Dodo Marmarosa, Oscar Pettiford, Shelly Manne, Budd Johnson, Serge Chaloff, Johnny Mandel, Roy Eldridge, Trummy Young, Sonny Berman, Al Cohn, Britt Woodman and once even Dizzy Gillespie ( in January 1945 at a week-long stint at the Apollo in Harlem ) - the band played the first ever whose classic A Night in Tunisia. Before partially dissonant background singing Ginny Powell ( his future wife ), June Christy (as Sharon Leslie ), Don Johnny and Darcy and David Allen. Otherwise, the band was more of Count Basie - oriented.
July 1945 drew Raeburn with his big band on the West Coast of the United States, as they were indeed transferred to New York on the radio, but no record deal got. In 1946 she had a cool- alignment with French horn, harp and double woodwind occupation. Members this year were, inter alia, Lucky Thompson, Buddy DeFranco, Marmarosa, Ray Linn and Pete Candoli. 1947 Johnny Richards arranged for the band, whose contribution to jazz history but also in the same year ended - the time for concert jazz was not yet ripe, they were back to the usual dance band (eg 1956-1957 recordings for Columbia). The time 1946/47, but is documented for example in Savoy. Since he could not go on from his earlier successes, he finally left the early 1950s throughout the music business and moved temporarily to the Bahamas. The late 1950s, he tried unsuccessfully to lead a dance band. Raeburn died in 1966 of a heart attack.