Covington, who was born in Philadelphia, played early on with Isham Jones (1939), then with Les Brown in 1945-46 and Gene Krupa later in 1946. Following this he became a staff musician for CBS radio. With Ralph Flanagan in 1949 and again in 1955-56. He played briefly with Tommy Dorsey in 1950. In 1956, he replaced Eddie Grady as leader of the Commanders, a Decca recording and touring band which lasted until the middle of 1957. Covington recorded two albums and one single with this band. After Tommy Dorsey died suddenly in November 1956, the Dorsey band continued under the direction of Jimmy Dorsey. However, the Tommy Dorsey estate soon took back Tommy's arrangements and approached Covington to form a new Tommy Dorsey band, which he led, touring and recording for Decca, into 1961. Among his hits with the Dorsey band was "Tea for Two Cha Cha", which sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. The track peaked at #3 in the UK Singles Chart in 1958.
He died in 1999 in New York.
As leader of The Commanders
- Shall We Dance? (Decca DL 8408) (1956)
- Teenage Hop (Decca DL 8577) (1957)
As leader of the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra
- The Fabulous Arrangements of Tommy Dorsey in Hi-Fi (Decca DL 8802) (1958)
- Tea for Two Cha Chas (MCA Records MCA-178; reissue of Decca DL7-8842)
- Dance and Romance with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra (Decca DL 8904) (1959)
- The Swingin' Era (Decca DL 8914) (1959)
- More Tea for Two Cha Chas (Decca DL 78943)
- It Takes Two to Bunny Hop... (MCA Records MCA-185; reissue of Decca DL7-8996)
- It Takes Two to Cha Cha... (MCA-534)
- Dance to the Songs Everybody Knows (Decca 4120)
- Tricky Trombones (Decca 74130)
- with the Henri René Orchestra
- RCA Victor Presents Eartha Kitt (RCA, 1953)
- That Bad Eartha (EP) (RCA, 1954)
- Down to Eartha (RCA, 1955)
- That Bad Eartha (LP) (RCA, 1956)
- Thursday's Child (RCA, 1957)
- with Randy Weston
- Blue Moses (CTI, 1972)
- with Don Sebesky
- Giant Box (CTI, 1973)
- with Yusef Lateef
- Part of the Search (Atlantic, 1973)
- Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 99. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 166. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- Rosen, Jody (June 25, 2019). "Here Are Hundreds More Artists Whose Tapes Were Destroyed in the UMG Fire". The New York Times. Retrieved June 28, 2019.