Tuesday, 15 March 2011

I didn't want to do it, I didn't want to do it

Ninety-five years ago today, a certain Henry Haag James was born (in a trunk?) into a family of circus musicians.

It would seem he was destined to find fame and fortune as a musician from a very early age - and true enough, Harry James (as he became known) became one of the most successful bandleaders to emerge out of the Golden Age of swing.

Among his accolades, Mr James:
- outsold even Glenn Miller in the early 1940s.
- was the first big band-leader to employ a little-known crooner by the name of Francis Albert Sinatra.
- went on to marry one of America's sweethearts Miss Betty Grable!

Originally a player in the Benny Goodman orchestra, Harry James hit the big time with his own big band with the massive hit You Made Me Love You, and it was his trumpet playing that was featured in the Bix Biederbecke biographical movie Young Man With A Horn (a magnificent film featuring Kirk Douglas, Doris Day, and Lauren Bacall playing a very early screen lesbian(!)).

Hundreds of top-selling records and film appearances ensured Mr James' star always shone, and he was performing right up to his untimely death in 1983. His music lives on in the form of the "Harry James Orchestra" led by trumpeter Fred Radke, which continues to tour today.

RIP a musical genius.

Harry James Orchestra website

1 comment:

  1. You Made Me Love You was one of my nan's favourite songs - always reminds me of her x


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