Harry James

Knowledge Identifier: +Harry_James


Harry James

Actor and musician best known as a trumpeter who led a swing band during the Big Band Swing Era of the 1930s and 1940s add

Category: Music (655)

Born in 1916.

Countries: United States (90%), United Kingdom (4%), Ireland (2%)

Education: undef.

Main connections: Helen Forrest, Louie Bellson, Tommy Dorsey




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Harry James was born in 1916 add something


In 1931 his family settled in Beaumont, Texas add something


Don Redman - He formed his own orchestra in New York in 1931, but continued to arrange for other bands, including those of Jimmy Dorsey, Count Basie and Harry James


Mel Torme - Between 1933 and 1941, he acted in the network radio serials The Romance of Helen Trent and Jack Armstrong, the All-American Boy. He wrote his first song at 13, and three years later, his first published song, "Lament to Love," became a hit recording for Harry James.


In 1935 he joined Pollack's band, but at the start of 1937 left to join Benny Goodman's orchestra, where he stayed through 1938 add something


He married singer Louise Tobin on May 4, 1935, and they had two children add something


Ben Pollack - All through this troubled period, Pollack managed to record excellent records and had an occasional hit, like the 1937 "Peckin'", which Pollack co-wrote with Harry James, originally issued on Variety VA-556


Helen Humes - She moved to New York City in 1937 and became a recording vocalist with Harry James' big band


His was the first "name band" to employ vocalist Frank Sinatra, in 1939 add something


In January 1939 James debuted his own big band in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but it didn't click until 1941 when he added a string section add something


He started recording with the minor label Varsity in 1940 add something


Tommy Dorsey - In 1940, Dorsey hired singer Frank Sinatra from bandleader Harry James.


Les Elgart - In the 1940s he played in bands led by Raymond Scott, Charlie Spivak, and Harry James, and occasionally found himself in bands alongside brother Larry


Helen Forrest - In the early 1940s, Forrest had a love affair with bandleader Harry James while she was part of his band


Jack Lawrence - It was originally a hit for Harry James and his Orchestra in the early 1940s


Si Zentner - Zentner played in the bands of Les Brown, Harry James, and Jimmy Dorsey in the 1940s, moved to Los Angeles, where he worked as a studio musician


His hit "You Made Me Love You" was in the Top 10 during the week of December 7, 1941 add something


Bill Evans - Around the same time came his first exposure to jazz, when at age 12 he heard Tommy Dorsey and Harry James's bands on the radio.


His orchestra succeeded Glenn Miller's on a program sponsored by Chesterfield Cigarettes in 1942, when Miller disbanded his orchestra to enter the Army add something


Chummy MacGregor - A noted songwriter and arranger, he wrote the songs "It Must Be Jelly " with the Glenn Miller Orchestra in 1942, which was covered by Woody Herman in 1944 on Brunswick and as V-Disc 320B, and was recorded by Harry James, Frankie Ford, and Johnny Long; "Slumber Song" with Saul Tepper; "Doin' the Jive" written with Glenn Miller in 1937; "Moon Dreams" with lyrics by Johnny Mercer, which was arranged by Gil Evans and recorded by Miles Davis on his "Birth of the Cool" album; "Sold American" with Glenn Miller; "Sometime" with Glenn


Jackie Gleason - He had a small part as a soda shop clerk in "Larceny, Inc." with Edward G. Robinson, and a modest part as a commissioner in the 1942 Betty Grable-Harry James musical "Springtime in the Rockies"


Helen Forrest - It was with the Harry James Orchestra that Helen recorded what are arguably her most popular numbers, including "I Had the Craziest Dream" in 1942, and 1941's "I Don't Want to Walk Without You


Daphnis et Chloe - Trumpeter Harry James, in his 1942 arrangement of Eric Coates's "By the Sleepy Lagoon", made use of the "Lever du jour" music from "Daphnis et ChloƩ" for its opening


Louie Bellson - Between 1943 and 1952, Bellson performed with Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, Harry James, and Duke Ellington


Helen Forrest - Forrest left Harry James in late 1943 in pursuit of a solo career


Betty Grable - In 1943, she married trumpeter Harry James


Helen Forrest - In 1944, she made an appearance in the Esther Williams movie "Bathing Beauty" with Harry James and his orchestra


A major reason James disbanded his big band group in 1946 was lack of income, so James decided to call it quits add something


Art Lund - After spells with Benny Goodman and Harry James, he went solo in 1946, and recorded his biggest seller the following year


Eve Arden - Arden's quick wit made her a natural talent for radio; she became a regular on Danny Kaye's short-lived but memorably zany comedy-variety show in 1946, which featured swing bandleader Harry James and gravel-voiced character actor-comedian Lionel Stander


Louie Bellson - Later in the 1950s and 1960s, he performed with Jazz at the Philharmonic or J.A.T.P., Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, Count Basie, Duke Ellington again, and Harry James again, as well as appearing on several Ella Fitzgerald studio albums


Carl Ballantine - He was the first magician to play Las Vegas, appearing on a bill with Harry James, Betty_Grable and Sammy Davis Jr. at El Rancho Vegas in 1956


They had two daughters, Victoria and Jessica, before divorcing in 1965 add something


Louie Bellson - In 1966, Bellson toured briefly with both Basie and ex-boss Harry James


Buddy Rich - In the early fifties Rich played with Dorsey and began to perform with trumpeter Harry James, an association which lasted until 1966


Sonny Payne - Most of the rest of his career, however, was spent in the Harry James band, which he joined in 1966, and with which he was working at the time of his death


James married a third time in 1968 to Las Vegas showgirl Joan Boyd, whom he would divorce in March 1970 add something


Helen Forrest - During the 1970s and 1980s, Forrest performed in supper clubs on "big band nostalgia" tours, including appearances with Harry James and Dick Haymes


Phil Harris - Harris spent time in the 1970s and early 1980s leading a band that appeared often in Las Vegas, often on the same bill with swing era legend Harry James


Kirk Smith - Since moving to California in 1977, Kirk has performed, recorded, and/or toured all over the world with The Ray Anthony Orchestra, The Tex Beneke Orchestra, Les Brown and The Band Of Renown, The Ray Conniff Orchestra, Billy Vaughn, Michael Feinstein, Michael Crawford, Keely Smith, The Bill Tole Orchestra, Louie Bellson, The Harry James Orchestra, and Suzanne Somers, among others


He toured with the band into the 1980s add something


Ray Anthony - In the early 1980s, Anthony formed Big Band '80s, other members including Buddy Rich, Harry James, Les Brown, and Alvino Rey

Harry James died in 1983 add something


In 1983, James was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer, but he continued to work, playing his last professional job on June 26, 1983, in Los Angeles, California, just nine days before his death in Las Vegas, Nevada add something


As of 2016, two recordings of Harry James had been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, a special Grammy award established in 1973 to honor recordings that are at least 25 years old, and that have "qualitative or historical significance add something