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Harry James

Harry James was one of the most outstanding instrumentalists of the swing era, employing a bravura playing style that made his trumpet work instantly identifiable. He was also one of the most popular bandleaders of the first half of the 1940s, and he continued to lead his band until just before his death, 40 years later. James was the child of circus performers. His father, Everette Robert James, was the bandleader and trumpet player in the orchestra for the Mighty Haag Circus, and his mother, Maybelle Stewart Clark James, was an aerialist. Growing up in the circus, James became a performer himself as early as the age of four, when he began working as a contortionist. He soon turned to music, however, first playing the snare drum in the band from about the age of six and taking trumpet lessons from his father. At 12, he took over leadership of the second band in the Christy Brothers Circus, for which his family was then working. He attended grade school in Beaumont, Texas, where the circus spent the winter, and when he was 14 he won a state music contest as a trumpeter.

That inspired him to turn professional and begin playing in local bands. James' first job with a national band came in 1935 when he was hired by Ben Pollack. In May 1935, he married singer Louise Tobin, with whom he had two children and from whom he was divorced in June 1943. He made his first recordings as a member of the Pollack band in September 1936. Not long after, he was tapped by Benny Goodman, then leading one of the country's most popular bands, and he began working for Goodman by the end of 1936. He rapidly gained notice in the Goodman band, and by December 1937 he had begun to make recordings under his own name for Brunswick Records (later absorbed by Columbia Records).

In early 1939, he left Goodman and launched his own orchestra, premiering it in Philadelphia in February. That spring, he heard the then-unknown Frank Sinatra on a radio broadcast and hired him. The band struggled, however, and when the more successful bandleader Tommy Dorsey made Sinatra an offer at the end of 1939, James did not stand in his way. Around the same time, he was dropped by Columbia and switched to the tiny Varsity Records label. After two years of difficulties in maintaining his band, James changed musical direction in early 1941. He added strings and turned to a sweeter, more melodic style, meanwhile re-signing to Columbia Records. The results were not long in coming. In April 1941, he first reached the Top Ten with the self-written instrumental "Music Makers." (His band was sometimes billed as Harry James and His Music Makers.) A second Top Ten hit, "Lament to Love," featuring Dick Haymes on vocals, followed in August, and late in the year James reached the Top Five with an instrumental treatment of the 1913 song "You Made Me Love You (I Didn't Want to Do It)." This was the record that established him as a star. But with its sweet style and what was frequently described as James' "schmaltzy" trumpet playing, it was also, according to jazz critic Dan Morgenstern (as quoted in the 1999 biography Trumpet Blues: The Life of Harry James by Peter J. Levinson), "the record that the jazz critics never forgave Harry for recording."

James was second only to Glenn Miller as the most successful recording artist of 1942. During the year, seven of his recordings peaked in the Top Ten: the Top Five "I Don't Want to Walk Without You," with vocals by Helen Forrest; the number one instrumental "Sleepy Lagoon"; the Top Five "One Dozen Roses," with vocals by Jimmy Saunders; the Top Five instrumental "Strictly Instrumental"; "He's My Guy"; the Top Five "Mister Five by Five"; and "Manhattan Serenade," the last three with vocals by Helen Forrest. In September, when Miller went into the armed forces and gave up his radio show, Chesterfield Time, he handed it over to James, a symbolic transference of the title of top bandleader in the country. (James was ineligible for military service due to a back injury.) Meanwhile, wartime travel restrictions and the recording ban called by the musicians union, which took effect in August 1942, had limited James' touring and recording activities, but another avenue had opened up. He began appearing in movies, starting with Syncopation in May 1942 and continuing with Private Buckaroo in June and Springtime in the Rockies in November. His next hit, "I Had the Craziest Dream," with vocals by Helen Forrest, was featured in Springtime in the Rockies; it hit number one in February 1943. The movie is also memorable for having starred Betty Grable, whom James married in July 1943; they had two children and divorced in October 1965.

"I Had the Craziest Dream" was succeeded at number one in March 1943 by another James record with a Helen Forrest vocal, "I've Heard That Song Before." "Velvet Moon," an instrumental, followed and did almost as well, but with that Columbia's stockpile of James recordings made just before the start of the recording ban was almost exhausted. The label went into its vaults and began reissuing older James recordings. Frank Sinatra had recently emerged as a solo star, and in the spring of 1943, Columbia reissued "All or Nothing at All," a song he had recorded as James' vocalist in 1939; the song reached the Top Five. Next, Columbia released "I Heard You Cried Last Night," a year-old recording with a Helen Forrest vocal; it too reached the Top Five. Once again, James ranked as the second most successful recording artist of the year, just behind Bing Crosby.

Meanwhile, James was based in New York, doing his three-times-a-week radio show and appearing at major venues such as the Paramount Theatre and on the Astor Hotel Roof. He also appeared in the June 1943 film release Best Foot Forward. Decca Records settled with the musicians' union in 1943, which gave its recording stars an advantage, but while Bing Crosby, the Andrews Sisters, and Jimmy Dorsey (all on Decca) were the top recording artists of 1944, James came in fourth without ever stepping into a recording studio. His instrumental "Cherry," recorded in 1942, became a Top Five hit early in the year; "I'll Get By (As Long as I Have You)," recorded in 1941 with Dick Haymes on vocals, hit number one in June; and he had eight other chart records during the year. He also continued with his radio show through March and had two films, Two Girls and a Sailor and Bathing Beauty, in release in June. The two remaining major labels, Columbia and RCA Victor, came to terms with the musicians' union in November 1944, freeing James to return to the recording studio. This resulted in seven Top Ten hits in 1945: the number one "I'm Beginning to See the Light"; "I Don't Care Who Knows It"; "If I Loved You"; "11:60 P.M."; the Top Five "I'll Buy That Dream"; "It's Been a Long, Long Time"; and "Waitin' for the Train to Come In." "If I Loved You" had vocals by Buddy DiVito; all the rest had vocals by Kitty Kallen. That was enough to make him the third most successful recording artist of 1945, behind only Bing Crosby and Sammy Kaye.

Meanwhile, he and his band became regulars on the Danny Kaye Show radio series in January 1945, and he hosted its summer replacement program from June to September. James scored two Top Ten hits in early 1946 -- the Top Five "I Can't Begin to Tell You," which featured a pseudonymous vocal by his wife Betty Grable, and "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows," with a vocal by Buddy DiVito -- but then his recording success began to decline, though he managed one more Top Ten hit, "This Is Always," with Buddy DiVito on vocals, in the fall. Having appeared in a number of films, he formally signed a movie contract with 20th Century Fox, resulting in bigger parts in Do You Love Me?, released in May, and If I'm Lucky, out in September. He also took to the road for the first time since the end of the war.

The declining popularity of the big bands led many to break up in December 1946, James' orchestra among them. But in January 1947, his All Time Favorites collection was at the top of the album charts, indicating he was still broadly popular, and within months he had reorganized his band, reducing the number of strings (and soon eliminating them entirely), and taking a more jazz-oriented approach. He scored only one Top Ten hit in 1947, "Heartaches," with vocals by Marion Morgan. And he appeared in the film Carnegie Hall in May. James appeared in the film A Miracle Can Happen (aka On Our Merry Way) in February 1948, the same month he became a regular on the radio show Call for Music, which ran until June. He was not much visible in 1949, but in February 1950, his trumpet playing was heard in the film Young Man with a Horn, though the man fingering the trumpet onscreen was Kirk Douglas.

The Young Man with a Horn soundtrack, credited to James with Doris Day, hit number one in May 1950. Repeating that pairing, Columbia teamed James with Day for "Would I Love You (Love You, Love You)," which hit the charts in March 1951 and reached the Top Ten. Similar success was achieved with "Castle Rock," which paired James with Frank Sinatra and reached the charts in September. Meanwhile, James had his own TV series, The Harry James Show, which ran on a Los Angeles station for the first six months of 1951. From this point on, James maintained his band as a touring unit, though he was less frequently glimpsed in the media. He played himself in the film biography The Benny Goodman Story in 1955, the same year that, having moved to Capitol Records, he released Harry James in Hi-Fi, an album of re-recordings of his hits that reached the Top Ten in November. (The 1999 compilation Trumpet Blues: The Best of Harry James combines tracks from this album and its follow-up, More Harry James in Hi-Fi.)

By now, he was deliberately trying to make his band sound like Count Basie's. He was back onscreen in November 1956 in the film The Opposite Sex. He made his first major tour of Europe in October 1957, and in ensuing years he alternated national and international tours with lengthy engagements at Las Vegas hotels. There were two more film appearances, The Big Beat (June 1958) and The Ladies Man (July 1961). James performed regularly through the early '80s. He was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer in 1983, but continued to play, making his last appearance only nine days before his death at 67. Led by trumpeter Art Depew, his band continued to perform. No one questioned James' talent as a jazz trumpeter, though after his commercial ascendance in 1941 many jazz critics dismissed him. After his period of greatest success, he turned back to a more jazz-oriented style, which failed to change the overall impression of him, if only because he was no longer as much in the public eye. Nevertheless, his swing hits remain among the most popular music of the era. In addition to the Columbia recordings from his heyday, there are numerous other titles in his discography, notably many airchecks, though his recordings of the '50s are also worth seeking out. ~ William Ruhlmann
full bio

Selected Discography


Track List: Melbourne Horror - Single


Track List: At His Best

1. Brazilian Sleigh Bells

2. Deep Purple

3. Hernando´s Hideaway

4. I Need You Now

5. I´ve Heard That Song Before

6. It´s Been A Long Long Time

7. Little Things Mean A Lot

8. Muskrat Ramble

9. Oop Shoop

10. O Mein Papa

11. Ruby

12. September Song

13. Serenata

14. Smile

15. The High And The Mighty

16. The Touch

17. Three Coins In The Fountain

18. You Made Me Love You


Track List: Harry James And His Orchestra - Big Bands

1. Jubilee

2. Life Goes To A Party

3. Can't It?

4. When We're Alone

5. Texas Chatter

6. It's The Dreamer In Me

7. Song Of The Wanderer

8. Lullaby In Rhythm

9. Out Of Nowhere

10. Little White Lies

11. Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams

12. One O'Clock Jump

13. Two O'Clock Jump

14. Love Is A Necessary Thing

15. Blame It On My Last Affair

16. Sweet Georgia Brown

17. Ciribiribin

18. Sugar Foot Stomp

19. Somebody Loves Me

20. Crazy Rhythm

21. Strictly Instrumental


Track List: Harry James In Hi-Fi

1. Ciribiribin (Intro.)

2. Trumpet Blues

3. You Made Me Love You

4. James Session

5. I've Heard That Song Before

6. Cherry

7. I'm Beginning To See The Light

8. My Silent Love

9. Sleepy Lagoon

10. Two O'Clock Jump

11. I Cried For You

12. Jalousie

13. It's Been A Long, Long Time

14. Velvet Moon

15. Music Makers

16. Ciribiribin (Finale)


Track List: Today

1. Undecided

2. Satin Doll

3. Eyes

4. End Of Town Blues

5. King Porter Stomp

6. Ensemble

7. Jersey Bounce

8. Rockin' In Rhythm

9. Take The 'A' Train

10. Lester Leaps In


Track List: The Complete Harry James In Hi-Fi (Bonus Track Version)

Disc 1

1. Cherry

2. Jalousie

3. Sleepy Lagoon

4. You Made Me Love You

5. Trumpet Blues

6. I've Heard That Song Before

7. I'm Beginning To See The Light

8. It's Been A Long, Long Time

9. I Cried For You

10. My Silent Love

11. Velvet Moon

12. James Session

13. Music Makers

15. Two O'clock Jump

16. The Mole

17. Carnival

18. Autumn Serenade

20. September Song

Disc 2

1. Blue Again

2. Melancholy Rhapsody

3. These Foolish Things

4. Somebody Loves Me

5. Sleepy Time Gal

7. Crazy Rhythm

8. Strictly Instrumental


Track List: Jazz Masters: Harry James

1. The Arrival

2. Bangtail

3. Bells

4. Big Boy

5. Block Party

6. Carnival

7. Cherry

8. Ciribiribin

9. Cottontail

10. Exactly Like You

11. Except February, Which Has 28

12. Flash

13. From The Bottom Of My Heart

14. Here's One

15. I Cover The Waterfront

16. I Got It Bad

17. I Had The Craziest Dream

18. I May Be Wrong

19. It's Been A Long, Long Time

20. I've Heard That Song Before

21. Lover

22. The Man I Love

23. Or Words To That Effect

24. Palladium Party

25. Proclamation

26. Raffles

27. Sabre Dance

28. Shine

29. Six, Two And Even

30. Slap Happy

31. Sleepy Lagoon

32. Sleepy Time Gal

33. Snooty Fruity

34. St. Louis Blues

35. Stardust

36. There They Go

37. Things Ain't What They Used To Be

38. To You

39. Trumpet Blues

40. Two O'Clock Jump

41. Ultra

42. Will You Still Be Mine

43. You Made Me Love You

44. You Turned The Tables On Me


Track List: Autumn Leaves

1. Cherry

2. That Old Black Magic

3. Palladium Party

4. Moanin' Low

5. Embraceable You

6. Flash

7. Sleepy Lagoon

8. Lullaby Of Broadway

9. Autumn Leaves

10. Sugar Foot Stomp

11. In The Still Of The Night

12. Caxton Hall Swing


Track List: An Evening Of Jazz

Disc 1

1. Get Off The Stand

2. Kingsize Blues

3. Tweet Tweet

5. Eyes

6. End Of Town Blues

7. Cottontail

10. Ensemble

12. Mister Johnson

13. The Creeper

14. Harry, Not Jesse

Disc 2

1. The Jazz Connoisseur

2. Blues Like

3. Koo Koo

5. Walkin'

7. Connectin' The Bones

8. Sweets' Tooth

9. Harry's Delight

10. Hot Pink

11. I Cover The Waterfront

12. A Swinging Serenade

13. Slats

14. Undecided


Track List: Stardust The Great Trumpet Of Harry James

1. Peckin'


Track List: All Time Classics

1. He’s My Guy

2. Sugarfoot Stomp

3. Wrappin’ It Up

4. Ciribiribin

5. One O’Clock Jump

6. Estrellita

7. I Guess I’ll Have To Dream The Rest

8. Cherry

9. You Made Me Love You

10. A Sinner Kissed An Angel

11. I’ve Heard That Song Before

12. Backbeat Boogie

13. It’s Funny To Everyone But Me

14. Everybody’s Laughin’ (Vocal: Billie Holiday)

15. Woo, Woo

16. Skylark

17. It’s The Dreamer In Me

18. Strictly Instrumental

19. I Don’t Want To Walk Without You

20. Just A Mood (Parts 1 & 2)

21. Night Special”

22. Sleepy Lagoon

23. Shoe Shiners Drag

24. I Cried For You

25. Rose Room

26. Out Of Nowhere

27. Flash

28. Zoom, Zoom, Zoom” (Vocal: Harry James)

29. I Had The Craziest Dream” (Vocal: Helen Forrest)

30. Nobody Knows The Trouble I’ve Seen


Track List: Armed Forces Radio: Stardust

1. Introduction

2. Circus Days

3. February Has 28

4. Untitled

5. Body And Soul

6. Bluebeard Blues

7. Cherry

8. Cheek To Cheek

9. Dontcha Go 'Way Mad

10. Back Beat Boogie

11. Rank Frank

12. Stardust

13. Big John Special

14. I'll Never Be Free

15. Ultra

16. Sleepy Time Gal

17. Ready Gal Jump


Track List: The Best Jazz

1. Wrappin It Up

2. Two O'Clock Jump

3. Woo Woo

4. All Or Nothing At All ( Vocal Frank Sinatra)

5. Black Beat Boogie

6. Boo Woo

7. Ciribiribin

8. Everybody's Laughin ( Vocal Billie Holiday)

9. Flash

10. I Found A New Baby

11. I Had The Craziest Dream ( Vocal Helen Forrest)

12. Jubilee ( Vocal Helen Humes)

13. Just A Mood ( Parts 1& 2)

14. Life Goes To A Party

15. Night Special

16. Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen

17. One O'clock Jump

18. Out Of Nowhere

19. Shoe Shiners Drag

20. Spreadin Knowledge Around

21. Sugarfoot Stomp

22. Yes Indeed ( Vocal Dick Haymes)

23. You Made Me Love You

24. Zoom Zoom Zoom ( Vocal Harry James)


Track List: Shine (featured on The Paul O’Grady Show)

1. Shine (DJ Spooky Subliminal Big Band Mix)


Track List: And The Angels Sing

1. And The Angels Sing

2. Can't It

3. We Are Gonna Hang Out The Washing

4. Flatbush Flanagan

5. Life GoesTo A Party

6. The Last Time I Saw Paris

7. Song Of The Wanderer

8. Poinciana

9. As Time Goes By

10. Strictly Instrumental

11. Lullaby In Rhythm

12. Music Makers

13. Little White Lies

14. September Song

15. Taint What You Do

16. From The Bottom Of My Heart


Track List: Harry's Choice!

2. Willow Weep For Me

3. Blues For Sale

5. Moten Swing

8. The New Two O'clock Jump


Track List: Essential Hollywood Jazz Sessions

1. Autumn Serenade

2. Sleepy Lagoon

4. Sleepy Time Gal

5. Ring For Porter

6. How Deep Is The Ocean

8. Ultra

9. What Am I Here For?

10. It's Been A Long Long Time

11. Walkin' Home

13. Blue Like

14. Moanin' Low

15. Shiny Stockings

16. Deep Purple

17. Walkin'

18. Countin'

19. Cotton Pickin'

20. Blue Again

21. Trumpet Blues

22. Ciribiribin

23. Crazy Rhythm

24. I've Heard That Song Before

25. Get Off The Stand

26. Music Makers

27. Kingsize Blues

28. James Session

29. Street Scene

30. Bee Gee

31. Melancholy Rhapsody

32. These Foolish Things

33. Strictly Instrumental

34. Cotton Tail

35. Velvet Moon

36. Somebody Loves Me

38. You Made Me Love You

39. Barn 12

40. Sleepy Time Gal

41. Too Close For Comfort

43. Blues For Lovers Only

44. Cherry

45. Ciribiribin

46. M-Squad Theme

47. I Cried For You

49. My Silent Love

50. I'm Beginning To See The Light

51. September Song

53. Strictly Instrumental

54. Kinda Like The Blues

55. Cherry

56. Crazy Rhythm

57. Blues For Harry's Sake

58. Velvet Moon

59. Slats

60. Back Beat Boogie

61. Carnival

62. The Mole

64. April In Paris

65. If I'm Lucky


Track List: More Harry James In Hi-Fi

1. The Mole

2. Autumn Serenade

3. Sleepy Time Gal

4. Crazy Rhythm

5. Melancholy Rhapsody

6. September Song

7. Carnival

8. Strictly Instrumental

9. Blue Again

10. Don Cha Go Way Mad

11. These Foolish Things

12. Somebody Loves Me

13. Street Scene


Track List: Autumn Serenade

Disc 1

1. Ciriberibin

2. You Made Me Love You

3. Cherry

4. Stardst

5. Two O'Clock Jump

6. Carnivac

7. I Had The Craziest Dream

8. Trumpet Blues

9. I've Heard That Song Before

10. It's Been A Long Time

11. Sleep Lagoon

12. Shine

13. Rank Frank

14. Better Have Four

15. Harpers Bazaar

16. Saber Dance

17. I Cover The Water Front

18. Blue Love

19. Exactly Like You

Disc 2

1. Old Folks At Home

2. You Turned The Tables On Me

3. The Mole

4. Autumn Serenade

5. Sleepy Time Gal

6. Crazy Rhythm

7. Melancholy Rhapsody

8. September Song

9. Carnival

10. Strickley Instrumental

11. Blue Again

12. Don't Cha Go Away

13. These Foolish Things

14. Somebody Loves Me

15. Street Scene

16. All Or Nothing At All

17. It'll Get By

18. The Man With The Horn


Track List: Crazy Rhythm Vol 2

1. Music Makers

2. Sleepy Lagoon

3. Black Beat Boogie

4. Ol Man River

5. Feet Draggin Blues

6. Carnival Of Venice

7. On A Little Street In Singapore

8. Crazy Rhythm

9. I've Heard That Song Before

10. Trumpet Blues & Cantabile


Track List: Harry James - Crazy Rhythm Vol 1

1. Ciribiribin

2. Two O'clock Jump

3. All Or Nothing At All

4. Flatbuash Flanagan

5. You Made Me Low You

6. I'll Get By

7. Cherry

8. Concerto For Trumpet

9. He's My Guy

10. Flight Of The Bumble Bee


Track List: Texas Chatter

1. Trumpet Blues And Cantatbile

2. I'm Beginning To See The Light

3. When We're Alone

4. Texas Chatter

5. Music Makers

6. You Made Me Love You

7. I Don't Want To Walk Without You

8. Two O'clock Jump

9. Boo-Woo

10. I Want To Be Happy

11. I've Heard That Song Before

12. Jubilee

13. Ciribiribin

14. Tuxedo Junction

15. Flatbush Flanagan

16. It's Been A Long, Long Time

17. T'ain't Whatcha Do

18. Exactly Like You

19. All Or Nothing At All

20. I Can't Begin To Tell You

21. Strictly Instrumental

22. How High The Moon


Track List: Harry James… Today!

1. Undecided

2. Satin Doll

3. Eyes

4. End Of Town Blues

5. King Porter Stomp

6. Ensemble

7. Jersey Bounce

8. Rockin' In Rhythm

9. Take The "A" Train

10. Lester Leaps In


Track List: One Night Stand

1. Ultra

2. Blues (From "An American In Paris")

3. Mam Bongo

4. Memphis Blues

5. The Flight Of The Bumblebee

6. There They Go

7. Jackpot Blues

8. You Go To My Head

9. Don't Stop

10. Feet Draggin' Blues

11. Back Beat Boogie


Track List: Record Session '39-'42

1. Sweet Georgia Brown

3. Indiana

4. Feet Draggin' Blues

5. Flash

6. Cross Country Jump

8. Music Makers

9. Duke's Mixture

10. Jeffries' Blues

11. Sharp As A Tack

13. Yes, Indeed

14. Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen

16. The Mole

17. Blues In The Night

18. Strictly Instrumental

19. But Not For Me

20. Crazy Rhythm

21. James Session

24. Prince Charming

25. Mister Five By Five


Track List: Memorial Album

2. The Back Beat Boogie

4. Dancing In The Dark

5. King Porter Stomp

6. Carnival

7. The Man I Love

8. Flatbush Flanagan

9. Deep Purple

10. The Arrival

13. Trumpet Blues And Cantabile


Track List: Trumpet Blues: The Best Of Harry James

1. Trumpet Blues And Cantabile

2. James Session

3. Moten Swing

4. Cherry

5. I'm Beginning To See The Light

6. Willow Weep For Me

7. Two O'Clock Jump

8. Strictly Instrumental

9. Sleepy Lagoon

10. Barn 12

11. I've Heard That Song Before

12. Blues On A Count

13. You Made Me Love You (I Didn't Want To Do It)

14. Music Makers

15. It's Been A Long Long Time

16. Ciribiribin (Parts 1 & 2)


Track List: Feet Draggin' Blues '44 -'47

1. I'm Beginning To See The Light

2. I'm Confessin'

4. Friar Rock

5. Who's Sorry Now

8. Easy

9. Keb-Lah

10. Moten Swing

12. Stella By Starlight

13. East Coast Blues

15. Blue Turning Grey Over You

16. Cotton Tail

17. Pagan Love Song


Track List: Harry James And His Orchestra Featuring Frank Sinatra

1. From The Bottom Of My Heart

2. Melancholy Mood

3. My Buddy

4. It's Funny To Everyone But Me

5. Here Comes The Night

6. All Or Nothing At All

7. On A Little Street In Singapore

8. Who Told You I Cared?

9. Ciribiribin (They're So In Love)

10. Every Day Of My Life

11. From The Bottom Of My Heart

12. Melancholy Mood

13. It's Funny To Everyone But Me

14. All Or Nothing At All

15. Stardust (live)

16. Wishing Will Make It So

17. If I Didn't Care (live)

18. The Lamp Is Low (live)

19. My Love For You

20. Moon Love (live)

21. This Is No Dream


Track List: Bandstand Memories 1938 To 1948

Disc 1

1. Ciribiribin

3. Begin The Beguine

4. Limehouse Blues

7. King Porter Stomp (Live)

10. Fannie May

11. Wishing (Will Make It So)

12. All Of Me (Live)

13. If I Didn't Care

14. The Lamp Is Low

15. My Love For You

16. Moon Love

17. Two O'Clock Jump

18. This Is No Dream

20. How High The Moon

21. Alice Blue Gown

Disc 2

3. Skylark

4. Carnival Of Venice

5. One Dozen Roses

6. I've Heard That Song Before

7. I Had The Craziest Dream Last Night

8. You Made Me Love You

9. Mister Five By Five

10. Strictly Instrumental

11. Sleepy Lagoon

16. Prince Charming

17. Jalousie

20. It's Been So Long

21. Moten Swing

Disc 3

1. 9-20 Special

2. Loveless Love

4. I'll Get By

5. On The Alamo

6. It Could Happen To You

7. Cherry

8. Flatbush Flanagan

10. I'll Walk Alone

12. 11-60 P.M

14. I'm Beginning To See The Light

15. I'll Buy That Dream

16. Perdido

18. It's The Talk Of The Town

19. Zanzibar

20. Deep Purple


Track List: The Great Harry James

1. How High The Moon

2. Blue Skies

3. Come Rain Or Come Shine

4. My Old Flame

5. What Is This Thing Called Love?

6. I May Be Wrong (But I Think You're Wonderful)

7. Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea

8. All Of Me

9. Don't Get Around Much Anymore

10. I Cover The Waterfront

11. The Man I Love

12. If I Had You


Track List: Best Of Harry James And His Orchestra

2. Sleepy Lagoon

4. Two O'Clock Jump

5. Jalousie

6. Carnival

7. It's Been A Long Long Time

8. Ciribiribin

9. Willow Weep For Me

10. I'm Beginning To See The Light

11. Cherry

12. Velvet Moon


Track List: 1964 Live! In The Holiday Ballroom Chicago

1. Ciribiribin

2. Cubana Chant

3. In A Mellotone

4. Sultry Serenade

5. I'm Getting Sentimental

6. Koo Koo

7. Flyin' Home

8. Two O'Clock Jump

9. Drum Solo

10. Malaguena Salerosa

11. Blues Inside Out

12. Sunday Morning

13. He's Gone Now

14. Tuxedo Junction

15. Kingt Porter Stomp

16. Drum Solo

17. Big Time

18. Rainbow Kiss


Track List: Harry James & His Orchestra, 1943-46

1. Opening Theme (Ciribiribin) Into If That's The Way You Want It, Baby

2. Indiana

3. Body And Soul

4. I'm Satisfied

5. I Couldn't Sleep A Wink Last Night

6. Rose Room

7. All Of Me

8. Shorty George

9. On The Sunny Side Of The Street

10. Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea

11. Stardust

12. It's Been So Long

13. My Baby Just Cares For Me

14. Girl Of My Dreams

15. You Go To My Head

16. Shady Lady Bird


Track List: Wild About Harry

1. Barn

2. What Am I Here For

3. Blues For Harry's Sake

4. Bee Gee

5. Blues On A Count

6. Kinda Like The Blues

7. Blues For Lovers Only

8. Countin'

9. Cotton Pickin'

10. Ring Of Porter


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You made me love you.
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His playing leaves one speechless.. . w h a t a musician, the top trumpet player ever!
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I love him......
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I love listening to him he plays with such heart. italiannonna
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I was lucky to see Mr. James in Altoona, PA at the UVA Club.
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Just hear The Harry James Band yesterday evening in Pensacola Fl. Great!
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I was lucky enough to see Harry James at Vandenberg A.F.B in the 60s thanks BURKE love YOU
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They don't make em like this anymore..... . . . lots of imitations, but none can compare to Mr James
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@patchman... Y o u got that righ, absolutely nothing!
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Such beautiful music. Nothing compares!
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Gigglo go listen to your crap you called music
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Gigglo. Complete douche bag. Knows nothing.
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Gigglo clearly doesn't know good music.
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stupid old f*rts talking about crappy old music
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Larry Scann,

Harry James , was the best I played trumpet and tried to imitate his sound I came very close, Met Harry a few times. I could go on and on and I'll-cherish the memeriees fore ever
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One of my all time favorites and an early release by Harry James is Airmail Special...As a young GI in WWII, we could not get enough of the James band.
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You Made Me Love You...what a Classic
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He made the trumpet sing!
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Harry gets a 10
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King James Version - Sheffield Labs - A recording made with one stereo Mic, direct over 600' cable to master cutting lathe.

So.. why is this album, on of the best big band disc ever made, not on Pandora yet??????? .. I have asked for it and even offered up my copy... yet I know it is out there... anywho.. squeeky wheel and all that...
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try to listen tothats that harry will knock your socks off!!
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I can't listen to music from the 40's especially big band and not have it lift my spirits.
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This dude was connected. ANITA O'DAY, ALL DAY ! ! ! ! ! !
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Harry James was the best swing trumpeter of the big band era
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Bob Gottlieb says:
Without question Harry James was the #1 Trumpeter of the Big Band Era. His style was unique and delightful. His band itself had numerous hits over the years of the forties. His body of work ranks right up there closely behind that of Benny Goodman and Glenn Miller
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As a wannabe trumpet player in my teens I couldn't get enough of the Harry James style and the big fat tone that could be both very sweet and very hot. I still miss his playing and still admire his incredible musical skills. He was doubtless one of THE great trumpet players of the Big Band Era, which was an era filled with great trumpet players.
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Grew up with this music in the '40s & '50s, I think of my Mom & Dad dancing to it. Though they're gone, I can still imagine them dancing on.
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u can always pick out the James trumpet with it's sweet sound when listening to a big band....
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iam 81 yrs. n grew up with it. thank you Pandora
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swing baby
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His bio would be SO much easier to read if it were broken up into paragraphs. He certainly led an interesting life.
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Knock Knock.. Hello.. Pandora, yes.. thanks for taking my call... Your bios of Harry James stops short of what are arguably his best recordings. He recorded three albums for Sheffield Labs that are perhaps the best big band recordings ever done.

.. Hoping these three recordings are added soon do others can hear them.
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Being the drum major of my High School band and close friend with first chair trumpeter, who idolized James, I, too, was a Harry James fanatic.
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A great muscian that we all enjoyd during the WWII years.
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Please please... Add "The King James Version" on Sheffield Records!
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The best thing about Harry James....tha t he had Buddy Rich in his band for awhile, what else?!
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I enjoyed much more the version sung by Amy Adams in 'Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day'. The melody is just lovely, as are the words, but her movie version makes a lot more impact!
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He could swing with the best, play jazz and sweet equally well. Listen to the live "Roll'em" with Goodman, and his own "Skylark".
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He looks a lot like my husband
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just great takes me to my childhood
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excelant bio on Harry that is why my dad taught me the trumpet. My first was a YORK in which we drove to York Pa to buy. My last was a pink belled custom Olds I worked for and bought in jr. high
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( con't)

The King James Version is the name of the recording. I have submitted it here and am surprised it is not already a part of the collection. I urge you to not listen to this until you can do so with head phone sand or proper isolation and volume. One can here the musicians turning pages between numbers!

PS.. "The Bosses" on Pablo records.... just do it!
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(con't) Each side of the album was cut as played. No mixing or other changes were made to the sound being made by the band. What you is hear is precisely and exactly what they played. When they listened to the first cutting, Harry's trumpet was overloading the mic and the sound wasn't right. While someone raced all over town for an alternative mic, Harry and the band had steaks across the street. Well, the band had steaks... Harry had a pitcher of martini's and went back and did it again.
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In my experience the definitive Harry James record was done in the 70's by a company called Sheffield Labs. I believe it was one of their first recording and is significant for several reasons. The session was recorded in a chapel using a single stereo microphone hung above the full big band ensemble. The mic was attached to a 600' cable that was specially made for this recording. The location was chosen for its' proximity to a master cutting machine, some 600' down the street from the chapel.
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harry also had a reunion session with sinatra in the 50's. which included a memorable version of "old man river."
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I just created a Harry James Radio Station based on some of my grandfather' s favorite artist selections. He played sax for Harry James. Hope you all enjoy:)
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As a teenager I loved listening to HJ. . In cars it was all AM.
No FM,tapes or discs. Those were the days!

eagle39@emba r q m a i l . c o m
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Why is Ray Anthony, as good as Harry James any day, not mentioned in the 'similar artist' list?
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just the very best
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Harry James was one of the greats. I played trumpet. I can relate to his experiences in that I taught my sons, Joe and Frank to play trumpet. Both had the pleasure of playing in their High School bands. Music was very sweet then. Too bad Harry james had such a short life. We lost a great musician. God bless his soul. Then again, had he lived to a ripe old age, he would have sufferred the painful experience of seeing the quality of American music deteriorate to its present degree. Respe
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