Harry James and his orchestra was one of the most popular golden era big bands.
His band helped launch the careers of many pop music stars of the World War II era, including Frank Sinatra and Helen Forrest.
Harry was married to American film star Betty Grable.
James recorded many popular records and appeared in many Hollywood movies. He played trumpet in the 1950 film Young Man with a Horn, dubbing Kirk Douglas. The album from the movie charted at #1, with James backing big band singer and actress Doris Day. James's recording of "I'm Beginning to See the Light" appears in the motion picture My Dog Skip (2000). His music is also featured in the Woody Allen film Hannah and Her Sisters.
James' band was the first high profile orchestra to feature vocalist Frank Sinatra, who signed a one-year, $75 a week contract with it in 1939. James wanted to change Sinatra's name to 'Frankie Satin', but the singer refused.
Sinatra only worked seven months before leaving to join Tommy Dorsey's outfit. The James band's featured female vocalist was Helen Forrest, and his later band included drummer Buddy Rich.
He toured with the band into the 1980s, and as of July 2018 the Harry James Orchestra is led by Fred Radke.(source: wikipedia)
September 23rd, 2018
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