Cornet Chop Suey - Harry James And His Big Band ...Plus The Dixieland Five - Double Dixie (Vinyl, LP) download full album zip cd mp3 vinyl flac
That band's version of "I've Heard That Song Before" had become the company's all-time biggest seller at 1, copies! And "All or Nothing at All" and "Flash," the former featuring Sinatra, the latter a James original, a coupling that had sold 16, LP), copies when it had been released three years earlier, had been reissued and had soldcopies to date!
Meanwhile the band was signed to appear in two more movies, Mr. Co-Ed with Red Skelton and A Tale of Two Sistersas Harry kept growing closer and closer to the movie scene, and particularly to one of its most glamorous stars. She was Betty Grable, who occupied a table every night at the Astor Roof when the band appeared there in the spring of During that engagement it became increasingly obvious that Harry was far more interested in pleasing his public, and in Miss Grable, then he was in playing any more outstanding jazz.
The band performed its ballads as well as usual, but the men seemed to be blowing listlessly. I don't know whether it's because they are living too well, or because they just aren't capable of playing more rhythmically.
Perhaps my thoughts were going back too much to those early days when the band had such tremendous spirit, when it was filled with laughs and good humor and ambition and a healthy desire to play and swing and succeed. Now success had come, but the inspiration seemed to have disappeared. Harry, himself, seemed far less interested in his music. Of course, with someone like Betty Grable around, most of us could hardly blame him. But Harry had worries, too. The armed Cornet Chop Suey - Harry James And His Big Band .Plus The Dixieland Five - Double Dixie (Vinyl were taking some of his best men.
And, what's more, they were constantly beckoning in his direction too. One month later his draft board classified him 4-F. But his draft problems were by no means over. Rumors kept persisting that he would be reclassified I-A. On February 11,he took his pre-induction physical. Then Harry put his entire band on notice with an invitation "to stick around and see what happens. And then it happened: at the very last minute, James was re-classified 4-F because of an old back injury.
Quickly he called together some of his old men. He had been featuring Buddy DiVito and Helen Ward Helen Forrest had begun her career as a single late in as his singers, but the latter was replaced by Kitty Kallen when the band returned to the Astor Roof on May Juan Cornet Chop Suey - Harry James And His Big Band .Plus The Dixieland Five - Double Dixie (Vinyl, meanwhile, had come over from Duke Ellington's band to fill a James trombone chair.
The band's success continued. After Cornet Chop Suey - Harry James And His Big Band .Plus The Dixieland Five - Double Dixie (Vinyl Astor engagement, where an improved rhythm section was noted, it went on a record-breaking tour, highlighted by a sixty thousand throng at the Rubber Bowl in Akron, Ohio, and terminating in California, where it began another healthy schedule on Coca-Cola's Spotlight Band radio series, and where Harry broke something other than a record — his leg.
Playing baseball, of course. The James band had not made any good new recordings for more than two years; the AFM ban saw to that. Finally, on November 11,the companies and Petrillo ended their war. Immediately James went into Columbia's New York studio to record four sides, including a fine version of "I'm Beginning to See the Light," featuring his pretty, new vocalist, Kitty Kallen, plus his first jazz combo opus in many a year, "I'm Confessing" which spotted the great Willie Smith, Jimmie Lunceford's former alto saxist, who had just joined the band, and a brilliant pianist named Arnold Ross.
When the band returned East to play at Meadowbrook, Barry Ulanov noted a stronger emphasis on jazz, praising James for playing swinging things instead of merely playing it safe. Now, if he will just drop those meaningless strings. But Harry wasn't listening. He increased his string section to two full dozen.
The more I saw Harry in those days, the more I realized he had become less and less interested in his music. He had broadened his career as an entertainer when in January,he had been signed for the Danny Kaye radio series, where, in addition to leading and blowing his horn, he also acted as a stooge and a comedian of sorts. And he seemed to like his new roles — perhaps even more than his music.
He developed other consuming interests. With his wife, he devoted a great deal of his time to horseracing, running his own nags and spending much time at the tracks. He became so successful that he could choose the spots he wanted to play with his band, and, if he felt like concentrating on affairs apart from music, he'd do so. But in the bottom began to fall slowly out of the band business. The big-paying steady dates were disappearing. James, who had refused to play one-nighters for almost two years, ostensibly because he wanted to remain where the action was, announced in February that he would again tour with his band.
His financial overhead was high. But Harry was not drawing his usual big crowds. It must have been a big blow to him and his pride. In December,just ten years after he had joined Benny Goodman's band, Harry James announced that he was giving up.
Ironically, Goodman made a similar announcement that very month. But then something — nobody knows just what — changed Harry's mind. A few months later, he was back again with a brand new, streamlined band. It jumped. He jumped. By age 3, he was a featured drummer; by 9, he played trumpet; at 12, he was leading a band. Schooled by his father, a stern taskmaster, James studied the classic trumpet repertoire and developed the iron chops and bravura technique of a circus musician; but he also soaked up the jazz Cornet Chop Suey - Harry James And His Big Band .Plus The Dixieland Five - Double Dixie (Vinyl blues of his native Texas and loved Louis Armstrong's playing.
After a stint with the influential Ben Pollack Orchestra, and an early first marriage, James joined the wildly popular Benny Goodman band in at the startlingly early age of He was an instant sensation, and the rest of his life was lived in the spotlight.
By 20, too, his bad habits were formed: heavy drinking, incessant gambling and compulsive promiscuity. In his decades of success, James found no reason to change, remaining in the words of one of his band members "a perpetual teenager as a man," someone who "served all his appetites and all his desires.
He wasn't terribly concerned with other people. James' self-centered existence had its colorful aspects. A great sports fan, he was very serious about his band's baseball team and often hired band members as much for their athletic prowess as their musical abilities. A lover of Western movies, he eventually arranged to star in one Outlaw Queen, And as a big-band leader for much of his life, he participated to an expected degree in the antics and merriment that punctuated the dullness of life on the road.
But antics aside, Harry James was aloof. Levinson traces the roots of James' stunted personality -- his "deeply ingrained loneliness and insecurity" -- to a childhood in which he received no proper nurturing: "It appears Without it, he believed he really wasn't worth very much.
He knew nobody could hurt him. There just wasn't much left. Levinson recounts James' life in straightforward prose, clearly and with a wealth of detail, against a Cornet Chop Suey - Harry James And His Big Band .Plus The Dixieland Five - Double Dixie (Vinyl backdrop of the s swing years and the postwar entertainment era of the 50s and 60s.
The good-looking, high-living James -- slickly packaged by record and movie people, quipped trumpeter Pete Candoli, "like a WASP Cesar Romero" -- thought his success ride would never end. Certainly his work never did.
His poor gambling luck, which found him losing millions of his own dollars plus some of Betty Grable'skept him touring virtually to his dying day. James said he didn't fear death: "It's just another road trip. Peter Levinson's book is sort of the antithesis of his subject's trumpet style: not flashy, not schmaltzy, not full of fireworks. But in its own solid way it swings. Trumpet Blues is the biographical equivalent of a well-produced LP, with not a single weak or wasted track.
Novelist Ross Macdonald once said in defense of biography: "The more we know about a man, the more in a way we can love him. I thank Peter Levinson for so capably and comprehensively telling me a story I never dreamed I'd want to hear. January Although undoubtedly sincere in his professed love for jazz, Levinson surprisingly says very little about the music itself. Because of them, we learn much about the man behind the horn.
Apparently a lusty guy from puberty onwards, Harry never learned to restrain his impulses, even when married to one of the most popular pin-up girls of the s, top-ranking Hollywood actress Betty Grable. Even his sidemen marveled at his insatiable appetite, endurance, and, especially, his indiscriminate taste.
Beautiful or ugly, young or old, they were all grist for his mill. His drinking, however, was by far the more serious of their problems, having eventually led him, on several occasions, to treat Betty like a punching bag. InBetty finally sued for divorce on the grounds of extreme cruelty. Harry kept his band working in Las Vegas and on the road to pay off his debts, but he had already lost the best meal ticket he was ever to have. Harry loved his horn first and foremost, with baseball running a close second, and from his youth he was gifted with such great chops that he never even had to warm up before playing, much less engage in routine practicing as most hornmen do.
It all came so easily to him. But, as was also the case with Bix Beiderbecke and Bunny Berigan, that superhuman tolerance for round-the-clock heavy drinking ultimately demanded its prize.
Perhaps because of the better medical care available in the s Harry did not die as young as Bix and Bunny had, but all accounts indicate that toward the end there was scarcely anything left of the one-time musical powerhouse. He was only 67 at the time of his death, but he looked much, much older. Additionally, because of cancer and the loss of his teeth, he had not been able to blow a note for some time. Harry was also seeing Betty during this time, and when she got pregnant the busy trumpet player was forced to ask Louise for a divorce.
Too much was at stake. Ever the kid and thinking that the gravy train would never stop, he never even thought of saving or investing his money. It was only a matter of time, then, before his losses put him into serious debt to the mob. In a short time, he was virtually an indentured servant, his expensive ongoing payroll for his band and staff, his unpaid back taxes, and his continuing jones for the bottle and the tables eventually reducing him to financial ruin.
In his prime, a period that lasted far longer for him than it did for most trumpeters, Harry James was the living definition of a celebrity virtuoso, a modern-day Paganini or Liszt. But, perhaps most importantly, in his latter years he could finally turn his band around to reflect his longstanding love for the Basie sound, which he demonstrated not only in his choice of arrangements by Neal Hefti and the late Ernie Wilkins, but also in his own adaptations of the styles of Buck Clayton and Harry Edison.
James was certainly no musical innovator in the sense of a Louis, Roy, or Dizzy, but he was unquestionably the most technically well-endowed, versatile, and influential trumpeter of his time. March 8, All About Jazz. Clark Terry said he could do it all. About Louis Armstrong? Levinson Oxford University Press. A white trumpeter from the swing age, he might be known more for his buttery trumpet solos on some hits from a bygone era, his marriage to Hollywood pinup girl Betty Grable, and his striking good looks in movie appearances.
Some may remember he hired a young Frank Sinatra. Levinson points out the error of that omission in the book, illustrating that James had the chops and ability that place him among the all-time greats on the instrument. Indeed, Satchmo had the upmost respect for him.
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