Posted by themusicsover on July 5, 2010
March 15, 1916 – July 5, 1983
Harry James was a popular band leader and trumpet player whose career started in the mid ’30s. After performing with Ben Pollack, James joined Benny Goodman’s band for about a year, leaving that to form his own big band in 1939. One musical footnote includes Frank Sinatra, who sang with James very early in his career. Legend has it that James wanted Sinatra to change his name to Frankie Satin. Fortunately, Sinatra refused. Later employing Buddy Rich, James stayed active with his band until the early ’80s. In 1983, he was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer, likely due to years of heavy smoking. And even though he was dying, James continued to perform right up until nine days before he passed away on July 5, 1983.
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