Harry James Big Band Visit (Sunday Afternoon12/07/2008)
Harry James (March 15, 1916 – July 5, 1983) was an American musician and band leader, and a well-known trumpet virtuoso. 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.
He joined the nationally popular Ben Pollack in 1935 and, at the start of 1937, left Pollack to join Benny Goodman's orchestra, where he stayed through 1938. His hit "You Made Me Love You" was in the Top 10 during the week of December 7, 1941.
In February 1939 James debuted his own big band in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He toured with the band into the 1980s. His was the first "name band" to employ vocalist Frank Sinatra, in 1939. He wanted to change Sinatra's name to 'Frankie Satin' but Sinatra refused. His later band included Buddy Rich.
He played trumpet in the 1950 film Young Man with a Horn, dubbing Kirk Douglas. James' 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 recorded many popular records and appeared in many Hollywood movies.
James was second only to Glenn Miller as the most successful recording artist of 1942.