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bMarch 15 1916 Albany Georgia USA dJuly 5 1983 Las Vegas Harry James father Everette James was a trumpeter and led a circus band with the Mighty Haag Circus His mother Maybelle was a trapeze artist with the circus Harry began playing the drums when he was four and began playing trumpet when he was eight He joined the circus band the next year and was leading it by the time he was twelve Then their family moved to Beaumont Texas and at 15 Harry James began playing in local dance bands When he was with Herman Waldmans band Ben Pollack heard him and had him join He was a member of Ben Pollacks band until he joined Benny Goodmans Orchestra in December 1936 when he was twenty Goodman had heard him playing on a Ben Pollack record Deep Elm Here he starred in BGs recordings such as Sing Sing Sing and One OClock Jump Benny now had a really strong exciting trumpet section with Harry James Chris Griffin and Ziggy Ellman James was featured often and became a very popular and highly respected musician At 23 he decided to go solo and with Bennys best wishes and some financial support he left Benny in late December after about 3 years with the band His distinctive style and remarkable virtuoso technique was the main factor of his success He could play dolce and dolcissimo and could play deafeningly loud when he wanted to Also his chromatic glissandos were especially noteworthy Playing what you want to play is good for a mans soul you know James discovered Frank Sinatra in July of 1939 James had heard him on radio singing with Harold Ardens band in New Jersey So the next night Harry travelled over to find out who he was With Sinatra in the band by July the 13th they recorded From The Bottom Of My Heart
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