Harry James

Born Mar 15, 1916

Henry Haag “Harry” James was an actor and musician best known as a trumpeter who led a swing band during the Big Band Swing Era of the 1930s and 1940s. He was especially known among musicians for his astonishing technical proficiency as well as his superior tone.… Read More

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1916 Birth Born on March 15, 1916.


1931 15 Years Old In 1931, his family settled in Beaumont, Texas. … Read More
1935 19 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1935 he joined Pollack's band, but at the start of 1937 left to join Benny Goodman's orchestra, where he stayed through 1938. … Read More


With financial backing from Goodman, in January 1939 James debuted his own big band in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but it didn't click until 1941 when he added a string section. … Read More
1940 24 Years Old In 1940, James lost his contract with Columbia Records (he returned in 1941), and Frank Sinatra left the band that January. … Read More
1945 29 Years Old Indeed, a U.S. Treasury report released in 1945 listed Harry James and Betty Grable as the highest-paid couple in the nation. … Read More


1947 31 Years Old …  He broke up his band for a short period in 1947 but shortly after he re-organized and was active again with his band from then until his death in 1983. … Read More
1949 33 Years Old …  In 2014, Marc Myers of JazzWax commented, "James's band of the mid-1940s was more modern than most of the majors, and in 1949 he led one of the finest bands of the year."


1958 42 Years Old 1 More Event
And on James's releases from 1958-1961, Myers noted, "The James band during this period has been eclipsed by bands led by Basie, Maynard Ferguson and Stan Kenton. … Read More
1960 44 Years Old For his contribution to the motion picture industry, on February 8, 1960 Harry James was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6683 Hollywood Blvd.


1967 51 Years Old James married a third time on December 27, 1967 to Las Vegas showgirl Joan Boyd, whom he would divorce in March 1970.
1973 57 Years Old As of 2016, two recordings of Harry James had been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, a special Grammy award established in 1973 to honor recordings that are at least 25 years old, and that have "qualitative or historical significance." … Read More


1983 67 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1983, James was inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame.
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