Big band leader born

March 15th, 1916

On this day in 1916, Harry James, jazz trumpet player and big-band leader, was born in Albany, Georgia. Though thought by many to be a native Texan, he did not arrive in Texas until the 1930s, when he and his parents moved to Beaumont. There he played trumpet and led a band. In 1936 James joined Benny Goodman's orchestra. He made a name for himself with fiery trumpet solos and an appearance in the band's 1938 movie, Hollywood Hotel. After he started the Harry James Band in 1940, his hit song "You Made Me Love You" (1941) sold over a million copies. A true virtuoso, Harry, along with his band, developed the boogie-woogie style for big-band swing. His romantic ballads were the key to his success and shot him to fame as a big-band leader. Still an active musician in the 1970s, he was quoted then as saying, "I don't look at people as changing, being old or being young. I just look down from the stand to see if people are having fun." Harry James died in Las Vegas, Nevada, in 1983.

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Big band leader born

March 15th, 1916

On this day in 1916, Harry James, jazz trumpet player and big-band leader, was born in Albany, Georgia. Though thought by many to be a native Texan, he did not arrive in Texas until the 1930s, when he and his parents moved to Beaumont. There he played trumpet and led a band. In 1936 James joined Benny Goodman's orchestra. He made a name for himself with fiery trumpet solos and an appearance in the band's 1938 movie, Hollywood Hotel. After he started the Harry James Band in 1940, his hit song "You Made Me Love You" (1941) sold over a million copies. A true virtuoso, Harry, along with his band, developed the boogie-woogie style for big-band swing. His romantic ballads were the key to his success and shot him to fame as a big-band leader. Still an active musician in the 1970s, he was quoted then as saying, "I don't look at people as changing, being old or being young. I just look down from the stand to see if people are having fun." Harry James died in Las Vegas, Nevada, in 1983.

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Related Handbook of Texas Articles

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With more than 27,000 articles about Texas history, the Texas State Historical Association's Handbook of Texas is the largest online encyclopedia about all things Texas. Now you can celebrate the history of Texas every day by activating your free subscription to Texas Day by Day. Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles. It's one of the best ways to learn more about Texas history — in only 15 minutes a day!

Activate your free subscription to Texas Day by Day and you can:

  • Explore Texas history each day in bite-sized pieces conveniently delivered to your inbox each morning
  • Astound your friends with your Texas history prowess
  • Get in-depth looks at some of the overlooked events and landmarks in Texas history
  • Discover new places to explore in the Lone Star State
Get your Texas Day by Day delivered straight to your inbox: