Harry James

“The Hawk”

Harry Haag James was a professional American Jazz musician, conductor, songwriter, and trumpet player of the Big Band era. He was born in Albany, Georgia in 1916 and by the young age of 8 years old he’d already learned to play the trumpet. He was a son of a bandleader who was in a traveling circus called the Haag Circus, where his mother was an acrobat and horseback rider. He soon became one of the most admired jazz players during the big band era. During the 1940s Harry James’ music was so well liked that record companies couldn’t keep up with the demand for his music.

Harry James was also an actor during the 1950s, but many of his roles featured him being in the music industry or he had written music for the movies that he acted in. He was married 3 times during his life. His first wife was Lousie Tobin a singer, his second wife was famous actress Betty Grable, and his third wife was a Las Vegas showgirl Joan Boyd. He had 5 children and by the time he had passed away July 5, 1983 he had 16 grandchildren. Frank Sinatra gave the eulogy at Harry James’ funeral.