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Harry James was an American trumpeter and band leader who was immensely popular during the 1940s with many hit singles, a radio show, movie appearances and collaborations with singers including Frank Sinatra, Doris Day and Rosemary Clooney. The single 'You Made Me Love You' featuring Helen Forest from the 1942 movie 'Private Buckaroo' was an enormous hit along with instrumentals such as 'Velvet Moon' and 'I'm Beginning to See the Light'.
Born in Georgia to a circus family, James learned to play the trumpet and read music as a child and after the family moved to Beaumont, Texas he began to perform with local dance bands. With the swing era in full bloom he had a stint with the Benny Goodman Orchestra before he launched his own band, Harry James and His Music Makers, with a string section in 1941. As hits such as 'I've Heard That Song Before', 'I Cried for You' and 'I Don't Want to Walk Without You' made him famous nationally, he had radio shows during and after World War II and in 1950 he played the trumpet for actor Kirk Douglas in the feature film 'Young Man With a Horn' co-starring Doris Day. The soundtrack album was a big hit along with the single 'I'm Beginning to See the Light'.
He performed with various aggregations and artists and as the big band era tailed off into the 1950s, James moved to Las Vegas and performed steadily with his 21-piece band with occasional jaunts to other cities and visits to the UK. He died from cancer in Las Vegas in 1963 aged 67.