Levinson On Harry James

Although still in his late teens, James was already six-foot-one and weighed 150 pounds. He had a thin waist, no hips, and long skinny legs. To go along with his slinky frame, he James and Grable.jpghad a large, oval-shaped head, a long nose and prominent ears, dark wavy hair, and a pencil-thin moustache. Perhaps his most provocative feature, however, was his deep-set baby-blue eyes–the bluest blue eyes this side of his future band vocalist, Frank Sinatra. He had a high-pitched voice that occasionally squeaked, and spoke with a pronounced Texan drawl. Some people noticed his resemblance to such 1930s film actors as Basil Rathbone (later to be his co-star in the film Bathing Beauty) and Warren Williams. Somehow, it all meshed, and women found him very attractive.

                       –Peter J. Levinson, Trumpet Blues: The Life of Harry James

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  1. Robert J. Eber says

    I took up trumpet in 1943 because of Harry James and I worked hard to try to develop technique and sound like his. HE WAS UNIQUE. I doubt you’ll ever hear a purer trumpet tone. Yes, he was heavy on vibrato, but what a style! I think that most people would be able to pick out his sound just hearing it.