Harry James

Jim Anastasi served as the trumpet tester for the King Band Instrument factory in Cleveland, Ohio for nearly 40 years.  While testing some 200 instruments a day, Jim also had dozens of students each week, many who met him at Stebal's Music for their lessons, as well as playing out.  His...
Gene (Cip) Cipriano began his musical career with the big bands led by such stars as Harry James, Tommy Dorsey, and Tex Beneke. He later moved to Los Angeles where he soon began his incredible career as a noted studio musician playing primarily the saxophone, oboe, flute, and clarinet. As a member...
This audio only interview was conducted for a radio program by Dan Del Fiorentino and donated to the NAMM Oral History program: Helen Forrest was often called the Sweetheart of the Big Band Era and may be the only vocalist to have recorded a million seller with Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, and Harry...
Clem Frak worked for King Musical Instruments for 35 years! As vice president of sales, Clem was well known by many of the veteran dealers for his integrity. Retailer Bob Menchey stated, “Clem’s word was all I ever needed. If he said he could get the product to us in time, it would arrive – no...
Jake Hanna was the epitome of what a big band drummer is all about. Jake started playing drums at five in a drum corps in the Boston area. He continued to play drums in the bands of Harry James, Maynard Ferguson, and Woody Herman, among others. He was widely known and respected in the recording...
Leif Juhl had quite a life in music! As a boy, he picked up a trumpet – the instrument he played past his 100th birthday.  Leif was the ad man for Selmer before forming the Juhl Ad Agency in Elkhart, Indiana. Over the years, he worked for many instrument companies and even helped design some...
Jackie Mills as a drummer put down the beat for jazz and big band stars such as Tommy Dorsey, Charlie Barnet, Dizzy Gillespie and Billie Holiday. As a record producer, he played a critical role in the careers of Janis Joplin, Irene Kral and Bobby Sherman. As the co-founder of Choreo Records (later...
Lee O’Connor was a noted trombone player in the golden era of the big bands. His experience on the radio, traveling from town to town for name and territory bands, reflected the struggles of the Great Depression and the amazing impact music had on people. Lee was hired by Harry James at the most...