Harry Haag James (March 15, 1916 - July 5, 1983) was a popular United States musician and band leader, and a well known trumpet virtuoso.
Harry James was born in Albany, Georgia, the son of a bandleader of a traveling circus. By age 10 he was taking trumpet lessons from his father.
In 1931 the family settled in Beaumont, Texas and James began playing with local dance bands. James joined the nationally popular Ben Pollack in 1935. At the start of 1937 he left Pollack to join Benny Goodman's orchestra, where he stayed through 1938.
In February of 1939 Harry James debuted his own big band in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He continued touring with the band into the 1960s.
His was the first "name band" to employ vocalist Frank Sinatra, in 1939.
In 1943 he married actress Betty Grable.
James recorded many popular records and appeared in many Hollywood movies.
Harry James played his last professional job on 26 June, 1983 in Los Angeles, California. He died less than two weeks later in Las Vegas, Nevada.