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Charlie Barnet

Charlie Barnet was unusual in several ways. One of the few jazzmen to be born a millionaire, Barnet was a bit of a playboy throughout his life, ending up with a countless number of ex-wives and anecdotes. He was one of the few white big band leaders of the swing era to openly embrace the music of Duke Ellington (he also greatly admired Count Basie). Barnet was a pioneer in leading integrated bands (as early as 1935). And, although chiefly a tenor saxophonist (where he developed an original sound out of the style of Coleman Hawkins), Barnet was an effective emulator of Johnny Hodges on alto in addition to being virtually the only soprano player (other than Sidney Bechet) in the 1930s and '40s.

And yet Charlie Barnet was only significant in jazz for about a decade (1939-1949). Although his family wanted him to be a lawyer, he was a professional musician by the time he was 16 and ironically in his career made more money than he would have in business. Barnet arrived in New York in 1932 and started leading bands on records the following year, but his career was quite erratic until 1939. Many of Barnet's early records are worthy but some are quite commercial as he attempted to find a niche. Best is a sideman appearance on a 1934 Red Norvo date that also includes Artie Shaw and Teddy Wilson.

In 1939, with the hit recording of "Cherokee" and a very successful run at the Famous Door in New York, Charlie Barnet soon became a household name. In addition to the fine trumpeter Bobby Burnet (who soloed on many of Barnet's Bluebird records), such sidemen as guitarist Bus Etri; drummer Cliff Leeman; singers Lena Horne, Francis Wayne, and Kay Starr; pianist Dodo Marmarosa; clarinetist Buddy DeFranco; guitarist Barney Kessel; and even trumpeter Roy Eldridge spent time with Barnet's bands. Although at the height of his popularity during 1939-1942 (when his orchestra could often play a close imitation of Ellington's), Barnet's recordings for Decca during 1942-1946 were also of great interest with "Skyliner" being a best-seller.

By 1947 Barnet was starting to look toward bop. Clark Terry was his star trumpeter that year, and in 1949 his screaming trumpet section included Maynard Ferguson, Doc Severinsen, Rolf Ericson, and Ray Wetzel. Barnet, however, soon lost interest and near the end of 1949 he broke up his band. Semi-retired throughout the remainder of his life, Charlie Barnet occasionally led swing-oriented big bands during short tours and appearances, making his last recording in 1966. ~ Scott Yanow
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: ?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! (Digitally Remastered)

1. Murder At Peyton Hall

2. Tappin' At The Tappa

3. Cherokee Raid

4. The Great Gong Of Hong Kong

5. East Side - West Side

6. The Jazz Skyliner

7. Coachella Blue

8. Leapin' At The Lincoln

9. Mood Indigo

10. Time's A-Wastin'

x

Track List: Cherokee / Redskin Rhumba - Single

1. Cherokee / Redskin Rhumba

2. East Side, West Side

x

Track List: More Charlie Barnet And His Orchestra (Digitally Remastered)

1. Evergreens

2. Stardust

3. Take The "A" Train

4. Goodbye

5. Early Autumn

6. Flying Home

7. I Can't Get Started

8. Begin The Beguine

9. Darn That Dream

10. Midnight Sun

11. One O'Clock Jump

12. Harlem Nocturne

x

Track List: Redskin Rhumba - From The Archives (Digitally Remastered)

1. Cherokee / Redskin Rhumba

2. Smiles

3. Serenade To May

4. Moten Swing

5. East Side, West Side

6. Charleston Alley

7. Blue Juice

8. Wild Mab Of The Fishpond

9. Southern Fried

10. Begin The Beguine

x

Track List: Let's Blow The Blues

1. Who's Your Hoosier

2. Blue Hound Bus Greys

3. Things Ain't What They Used To Be

4. Argo

5. Keep The Home Fires Burning

6. Let's Blow The Blues

7. Rhubarb

8. Swingin' Down The Lane

9. Lumby

10. Blue Rose

11. Hear Me Talking To You

12. Lemon Twist

x

Track List: Harlem Speaks

1. Harlem Speaks

2. Wild Mab Of The Fish Pond

3. Phyllyse

4. The Gal From Joe's

5. Haunted Town

6. Good-For-Nothin' Joe

7. Wings Over Manhattan

8. Afternoon Of A Moax

9. Leapin' At The Lincoln

10. Echoes Of Harlem

11. Lament For A Lost Love

12. Spanish Kick

13. The Wrong Idea

x

Track List: The Duke's Ideas

1. The Gal From Joe's

2. Echoes Of Harlem

3. Midweek Function

4. Ebony Rhapsody

5. Lament For A Lost Love

6. It's A Wonderful World

7. Rockin' In Rhythm

8. Pompton Turnpike

9. The Duke's Idea

10. The Sergeant Was Shy

11. Ring Dem Bells

12. Phyllysse

13. Merry-Go-Round

14. Birmingham Breakdown

15. Harlem Speaks

16. Mother Fuzzy

x

Track List: Echoes Of Harlem: Part 1

1. The Gal From Joe's

2. Echoes Of Harlem

3. Midweek Function

4. Ebony Rhapsody

5. Lament For A Lost Love (Solace)

6. The Duke's Idea

7. Leapin' At The Lincoln

8. Afternoon Of A Moax (Shake, Rattle & Roll)

9. Rockin' In Rhythm

10. Pompton Turnpike

11. The Seargeant Was Shy

12. Ring Dem Bells

x

Track List: Echoes Of Harlem Vol 2

1. Wild Mab Of The Fish Pond

2. Wings Over Manhattan (part 1)

3. Wings Over Manhattan (part 2)

4. Merry-go-round

5. Spanish Kick

6. Harlem Speaks

7. Things Ain't What They Used To Be

8. Washington Whirligig

9. The Moose

10. Pow Wow

11. Drop Me Off In Harlem

12. Gulf Coast Blues

13. Skyliner

x

Track List: Rabble Rouser

1. Rabble Rouser

2. Satin Doll

3. Bali Buck Dance

4. Something To Live For

5. Upper Manhattan Medical

6. Strip City

7. Snowfall

8. Introduction To An Ending

9. 'Deed I Do

10. Boomerang

x

Track List: The Everest Years

1. Cherokee / Redskin Rhumba

2. Sereande To May (Wings Over Manhattan)

3. Moten Swing

4. Pompton Turnpike

5. East Side, West Side

6. Charleston Alley

7. Skyliner

8. Blue Juice

9. Wild Mab Of The Fishpond

10. Southern

11. Smiles

12. Evergreens

13. Stardust

14. Take The 'A' Train

15. Goodbye

16. Early Autumn

17. Flying Home

18. I Can't Get Started

19. Begin The Beguine

20. Darn That Dream

21. Midnight Sun

22. One O'Clock Jump

23. Harlem Nocturne

x

Track List: Cherokee Revisited

1. Cherokee

2. Serenade To May

3. Moten Swing

4. Pompton Turnpike

5. Eastside, Westside

6. Charleston Alley

7. Skyline

8. Blue Juice

9. Southern Fried

10. Smiles

11. Swing & Sweat

12. Stardust

13. Take The A Train

14. Goodbye

15. Early Autumn

16. Flying Home

17. I Can't Get Started

18. Begin The Beguine

19. Darn That Dream

20. Midnight Sun

21. One O'Clock Jump

22. Harlem Nocturne

23. Track 23

x

Track List: Lullaby In Rhythm

1. Make Believe Ballroom

2. Lullaby In Rhythm

3. Stop, Look And Listen

4. Prelude To A Kiss

5. In A Jam

6. Prelude In C Sharp Minor

7. Ya Got Me

8. Chatterbox

9. Blue Turning Grey Over You

10. Undecided

11. Harmony In Harlem

12. I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart

13. You Got To My Head

14. Rock It For Me

15. Jump Jump's Here

x

Track List: The Chronological 1940

x

Track List: Those Swinging Years

1. Redskin Rhumba

2. Jeep Is Jumpin'

3. In A Mellow Tone

4. Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall

5. Yalta

6. The Great Lie

7. Blue Moon

8. E-Bob-O-Lee-Bob

9. Mellow Mood

10. In There

11. You Always Hurt The One You Love

12. Xango

13. Gulf Coast Blues

14. I Like To Riff

15. Bakiff

16. Drop Me Off In Harlem

x

Track List: Drop Me Off In Harlem

19. Zanesville Zohio

x

Track List: Town Hall Jazz Concert

5. Blue Moon

7. Rockin' In Rhythm

9. My Old Flame

10. Caravan

11. Andy's Boogie

12. Pompton Turnpike

13. Cherokee/Redskin Rhumba

14. Skyliner

15. East Side West Side

16. Terry Tune

17. Things Ain't What They Used To Be

Comments

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Gulf Coast Blues.
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dave5962
The one white band about which Malcolm X had anything good to say.
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kck j kujv
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breese913
The WWII Museum in New Orleans has a GREAT swing band.
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How can a guy get a job, getting paid to listen to this music? I know it sounds silly, however there must be a way......... . .
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@DaParkbrau man...Right on!
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These were the good old days of big bands......T h e y were all very good, It's hard to pick the best one. Simply a matter of what you like......Th i s is one station that you can listen to all day and never get tired of the sound....... . t h a n k s Pandora.
Report as inappropriate
achalfen
who is the female vocalist on 720 in the book?
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A great bandleader loved his soprano sax sound.
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The best years of music were the 40's and 50's.....Not h i n g has ever come close.....Ou r country was united....we helped one another....w e were one big family....Th e music was perfect in every way......swi n g . . . c o u n t r y . . . . b l u e s . . . . . p a t r i o t i c . . . . y o u name it.....The singers were great....the bands were awesome..... . W e were ONE people...... however....I have one question.... . . W H A T HAPPENED???? ? . . . M o n a
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Nostalgia unlimited.
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If it is a big band, I love it, regardless of the leader. They are all wonderful. In my 91 years I have never heard one that I could say was really bad. Some jujst better arranged than others. My memory banks are still chock full of that great swing and jazz era. I even like Wayne King and that awful C Melody sax...which incidentally was the instrument I learned on before switching to clarinet and tenor sax.
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One of his best.
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A musical colleague of mine, Grant Flemming, blew sax with Charlie Barnet's band in the 40s and occasionally in the 50s. Grant passed a few years ago at age 98. Grant loved to tell about his fond memories with Barnet's band. R.I.P. Grant Flemming!
Report as inappropriate
abigail_rose _ h
First of all, ...and anecdotes- what a euphemism! Also, this man was a great artist- you can tell he did it for the fun & the love of music just by the sound. As for him being born wealthy & leading integration among big bands? Well, it just goes to show that you can change the world for the better when you don't have to worry about getting paid.
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ka6pjl.ture
Does any one remember the years that he played at the Cotton Club in Los Angeles? It was a great experience.
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Great, Great Music!!!!! Born in 1927 (i5 now) I miss those days of the 20s, 30s, and 40s!! And I swear that music kept me alive in WWII. Giving me somethig to live for. In my hearafter I pray the music will be available there... Semper Fi !!!!!!. And Thanks...... . . .
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Out of sight...
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charles.zimm e r m a n n 4
Wish I was born a jazzman millionaire. . . -_-*
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Stick to music commentary and not one's private life.

Judge not, lest ye be judged.
Report as inappropriate
billgander
My favorite vocal group "The Skyliners" were named in 1958 by their manager Joe Rock for jazz orchestra leader Charlie Barnett’s theme song “Skyliner”.

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What a great band. I have some 78rpm recordings by him in the early 30s when he was running a "sweet" band under the name The Charles Barnett Orchestra.
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I ONCE HAD A 78 RECORD FEATURING MAYNARD PLAYINNG "OVER THE RAINBOW" & ON THE FLIP SIDE WAS "ALL THE THINGS YOU ARE". I CAN'T FIND THIS RECORD ANYWHERE.
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I have several 78rpm discs with Charlie's first band in the early 30s. It was very much a commercial outfit. One of the tunes is "Baby Take A Bow" - the Shirley Temple tune. He was billed as Charles Barnett & His Orchestra in those early days.
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Lived thru the great Big Band Days, WW2, all that. Still love the greatest music of all time. Keeps me dancin yet in my aging years. Thanks!!
Report as inappropriate
If only all great--or not so great musicians could be born millionairs they/we could concentrate strictly on our instrument(s ) and the opposite sex--in that order and be as happy as Charlie--for g e t it--bread is groovey but does not necessarily make the inspired musician--
Report as inappropriate
cancemi
One of his best but rarely,if ever, heard recordings, is Deep Purple. A treat if you can find it! His was one of the great swing bands!
Report as inappropriate
ONE OF MY FAVORITE BANDS,SO MANY GREAT SONGS,TAKES ME BACK TO THE "BIG BAND DAYS",WISH THEY COULD ALL COME BACK,DURING THE 2ND WORLD WAR THERE WERE ALOT OF BANDS JUST LIKE THIS ONE..BUT CHARLIE BARNET WAS ONE OF MY FAVORITE
BANDS,NEVER SAW HIM IN PERSON BUT HAVE ALOT OF HIS TOP SONGS,WHICH WERE MANY,THANKS PANDORA..... . . . . . . . . .
Report as inappropriate
I'm really enjoying this treat / I played a lots of his arr. / keep up the great music/

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