Charlie Barnet

An Illustrated Biography and Discography of the Swing Era Big Band Leader

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About the Book

Saxophonist Charlie Barnet (1913–1991) scrabbled for jobs both as a sideman and as a leader. His concern was not so much attracting a broad public or making a lot of money, but instead to form bands with a strong musical content that were somewhere between the out-and-out jazz bands and the commercially successful bands of his day. His musicians and arrangements were his own choices and he was able to put together a good mix of lead men and soloists, rhythm section players, and talented arrangers along with his own voice and saxophone playing. Charlie’s solos were good for their time and caught the ears of popular music reviewers. Many photographs and illustrations (including some rare) accompany this full account of his life and career.
The discography provides such information as the names of the songs, arrangers, musicians, and vocalists, record company and number, and brief commentary. Song title, name and program indexes and an album listing accompany the text.

About the Author(s)

The late Dan Mather was a librarian and avid record collector. He lived in Bellingham, Washington.

Bibliographic Details

Dan Mather
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 240
Bibliographic Info: 32 photos, bibliography, indexes
Copyright Date: 2008 [2002]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3761-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      vii

Acknowledgments      ix

Abbreviations      xi

1. Sideman, 1913–1932      1

2. Leader, 1933–1937      8

3. Cherokee—The Billy May Band, 1939–1941      32

4. Skyliner—The Andy Gibson Band, 1942–1945      68

5. Things Ain’t What They Used to Be, 1946–1948      105

6. Be-bop Spoken Here, 1949      126

7. Barnetology, 1950–1966      137

8. The Last Jump, 1967      73

9. In a Mellow Tone, 1967–1991      177

Between pages 180 and 181 are 16 pages containing 32 photographs.

Postscript      181

Album Listing      183

Pseudo-Charlie      204

Bibliography      209

Recording Units Index      211

Program Index      213

Song Title Index      215

Name Index      221

Book Reviews & Awards

Winner, ARSC Award for Excellence
“really delivers the goods…unique…pertinent and crazy accounts of Barnet and his band. Great photos and use of clippings…never dull”—Classic Images; “a full account of the life and career of Barnet with an up-to-date discography…recommended”—ARBA.