Thursday, May 23, 2013

May 23: Happy Birthday, Artie Shaw

Artie Shaw was a master of swing, one of the leading bandleaders of the Big Band Era. At the tender age of fifteen, he heard that calling and left his New Haven, CT home to begin making noise. He'd already learned the clarinet and saxophone, and wanted to be a pro.

His Artie Shaw Orchestra utilized the considerable talents of one Billie Holiday, and had a huge hit with "Begin the Beguine."

His notoriety as a bandleader landed him a gig broadcasting on CBS radio from November of '38 'til a year later. His shows were concerts from the Blue Room of the Hotel Lincoln in NYC.

Though he left the business mid-career, Shaw brought joy into the lives of millions with his swinging clarinet. Happy Birthday, Artie!

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