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Billy May

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Primary Instrument: Composer/conductor

Born: November 10, 1916 | Died: January 22, 2004    

Billy May

The last of the great arrangers who wrote regularly for Frank Sinatra, Billy May had several varied careers in and out of jazz. His first notable gig was as an arranger/trumpeter with Charlie Barnet (1938-1940), for whom he wrote the wah-wah-ing hit arrangement of Ray Noble's “Cherokee.”

Later, he worked in the same capacities for Glenn Miller (1940-1942) and Les Brown (1942) before settling into staff jobs, first at NBC studios, then at Capitol Records, where he led his own studio big band from 1951 to 1954. His arrangements for Sinatra, beginning with Come Fly With Me (1957) and ending with Trilogy (1979), are often in a walloping, brassy, even taunting swing mode, generating some of the singer's most swaggering vocals....
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  • The Green Hornet (Original Television Soundtrack)

    Victor
    2006
    BUY
  • The Ultimate Billy May

    Victor
    2002
    BUY
  • Red Roses / South Of The Border

    Victor
    1972
    BUY
  • Today!

    Victor
    1966
    BUY
  • Johnny Cool

    Victor
    1963
    BUY
  • Bill's Bag

    Victor
    1963
    BUY
  • Pow!

    Victor
    1962
    BUY
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Featured recording “Studio Recordings 1951-1953”

Studio Recordings 1951-1953
Capitol Records (2003)

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