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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Albums

[no cover]
The Green Hornet...
Victor
2006
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Studio Recordings 1951-1953
Studio Recordings...
Capitol Records
2003
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[no cover]
The Ultimate Billy May
Victor
2002
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[no cover]
Red Roses / South Of...
Victor
1972
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[no cover]
Today!
Victor
1966
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[no cover]
Johnny Cool
Victor
1963
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Videos

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