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.

Read more

Discography

Videos

Similar

Benny Goodman Benny Goodman
clarinet
Stan Kenton Stan Kenton
piano
Artie Shaw Artie Shaw
clarinet
Woody Herman Woody Herman
band/orchestra
Ray Anthony Ray Anthony
trumpet
Lalo Schifrin Lalo Schifrin
band/orchestra
Les Brown Les Brown
composer/conductor
Jack Costanzo Jack Costanzo
bongos
Nelson Riddle Nelson Riddle
arranger

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!