Louie Bellson Said It


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"You can imagine the excitement that Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson created. That's the reaction that big bands had in those days. When Harry James played Two O'clock Jump, You Made Me Love You or Bugle Call Rag, people just freaked out. They just stopped while they were dancing to listen. We would play before 3,000 people at the Palladium, but I remember some of those navy and air force bases where we played before fourteen or fifteen thousand people. It was just a sea of faces. The excitement came from the music and the reaction of the people. They hung onto every note. They were up on the records, and they were up on what Harry was about."

--Drummer Louie Bellson on playing in Harry James' band, from Trumpet Blues: The Life of Harry James by Peter J. Levinson

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This story appears courtesy of JazzWax by Marc Myers.
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