Billy May

Genres: Comedy Movies Drama Movies Easy Listening Holiday & Seasonal Jazz Musicals & The Arts Mystery & Thriller Movies
Tags: jazz swing easy listening lounge space age pop big band instrumental exotica billy may Powered by AudioScrobbler
Decades: 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s
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Edward William May, 10 November 1916, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, d. 22 January 2004, San Juan Capistrano, California, USA. Although May is best known to international audiences for his arranging and conducting work with Frank Sinatra in the late 50s, he had already been a professional musician for nearly 20 years prior to his first session with Hoboken’s favourite son on 1958’s Come Fly With Me.

The son of a Pittsburgh roofer, May learned to play the tuba as a breathing aid for his asthma. He also played trumpet and trombone in his school band and studied arranging. May’s first impact on the big band scene came in 1938, when he joined the trumpet section of the Charlie Barnet Band and, most notably, began contributing arrangements. Among his best-known charts was Barnet’s hit record of the old Ray Noble song ‘Cherokee’. In 1939, May joined Glenn Miller, bringing a previously absent vitality to the trumpet...

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