[Dixielandjazz] Fw: Artie Shaw RIP

Stan Brager sbrager at socal.rr.com
Thu Dec 30 16:12:49 PST 2004

Sad news indeed. Artie Shaw has passed away at 94.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Hans Christian Dörrscheidt" <hcd at imail.de>
To: "LYM" <duke-lym at concordia.ca>
Sent: Thursday, December 30, 2004 3:01 PM
Subject: OT: Artie Shaw RIP

> http://tinyurl.com/5uqrp
> Jazz Giant Artie Shaw Dies at Age 94
> Thu Dec 30, 2004 05:33 PM ET
> By Arthur Spiegelman
> LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Jazz clarinetist Artie Shaw, famed for his classic
> recordings of "Begin the Beguine" and "Lady Be Good" as well as turbulent
> marriages to movie stars Lana Turner and Ava Gardner, died on Thursday at
> age 94, his manager Will Curtis said.
> One of the giants of swing era jazz and a crusty, self-declared
> perfectionist, Shaw put down the clarinet in 1954 and never played it
> saying he could not reach the level of artistry he desired.
> But in 1981, he ended a long musical intermission by reorganizing a band
> that bore his name and played his music -- but with another clarinetist,
> Dick Johnson, leading the orchestra and playing the solos.
> Shaw traveled with the orchestra as a guest host and sometime conductor of
> the band's signature opening number, "Nightmare."
> His 1938 recording of "Begin the Beguine" made him a national figure and a
> rival to another clarinet legend Benny Goodman. Shaw's bands in the 1930s
> and '40s featured a Who's Who of jazz greats, including Billie Holiday,
> Buddy Rich, Roy Eldridge and "Hot Lips" Page. At his height, he earned
> $30,000 a week, a huge sum for the Depression Era.
> Shaw called himself a difficult man, a view his eight former wives,
> including actresses Evelyn Keyes, Ava Gardner and Lana Turner, might have
> agreed with. He recalled once almost erupting when a woman asked if he
> play something with a Latin beat.
> In a 1985 interview with Reuters, Shaw said he gave up playing when he
> decided he was aiming for a perfection that could kill him.
> "I am compulsive. I sought perfection. I was constantly miserable. I was
> seeking a constantly receding horizon. So I quit," he said.
> "It was like cutting off an arm that had gangrene. I had to cut it off to
> live. I'd be dead if I didn't stop. The better I got, the higher I aimed.
> People loved what I did, but I had grown past it. I got to the point where
> was walking in my own footsteps," he said in that interview.
> So Shaw became a musical recluse, showing up as a guest on television game
> shows, writing an autobiography and a novel, traveling and lecturing.
> But starting in the 1980s, Shaw returned to the road with his revived band
> as its host and sometime conductor of its opening number before turning
> to Johnson.
> Among his other famous songs were "Lady Be Good," "Indian Love Call" or
> "Frenesi."

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