[Dixielandjazz] Re: Jews and Jazz

Bill Haesler bhaesler at bigpond.net.au
Thu Oct 6 15:57:12 PDT 2005

> I don't see anyone mentioning it but apparently there's an urban legend
floating around that Harry James was Jewish, which is not correct.<

Dear Robert,
Carl A. Hällström (always a reliable source) mentioned this early in the
current thread.
I had not heard the claim before.
I have just checked the recent Paul J Levinson book ('Trumpet Blues. The
Life of Harry James'. 1999. Oxford University Press).
No mention of a James' family Jewish connection.
His father was born in New Orleans.
His mother was a Catholic and Harry was baptised and educated (for a time)
at St Anthony's Catholic School in Beaumont Texas, where this circus family
had settled.
On his death bed he received communion from Father William Kenny, pastor of
Christ The King Catholic Church.
Kind regards,

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