Art Jarrett

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b. 20 July 1907, Brooklyn, New York, USA, d. 23 July 1987, Los Angeles, California, USA. Multi-instrumentalist Jarrett played the guitar, banjo and trombone in addition to his abilities as singer and…
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b. 20 July 1907, Brooklyn, New York, USA, d. 23 July 1987, Los Angeles, California, USA. Multi-instrumentalist Jarrett played the guitar, banjo and trombone in addition to his abilities as singer and band leader. He also acted widely in the theatre and in film in the early 30s. His own dance band was inaugurated in January 1935, making its bow at the Blackhawk Restaurant in Chicago, Illinois, USA. The band included Jule Styne, Randy Brooks, James Fitzpatrick, Hal Sharff, Harold Dankers, Les Cooper, Jack Turner, Arthur Owen, Bruce Milligan, Rufus Smith, John Zellner, Floyd Sullivan, Babe Stuart, Ken La Bohn, Emery Kenyon, Sid Nierman and Ken Binford. There were several alternating vocalists: Eleanor Holm (b. 6 December 1913, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA, d. 31 January 2004, Miami, Florida, USA), Jeri Sullivan, Gale Robbins, Doris Singleton, Betty Barrett, Billy Blair, and Jarrett himself. With the Blackhawk Restaurant their most regular venue, the orchestra concentrated on engagements in the Midwest and east coast, specialising in the smooth, sweet style of musical presentation that dominated the period. Their recordings included ‘Everything’s Been Done Before’ and ‘’Neath The Silvery Moon’, issued on Brunswick Records, Columbia Records and Victor Records. They also appeared widely on sponsored radio shows, including The Florsheim Shoe Show, Dr. Pepper Show, Fitch Bandwagon and Coca Cola Spotlight Bands. Eleanor Holm, who was married to Jarrett during the early 30s, was also well known as a swimming star, and left the band in 1936 to take part in the Olympics of that year (she was banned from competing for her ‘sassy’ behaviour on the Atlantic crossing to Germany). By the early 40s Jarrett disbanded his own orchestra to take over the Hal Kemp dance band following their leader’s death. He remained at their helm for many years, before retiring to Yonkers, New York, where he started his own orange juice business.