James Last was a German big-band leader with a large fan base in Europe, although he never had a comparable following in the United States. Last's trademark was arranging pop hits in a big-band style; his series of "party albums" became equally well-known. Over the course of his career, he sold well over 50 million albums. Last learned how to play piano as child, switching to bass as a teenager. He joined Hans-Gunther Oesterreich's Radio Bremen Dance Orchestra in 1946, when he was 17 years old. In 1948, he became the leader of the Becker-Last Ensemble, which performed for seven years. During that time, he was voted as the best bassist in the country by a German jazz poll for three consecutive years, from 1950-1952. After the disbandment of the Becker-Last Ensemble, he became the in-house arranger for Polydor Records, as well as for a ...
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