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Charlie Barnet

Born: 
10/26/1913
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Died: 
09/04/1991
Years Active: 
1932-1949
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Charles Daly Barnet was an American jazz saxophonist, composer, and bandleader. His major recordings were "Skyliner", "Cherokee", "The Wrong Idea", "Scotch and Soda", "In a Mizz", and "Southland Shuffle". He was one of the first bandleaders to integrate his band (the year is variously given as 1935 or 1937) and an outspoken admirer of Count Basie and Duke Ellington. Throughout his career he was an opponent of syrupy arrangements. In the song "The Wrong Idea", he lampooned the "sweet" Big Band sound of the era. Barnet's bands were notorious party bands where drinking and vandalism were not uncommon. In 1949 he retired, apparently because he had lost interest in music. He was able to retire when he chose because he was one of the few heirs in a very wealthy family. He occasionally returned from retirement for brief tours but never returned to music full time. Barnet was married eleven times.