Charlie Barnet

Charlie Barnet Picture

Charlie Barnet was a popular bandleader and saxophonist who started recording in the 1930's but really didn't hit his stride until the 1940's.  Some of his well known recordings were "Skyliner", "Cherokee", "The Wrong Idea", "Scotch and Soda", "In a Mizz", and "Southland Shuffle".

Barnet came from an affluent family which wanted him to pursue a career as a lawyer but Charlie was drawn to music.

As I stated above, Charlie Barnet's music career went into full gear in the early 40's.  He released his hit "Cherokee" and at this time also released his "Redskin Rhumba" (which is one of my personal favorites by him.)

He was one of the first bandleaders to integrate his band. He was an outspoken admirer of Count Basie and Duke Ellington. Ellington recorded the Charlie Barnet composition "In a Mizz".

Listen to "Cherokee" performed by Charlie Barnet

Barnet's band was a notorious party band where drinking and vandalism were a common occurrence. The structure of his band was quite different from some of the other popular bands of the time. Other band leaders, Glenn Miller for example, enforced strict standards of dress and behavior, Barnet was more interested in having fun, according to his autobiography The Swinging Years.

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. A non- musical but interesting fact was that Charlie got married eleven times.

Charlie was defiantly cut from a different cloth but I encourage you to listen to his music and catch his music here on Swing City Radio.

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