DescriptionHarry James Personally Owned and Stage-Played Trumpet. This is as good as it gets: Harry James owned and played this trumpet until he gave it to bandleader Joe Cabot in 1982. Performing with Cabot's orchestra that year, the legendary musician played the opening and closing numbers of each show with this King trumpet. In a typically generous move, James handed the trumpet to Cabot while onstage, with a note taped to the bell reading: "To Joe from your friend Harry. Enjoy." The gift was prompted by an incident during one of the shows when Cabot (also a trumpet player) left his horn off-stage and missed a solo. Not wanting to borrow James' personal trumpet for the solo, Cabot had another player cover for him. James was inspired to give the horn to his good friend Cabot shortly thereafter, joking: "Now when I want to play it, I'm going to have to ask you." The trumpet has not been altered since that moment; nothing has been replaced, even the water key corks are still the same.
Custom-made per James' specs, the B-flat horn has an enlarged bell and is a "balanced action" model: the valves were specifically positioned closer to the main tuning slide to accommodate James' long arms. Included in the lot is James' original double-cup Parduba mouthpiece, which was with the trumpet when James handed the horn to Cabot. With medium and large bores, it's a dual-bore horn, thus the "DB" stamped on the second valve. Also stamped on the second valve is the King serial number 472894, establishing its manufacture year as 1970. Engraved along the bell is the King logo and Harry's signature.
James' distinctions were many -- including being the first bandleader to hire Frank Sinatra (in 1939), the man who married blonde and leggy pin-up girl Betty Grable (in 1943), and a bandleader who was a movie star himself in such films as Bathing Beauty (1944). Though James had a
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