Durante 1981, cuando Harry James viajó a Buenos Aires para realizar uno de sus últimos conciertos por Argentina, éste le regaló a Fats Fernandez un modelo Harry James de trompeta King (Instrumento que utiliza por ejemplo en el tema Chorinho para el Conde, que da comienzo al disco Cuore)
He played himself in the film biography The Benny Goodman Story in 1955, the same year that, having moved to Capitol Records, he released Harry James in Hi-Fi, an album of re-recordings of his hits that reached the Top Ten in November. (The 1999 compilation Trumpet Blues: The Best of Harry James combines tracks from this album and its follow-up, More Harry James in Hi-Fi.) By now, he was deliberately trying to make his band sound like Count Basie's. He was back onscreen in November 1956 in the film The Opposite Sex. He made his first major tour of Europe in October 1957, and in ensuing years he alternated national and international tours with lengthy engagements at Las Vegas hotels. There were two more film appearances, The Big Beat (June 1958) and The Ladies Man (July 1961). James performed regularly through the early '80s. He was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer in 1983, but continued to play, making his last appearance only nine days before his death at 67. Led by trumpeter Art Depew, his band continued to perform. No one questioned James' talent as a jazz trumpeter, though after his commercial ascendance in 1941 many jazz critics dismissed him. After his period of greatest success, he turned back to a more jazz-oriented style, which failed to change the overall impression of him, if only because he was no longer as much in the public eye. Nevertheless, his swing hits remain among the most popular music of the era. In addition to the Columbia recordings from his heyday, there are numerous other titles in his discography, notably many airchecks, though his recordings of the '50s are also worth seeking out.
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