James Last was a German composer and big band leader of the James Last Orchestra. James Last was born on April 17, 1929, and he was initially a jazz bassist. Between 1950 and 1952, James Last won the award of Best Bassist in Germany in each year and he had the trademark ‘Happy Music’.
His albums were very successful in Germany and in the United Kingdom. As a matter of fact, 65 albums of James Last were able to make it onto the charts in the UK alone. Without a doubt, James Last is believed to have sold at least 200 million records all over the world.
He is also known to have received numerous awards which include 200 gold and 14 platinum discs in Germany. James Last also won the international MIDEM Prize at MIDEM in 1969 as well as the Bundesverdienstkreuz (order of the Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany) in 1978. It must be noted that James Last’s album, This is James Last remained a UK best-seller for 48 weeks
The parents of James Last were Louis and Martha Last. James Last was also the younger brother of Robert Last and Werner Last. It must be noted that the father of James Last was an official at the Postal and Public Works department of the city of Bremen.
James Last grew up in Sebaldsbruck and started learning to play the piano at age 10. At age 14, he enrolled at the Buckeburg Military Music School and learned to play the bass, piano and tuba.
James Last joined the Radio Bremen Dance Orchestra. In 1948, James Last became the leader of the Last-Becker Orchestra which was active for seven years by way of performances. He became the in-house arranger for Polydor Records and was also associated with some European radio stations.
He arranged the works of artists such as Helmut Zacharias, Freddy Quinn and a host of others.
James Last Cause of Death
James Last had a life-threatening sickness and in September 2014, he realized that his sickness had become worse. Due to the sickness, he retired in 2015. James Last died on June 9, 2015, in Florida. He was 86 years old at the time of death due to the life-threatening sickness he was experiencing.
James Last got married to Waitraud in 1955 and they had two children; Ronald and Caterina. Waitraud died in 1997. About two years later, James Last married Christine Grundner from Bavaria.