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Artie Shaw
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    (May 23, 1910-December 30, 2004)
    Raised in New Haven, Connecticut
    Birth name was Arthur Jacob Ashawsky
    Recorded 'Begin the Beguine,' 'Nightmare,' 'Frenesi,' 'Stardust,' 'Concerto for Clarinet,' 'Interlude in B-Flat' and 'If It's You'
    Wrote 'The Trouble with Cinderella,' 'The Best of Intentions' and 'I Love You, I Hate You, Drop Dead!'
    Won a Grammy for lifetime achievement (2004)
    He was married eight times.
    All but one marriage lasted less than 4 years.
    When asked about his marriage to actress Evelyn Keyes, he said: 'I like her very much and she likes me, but we've found it about impossible to live together.'
    He was a compulsive perfectionist and a self-proclaimed 'very difficult man.'
    He often broke up his bands and retired from the music business.
    He hated when fans danced to his music, saying: 'I could never understand why people wanted to dance to my music. I made it good enough to listen to.'
    He walked off a performance at the Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City and fled to Mexico for three months.
    He quit playing the clarinet in 1954 and never played it again.
    He formed the Artie Shaw Orchestra in the 1980's, but he only guest conducted and never performed with it.
    He began playing professionally at age 14.
    He was the first white bandleader to hire a full-time black female vocalist when he hired Billie Holiday.
    He was one of the first jazz leaders to incorporate string instruments and classical music styles with jazz.
    He and his band enlisted in the Navy during World War II and performed for troops in the Pacific.
    He was an outspoken supporter of world peace and social justice.
    He admitted to the House Un-American Activities Committee that he attended a few communist party meetings, saying: 'I hate to admit that I was a dupe, but I guess I was.'
    Despite the media creating a rivalry between him and Benny Goodman, he and Benny had a friendly relationship.
    He had a sense of humor about his marriages, saying: 'It's the music; it's standing up there under the lights. A lot of women just flip; looks have nothing to do with it. You call Mick Jagger good-looking?'

Credit: Call me Calvin

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