Artie Shaw 1910-2004
December 31, 2004 5:15 AM   Subscribe

Artie Shaw has died at age 94. An era continues to fade away into memory.
posted by bluedaniel (18 comments total)
Apologies in advance. Seems the second link (NYTimes) needs a login. Odd, it didn't require that when I included it in the initial post, and I wasn't logged in myself at the time. Curious.
posted by bluedaniel at 5:33 AM on December 31, 2004

BBC Obituary
posted by hardcode at 5:35 AM on December 31, 2004

To avoid having to login you can always go via Google News, here's the result of a search I just did.
posted by hardcode at 5:46 AM on December 31, 2004

A thoughtful, irascible man and a great musician. He lived a nice long life and was able to see an excellent self-selected "best-of" CD box get rave reviews; good for him.
posted by languagehat at 6:06 AM on December 31, 2004

I have plenty of Shaw in my collection (mostly on vinyl), and he was as good as swing got, which is to say,'s a matter of taste, I think, as to who was the better, he or Benny Goodman. Goodman's technique was phenomenal, and his clarity amazing...Shaw was a bit more lyrical and inventive...but both were simply marvelous.

Shaw is given (properly) credit for having the first black singer (Billie Holliday) in an otherwise all-white band, but Goodman deserves accolades for bringing Teddy Wilson and Lionel Hampton (on piano and vibes, respectively) into his band when strictly segregated bands were the order of the day. And let's don't forget that Benny brought the young and tremendously influential guitarist Charlie Christian into his sextet, too.
posted by 1016 at 6:07 AM on December 31, 2004

posted by drezdn at 6:21 AM on December 31, 2004

posted by miss lynnster at 6:41 AM on December 31, 2004

[When posting a NYT article, use the handy New York Times link generator to avoid requiring registration.]
posted by monju_bosatsu at 7:23 AM on December 31, 2004

monju_bosatsu - thanks for the tip on the NYT link generator!
posted by ericb at 7:55 AM on December 31, 2004

Cheers monju. That IS very handy indeed. Though I normally avoid posting content that is available direct at resources such as NYTimes (do I?! I dunno now, must. have. coffee. please. ), every now and then it's appropriate, and I wasn't aware of the link generator until now. Thanks again!
posted by bluedaniel at 8:03 AM on December 31, 2004

A fine musician and a breath of fresh air in the claustrophobic world of entertainment - a man who spoke his mind before it was fashionable, and who had a mind to boot. Any man who would change his chosen epitaph from "He did the best he could with the material at hand" to "Leave me alone" is my kind of guy.
posted by QuietDesperation at 8:51 AM on December 31, 2004

Forgive the error - of course, his epitaph was "Go away" -- even better.
posted by QuietDesperation at 8:58 AM on December 31, 2004

Shaw, often married, had once said that When you know the marriage is over, pack a bag, call your lawyer, and call a cab.

I told that to my divor e lawyer: he said: you can pack a bag but you can not afford a cab after you see my bill.
posted by Postroad at 8:58 AM on December 31, 2004

posted by Shane at 10:15 AM on December 31, 2004

Shaw, often married,

To Lana Turner and Ava Gardner, no less!

A great musician. Farewell, Mr. Shaw...
posted by pmurray63 at 12:43 PM on December 31, 2004

The numbness I'm feeling here is just awful. I'd like to say, "yeah, Artie Shaw, a great man," and pay some sort of respects, but it means nothing at the moment, with everything that's going on... not to mention the fact that somebody we all know seems to die every damned second now.

It can only suffice for me to say that, someday, years from now, I'll throw on one of his records on accident, and I'll remember how he died in such strange days. bluedaniel has my sentiment right on: every moment we see the past dying around us. I only hope a few more of us can slow down enough to notice it: these were some pretty damned great people we're losing, and Artie was one of the best.
posted by koeselitz at 9:19 PM on December 31, 2004

I knew someone who served with Artie Shaw in WWII. He told me that once, when they were sharing a bathroom break, Shaw turned to him and said, "Wanna see what's been inside Lana Turner?"
posted by joaquim at 10:45 PM on December 31, 2004

Here's a look at his unconventional approach to stardom ("jitterbuggers are morons"). A fascinating fellow.
posted by ibmcginty at 2:37 PM on January 1, 2005

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