Charles Daly Barnet (October 26, 1913 – September 4, 1991) was an American jazz saxophonist, composer, and bandleader.
His major recordings were "Skyliner", "Cherokee", "The Wrong Idea", "Scotch and Soda", "In a Mizz", and "Southland Shuffle".
Charlie Barnet was born in New York City. His parents divorced when he was two, and he was raised by his mother and her grandparents. His grandfather was Charles Frederick Daly, a vice-president for the New York Central Railroad, banker, and businessman.
Barnet attended various boarding schools, both in the New York and Chicago areas. He learned to play piano and saxophone as a child. He often left school to listen to music and to try to gain work as a musician.
Although he began his recording career in October, 1933, Charlie Barnet was at the height of his popularity between 1939 and 1941, a period that began with his hit version of "Cherokee", written by Ray Noble and arranged by Billy May. In 1944, Barnet had another big hit with "Skyliner". In 1947, he started to switch from swing music to bebop. During his swing period his band included Buddy DeFranco, Roy Eldridge, Neal Hefti, Lena Horne, Barney Kessel, Dodo Marmorosa, Oscar Pettiford, and Art House, while later versions of the band included Maynard Ferguson, Doc Severinsen, and Clark Terry. Trumpeter Billy May was an arranger in the Charlie Barnet Orchestra before joining Glenn Miller in 1940.
He was one of the first bandleaders to integrate his band; the year is variously given as 1935 or 1937. He was an outspoken admirer of Count Basie and Duke Ellington. Ellington would record the Charlie Barnet composition "In a Mizz". In 1939, Basie lent Barnet his charts after Barnet's had been destroyed in a fire at the Palomar Hotel in Los Angeles. Throughout his career he was an opponent of syrupy arrangements. In the song "The Wrong Idea", he lampooned the "sweet" Big Band sound of the era. The song was written by Billy May, who later used the same satirical bent in his collaborations with Stan Freberg on Capitol records including the Lawrence Welk satire "Wunnerful! Wunnerful!" Barnet's was a notorious party band where drinking and vandalism were not uncommon. While Glenn Miller enforced strict standards of dress and deportment, Barnet was more interested in having fun, according to his autobiography "The Swinging Years."
In 1949 he retired, apparently because he had lost interest in music. He was able to retire when he chose because he was one of the few heirs in a very wealthy family. He occasionally returned from retirement for brief tours but never returned to music full time.
In September 1964, Barnet arranged a private party for his musical hero, Duke Ellington and orchestra to play at Palm Spring's San Jacinto country club. At the door, a small sign painted by Barnet said, "any complaints about loud music or requests for excessive use of mutes will be grounds for instant expulsion (to a table in the parking lot). Any requests for folk music, twist, watusi, or rock and roll will result in instant execution by golf balls at 20 paces". Barnet did not play at the gathering.
Barnet was married eleven times and in his 1984 autobiography says, "I went through several more marital fiascos, but they were mostly Mexican marriages and quickly annulled, because they weren't legal in the first place.." His final marriage to Betty was for 33 years. He had one son, Charles D. Barnet, jr, form an earlier marriage. During retirement, Barnet resided at homes in Palm Springs and San Diego, California. He kept a 46 foot boat in San Diego.
Barnet died from complications of Alzheimer's disease and pneumonia at San Diego's Hillside hospital, September 4, 1991
Charles Daly Barnet, (nacido el 26 de octubre de 1913 en Nueva York y fallecido el 4 de septiembre de 1991), fue un saxofonista y director de orquesta norteamericano de Jazz.
Comenzó su carrera musical a los dieciséis años, actuando en el Waldorf Astoria (1929) y formando después un grupo con el tocó durante varios años, a comienzos de la década de 1930, en barcos de crucero, por el Atlántico y el Mediterráneo, tocando preferentemente el saxo tenor. Después, tocó con Frank Winegar y participó en algunas orquestas (Beasley Smith, Jack Purvis...). En 1933 forma su primera big band, en un estilo muy influenciado por la de Duke Ellington, aunque solía interpretar arreglos de Fletcher Henderson, Don Redman o Benny Carter. Tocando ya el saxo alto, dirigió su orquesta durante más de tres decenios, y fue la primera banda blanca en tocar en el Apollo de Harlem (1934),1 a la vez que, en contra del racismo tan asentado de la época, incluyó con frecuencia músicos negros en su banda, no sólo como invitados (como fue el caso de sus contrincantes Benny Goodman y Artie Shaw), sino como miembros de las secciones instrumentales: Charlie Shavers, Trummy Young, Roy Eldridge, Oscar Pettiford, Lena Horne y muchos otros.
A partir de 1935, comienza a aparecer en numerosos films de Hollywood, especialmente durante los años 1940, lo que le proporcionó gran proyección, reforzando el gran éxito que obtuvo su banda en 1939, Cherokee. Sin embargo, a partir de finales de los años 1950, Barnet se alejó de la escena musical,
apareciendo solo de forma fugaz en locales de Nueva York y Las Vegas, aunque sus numerosos matrimonios y divorcios estuvieron presentes en los medios de prensa.