James Last, German Big Band Leader, 86, Dies

James Last has died. He was eighty-sixed at the tome of his death and he was known as a German composer and big band leader during the post-war period, he passed in Palm Beach, Florida at his home. Just last year he had revealed that he was seriously sick. He was known for what became known as “Happy Sound”.

In a statement, his manager said:

“Mr Last passed away yesterday [June 9 2015] in Florida, peacefully and in the presence of his family.”
Born Hans Last on April 17 1929, the man always known to friends as Hansi became highly adept at adapting pop hits to big band arrangements and in his lifetime he sold more than 80 million albums worldwide. He performed about 2,500 live concerts during a career spanning five decades, after clinching his first record deal in 1964.

Also about him, he worked with other musicians, which includes Cliff Richard, Freddy Quinn, Richard Clayderman and René Kollo.

Last modestly explained his musical ability in his 2009 autobiography, stating:

“I am simply lucky enough to be one of the few people in the world who can hear one kind of music and immediately be able to translate it into another without having to think too much about it.”

When he was just a child, he learned to play the tuba and piano and when he was a teen, he played bass.

A public memorial service will take place in Hamburg in the coming weeks.

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