Initially a jazz bassist Last won the award for "best bassist" in Germany in each of the years — his trademark "happy music" made his numerous albums best-sellers in Germany and the United Kingdomwith 65 of his albums reaching the charts in the UK alone. Last's trademark sound employed big band arrangements of well-known tunes with a jaunty dance beat, often heavy on bass and brass. His first music teacher felt he lacked any musical talent. Last started playing more actively with his second tutor and switched to the double bass as a teenager.
His home city of Bremen was bombed heavily during World War IIand he ran messages to air defence command posts during the raids. In he became the leader of the Last-Becker Ensemblewhich Wheels - James Last Band* - Trumpet À Gogo for seven years. He was voted as the best bassist in Puhu Hiljaa Rakkaudesta - Jari Sillanpää - Hän Kertoo Sen Sävelin country in a German jazz poll forand When the Last-Becker Ensemble disbanded, he became the in-house arranger for Polydor Recordsas well as a number of European radio stations.
Last Wheels - James Last Band* - Trumpet À Gogo released albums in the U. Records around He also released a series of nine albums in a series called Classics Up To Date which served up arrangements of classical melodies with strings, rhythm and wordless chorus from the mids until the early s. Last's album, Non-Stop Dancingwas a recording of brief renditions of popular songs, all tied together by an insistent dance beat and crowd noises.
It was a hit and helped make him a major European star. Over the next four decades, Last released over records, including several more volumes of Non-Stop Dancing. On these records, he varied his formula by adding different songs from different countries and genres, as well as guest performers like Richard Clayderman and Astrud Gilberto. He also had his own successful television series throughout the s with guests including ABBA and Lynsey de Paul which was screened across Europe. Though his concerts and albums were consistently successful, especially in the UK, where he had 52 hit albums between andwhich made him second only to Elvis Presley in charting records,  he had relatively few hit singles.
His single "Mornings at Seven" became a familiar tune in Britain after the BBC used it as the theme music for an ice skating program. Last was somewhat more successful on the singles charts.
He won numerous popular and professional awards, including Billboard magazine's Star of the Year trophy inand was honoured for lifetime achievement with Giolito Y Su Combo - Cosecha Tropical German ECHO prize in His song "Music from Across the Way" recorded by Andy Williams in is a melody with a classical feeling and was a worldwide hit; it was the only other Last single apart from "The Seduction" to reach the U.
Hotwhere it peaked at No. His only other U. Last was awarded the Carl Alan Award by Princess Margaret for being the leader of the most popular dance band of By the time of his farewell tour in the spring ofLast was reported to have sold well over million albums.
His signature piece was " Orange Blossom Special ". He played this at almost every concert. He encouraged the band to have fun with Wheels - James Last Band* - Trumpet À Gogo and sometimes the band members would go into the audience and make a conga line with duck head umbrellas. It was always a popular piece at his concerts. In Februaryafter almost 50 years on tour, James Last announced that he was finally bidding adieu to the stage. Last married his first wife, Waltraud, in ; they had two Dear Jill - Various - British Blues Adventures Vol.1, Ronald and Caterina.
Despite being the "most commercially successful bandleader" of the second half of the 20th century,  Last's extravagant spending and "incompetent" financial advice led him at one stage to the "brink of ruin" financially. In September Last learned that a "life threatening" illness had worsened the exact details were never disclosedand in early I Would Only Smile - Paul McCartney - Cold Cuts (Another, Early Version) announced his retirement from touring would take place following a final "goodbye tour", which commenced in Germany and ended in London.
Asked if he minded being labelled the "King of Corn", Last reportedly replied "No, because it is true. List of awards: . From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. German musician Europa - Europawelle Saar. Goldenes GrammophonMunich. Goldene Westfalenhalle. Award from Cashbox for The Seduction for the best instrumental production of the year. Goldene Stimmgabel from ZDF Goldene Eins Echo Life Award Goldene Europa Retrieved Retrieved 7 February The Guardian.
The Speers* - Interceding, Um Bayo - Ed Watson And Brass Circle* - Just A Little Bit, Live @ OJC Kompas - Various - 13th Independent Music & Arts Festival (VHS), Die Fidelen Limburger - Der Große Polka-Spaß