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Nat Shilkret and his Orchestra, James Lewis vocal – Rio Rita (1927)


Nathaniel Shilkret (December 25, 1889 February 18, 1982) was born in New York, to an Austrian immigrant family. He was an American composer, conductor, clarinetist, pianist, business executive (A&R man), and music director (Victor, RKO and MGM). Shilkret was part of a very musically inclined family. His father played almost every instrument, and made certain that Nat and his three brothers were all accomplished musicians at an early age. Older brother Lew Shilkret was a fine pianist, but also worked in the insurance industry. Younger brother Jack Shilkret has a career that paralleled Nathaniel’s career: he played clarinet and piano, recorded extensively, and conducted and played piano on the radio and in motion pictures. The youngest brother Harry Shilkret was a medical doctor, who worked his way through school playing trumpet, and continued to play trumpet frequently in Nathaniel’s orchestras, particularly for radio broadcasts, long after he was a practicing allergist. Nathaniel Shilkret’s brother-in-law, Nathaniel Finston, was violinist in many organizations in his youth and was musical director for Paramount and later for MGM, at one time being Nathaniel Shilkret’s boss. Shilkret was a child prodigy, touring the country with the New York Boys’ Orchestra from the ages of seven to thirteen as their clarinet soloist. From his late teens to mid-twenties he was a clarinetist in the best New York music organizations, including the New York Philharmonic Society (under Vassily

  • rogharm posted: 10 Nov at 5:24 pm

    great arrangement found this treasure by accident. my good fortune. love the record the great singer nice snappy arrangement. great phrasing by phrasing. love cymbal clashes. typical late 1920’s great arrangement. is it foxtrot or tango? rated 11+ROGHARM

  • JSLLH posted: 10 Nov at 5:48 pm

    talk about a productive life and career hey ? wow , this brilliant man and musician , among other things , sure kept himself and others busy ! thanks for this great artist , song , and info !

  • vinylsingleman posted: 10 Nov at 6:14 pm

    I believe you mean Lewis James, not James Lewis, for the vocalist. Thanks for posting.

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