German composer and Big Band leader James Last died on 9 June 2015 in Florida after battling a short illness. He was 86. He sold more than 80 million records worldwide and was best known for pop hits in a big-band style.
James was born as Hans Last in the northern city of Bremen in 1929 and was originally a piano player. He began his musical career after World War II and performed about 2500 live concerts during a career spanning some six decades.
Initially, he arranged music for the likes of Freddy Quinn, Caterina Valente and Helmut Zacharias but later he went on to write original songs. His first album titled Non Stop Dancing was released in 1965.
He was also famous for his easy-listening recordings of pop hits which included Creedence Clearwater Revival's Proud Mary.
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