George Barnes

Real Name:
George Barnes
Profile:
American swing jazz guitarist, born July 17, 1921 - South Chicago Heights, Illinois, USA - died September 5, 1977 - Concord, California, USA.
He started his professional career at the age of 12, when he received his musicians' union card, and toured throughout the Midwest. By the time he was 14, he was accompanying blues vocalists such as Big Bill Broonzy and Blind John Davis. On March 1, 1938, he recorded "Sweetheart Land" and "It's a Lowdown Dirty Shame" with Broonzy, the first commercial recordings of an electric guitar. Later in 1938, he was hired as a staff musician for the NBC orchestra, and became a featured performer on the radio shows National Barn Dance and Plantation Party.

In 1940, Barnes released his first recording under his own name on Okeh Records, "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles" backed with "I Can't Believe That You're In Love With Me".
Barnes was drafted into the Army in 1942. Immediately after his discharge in 1946, Barnes formed The George Barnes Octet.
He and his wife, Evelyn Lorraine Triplett, married in Chicago on January 17, 1947.
In 1951, Barnes was signed to Decca Records by Milt Gabler and moved from Chicago to New York City. In 1953, he joined the orchestra for the television show, Your Hit Parade. The band was conducted by Raymond Scott and Barnes was a featured soloist. Barnes, Scott, and vocalist Dorothy Collins (Scott's wife) also recorded together.
In addition to being a well-known jazz musician, Barnes also made a living as a New York studio musician, and played on hundreds of albums and jingles from the early 1950s through the late 1960s. Barnes was primarily a swing jazz guitarist, but could play in any style, as evidenced by his work on The Jodimars [2] Barnes participated in hundreds of pop, rock and R&B recording sessions: he was a regular guitar player on most of The Coasters' hit records produced by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, he provided the guitar solo for the Connie Francis hit "Lipstick on Your Collar (song)," and he can be heard on The Drifters' version of "This Magic Moment" and Jackie Wilson's "Lonely Teardrops".

Barnes recorded three albums for Mercury Records. The latter two recordings contained Barnes' unique orchestrations with 10 guitars, also known as his "guitar choir," which utilized the guitars as a horn section. They were two in a series of Mercury albums that used an early 1960's state-of-the-art recording technique known as "Perfect Presence Sound."
His albums with his guitar duo partner Carl Kress received national acclaim in the early 1960s.
After the 1965 death of Kress, Barnes formed another guitar duo with Bucky Pizzarelli. Their partnership lasted from 1969-1972, and they recorded two albums.
In 1973, Barnes created a partnership with cornetist Ruby Braff.
From 1973 until 1977, Barnes recorded several well-received albums for Concord Jazz under his own name, as well as with the quartet he had formed with Braff.
Barnes and his wife, Evelyn, had left New York City after his last European tour in 1975 to live and work in the San Francisco Bay Area. Barnes died of a heart attack in Concord, California in 1977, at the age of 56.

Barnes' style took shape before the development of bebop, and he remained a swing stylist throughout his career. His lines were usually short, very melodic, bluesy and "inside" (i.e. diatonic) as compared to the chromaticism and long lines of bop era guitarists. His improvisations often employed call and response phrases, and his tone was clearer, cleaner and brighter than many other jazz guitarists (such as Joe Pass or Jim Hall) and reflected his "happy" approach to music.
Not long before his death, he recorded three live albums -- two produced from a concert at San Francisco club Bimbo's 365, the other at The Willows Theatre in Concord, California. The albums are good examples of his swinging, happy and often mischievous style. The albums also include his banter with the audience, and his introductions of tunes and his band, giving the listener a glimpse into his sense of humor.
In 1942, Barnes wrote the first electric guitar method, The George Barnes Electric Guitar Method, published by Wm. J. Smith. In 1961, he wrote and recorded for Music Minus One, George Barnes' Living Guitar Method; The Easy Way to Learn All the Chords and Rhythms and Ten Duets for Two Guitars (recorded with his partner Carl Kress). In 1965, he wrote How to Arrange for Solo Guitar, published by Peermusic. He also produced the first guitar course offered on cassette tape, The Great George Barnes Guitar Course, published in 1970 by Prentice Hall.
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Albums

George Barnes - Guitars - By George! album art George Barnes Guitars - By George! (Album) Decca US 1958 Sell This Version
George Barnes - Guitar Galaxies album art George Barnes Guitar Galaxies (Album) Mercury UK 1960 Sell This Version
George Barnes - Guitars Galore album art George Barnes Guitars Galore (Album) Mercury Netherlands 1961 Sell This Version
George Barnes - Town Hall Concert album art George Barnes, Carl Kress George Barnes, Carl Kress - Town Hall Concert (Album) United Artists Records US 1963 Sell This Version
George Barnes - Something Tender album art Bud Freeman And Two Guitars George Barnes . Carl Kress Bud Freeman And Two Guitars George Barnes . Carl Kress - Something Tender (Album) United Artists Jazz Canada 1962 Sell This Version
MIS 3 George Barnes - Informal Sessions at Squirrel's - The Early Years, Vol. 1 album art Squirrel Ashcraft, Roy Bargy, George Barnes, Floyd Bean, Boyce Brown, Spencer Clark (2), Ormond Downes, Wade Foster, Jack Gardner, Bobby Hackett, Jack Howe, Hank Isaacs, Howard E. Kennedy, James "Rosy" McHargue, Jimmy McPartland, Paul Mares, Johnny Mercer, Prof. William Priestley, Joe Rushton, Bud Wilson (2), The Bobcats (2) Squirrel Ashcraft, Roy Bargy, George Barnes, Floyd Bean, Boyce Brown, Spencer Clark (2), Ormond Downes, Wade Foster, Jack Gardner, Bobby Hackett, Jack Howe, Hank Isaacs, Howard E. Kennedy, James "Rosy" McHargue, Jimmy McPartland, Paul Mares, Johnny Mercer, Prof. William Priestley, Joe Rushton, Bud Wilson (2), The Bobcats (2) - Informal Sessions at Squirrel's - The Early Years, Vol. 1(LP) MIS Records MIS 3 US 1967 Sell This Version
George Barnes - Guitars Pure And Honest album art George Barnes & Bucky Pizzarelli George Barnes & Bucky Pizzarelli - Guitars Pure And Honest (Album) A&R US 1971 Sell This Version
George Barnes - Gems album art Joe Venuti And George Barnes Joe Venuti And George Barnes - Gems (Album) Concord Jazz Italy 1975 Sell This Version
George Barnes - Guitars, Anyone? Why Not Start At The Top? album art George Barnes And Carl Kress George Barnes And Carl Kress - Guitars, Anyone? Why Not Start At The Top? (Album) Carney Records US 1963 Sell This Version
George Barnes - Live At The Concord Summer Festival album art Joe Venuti, George Barnes Joe Venuti, George Barnes - Live At The Concord Summer Festival (Album) Concord Jazz US 1977 Sell This Version
George Barnes - Plays So Good album art George Barnes Plays So Good (Album) Concord Jazz US 1978 Sell This Version
ST-228, ST228 George Barnes - Two Guitars And A Horn (Volume II) album art Carl Kress / George Barnes / Bud Freeman Carl Kress / George Barnes / Bud Freeman - Two Guitars And A Horn (Volume II)(LP, Album) Stash Records, Stash Records ST-228, ST228 US 1983 Sell This Version
ST-222 George Barnes - Two Guitars Volume 1 album art Carl Kress And George Barnes Carl Kress And George Barnes - Two Guitars Volume 1(LP, Album) Stash Records ST-222 US 1983 Sell This Version
George Barnes - Back In Country Style album art The Dinning Sisters Featuring George Barnes The Dinning Sisters Featuring George Barnes - Back In Country Style (Album, Comp) Jasmine Records UK 2012 Sell This Version
George Barnes - How To Play The Guitar album art George Barnes, Bob Mersey* George Barnes, Bob Mersey* - How To Play The Guitar Music Minus One US Unknown Sell This Version
MMO 4011 George Barnes - Ten Duets For Two Guitars album art George Barnes And Carl Kress George Barnes And Carl Kress - Ten Duets For Two Guitars(LP) Music Minus One MMO 4011 US Unknown Sell This Version
MG 25158 George Barnes - Jazz Vignettes album art George Barnes / Bud Freeman George Barnes / Bud Freeman - Jazz Vignettes(10") Mercury MG 25158 US Unknown Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

George Barnes - Hot Guitar Polka / Clarinet Polka album art George Barnes Hot Guitar Polka / Clarinet Polka Decca US 1951 Sell This Version
George Barnes - Tiger Rag / State Street Boogie album art George Barnes Tiger Rag / State Street Boogie (Single) Decca US 1952 Sell This Version
107 George Barnes - Mountain High - Valley Low / Crazy Rhythm album art Dorothy Collins, George Barnes Dorothy Collins, George Barnes - Mountain High - Valley Low / Crazy Rhythm(10", Single, Promo) Audivox 107 US 1954 Sell This Version
George Barnes - Around The World / Tammy album art George Barnes Around The World / Tammy (Single) Decca US 1957 Sell This Version
71968 George Barnes - Spooky / Trainsville album art George Barnes Spooky / Trainsville(7", Promo) Mercury 71968 US 1962 Sell This Version
45-1005 George Barnes - Watusi For Luci album art George Barnes And Carl Kress George Barnes And Carl Kress - Watusi For Luci(7", Promo) Carney Records 45-1005 US 1965 Sell This Version
none George Barnes - Guitar Aptitude Test album art George Barnes Guitar Aptitude Test(7") Not On Label none US 1969 Sell This Version
35 678 A George Barnes - W h o / Hot Lips album art The Charleston City All Stars* mit E. Light* und C. Margulis*, B. Byrne*, M. Yanier*, E. Watson*, P. Ricci*, N. Perito*, G. Barnes*, J. Lesberg*, T. Snyder* The Charleston City All Stars* mit E. Light* und C. Margulis*, B. Byrne*, M. Yanier*, E. Watson*, P. Ricci*, N. Perito*, G. Barnes*, J. Lesberg*, T. Snyder* - W h o / Hot Lips(7", Single) Ariola 35 678 A Germany Unknown Sell This Version