(הועתק מהויקיפדיה האנגלית - בעברית עדיין אין ערך)
James Last (also known as "Hansi", born Hans Last on 17 April 1929 in Bremen) is a German composer and big band leader.
Last's father was an official at the public works department of the city of Bremen and he grew up in the suburb of Sebaldsbrück. He learned to play the piano from the age of 12, then switched to double bass as a teenager. His home city was heavily bombed in World War II and he ran messages to air defence command posts during raids. At 14 he was entered in the Bückeburg Military Music School of the German Wehrmacht.
After the fall of the Nazis, he joined Hans-Gunther Österreich's Radio Bremen Dance Orchestra in 1946. In 1948, he became the leader of the Last-Becker Ensemble, which performed for seven years. During that time, he was voted as the best bassist in the country by a German jazz poll for three consecutive years, from 1950–1952. After the Last-Becker Ensemble disbanded, he became the in-house arranger for Polydor Records, as well as for a number of European radio stations. For the next decade, he helped arrange hits for artists like Helmut Zacharias, Freddy Quinn, Lolita, Alfred Hause and Caterina Valente.
Last first released albums in the U.S. under the titles The American Patrol on Warner Brothers around 1964. He also released a series of 9 albums in a series called Classics Up To Date vols. 1–9 which served up arrangements of classical melodies with strings, rhythm and wordless chorus from the mid sixties through the early seventies. Last released an album, Non-Stop Dancing, in 1965, 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 190 records, including several more volumes of Non-Stop Dancing. On these records, he varies 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 in the 1970s with guests ABBA and Lynsey de Paul.
Though his concerts and albums are consistently successful—especially in the United Kingdom, where he had 52 hit albums between 1967 and 1986, which made him second only to Elvis Presley in charting recordsתבנית:Citation needed—he has only had two hit singles with "The Seduction", the theme from American Gigolo (1980) composed by Giorgio Moroder, and "Biscaya" from the album Biscaya. The song "The Lonely Shepherd", was not written by Last, as many erroneously believe. It was written by an unknown artist. However, on many records he claims the credit for it. This very little known song was performed by Gheorghe Zamfir for over three decades before Tarantino had decided to use it in his film. Only then James Last Orchestra has done an improvised recording with Gheorghe Zamfir, which was featured in the soundtrack to Quentin Tarantino's film Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003).
He has won numerous popular and professional awards, including Billboard magazine's Star of the Year trophy in 1976, and has been honoured for lifetime achievement with the German ECHO prize in 1994. His song "Music from Across the Way" (recorded by Andy Williams in 1972) is a melody with a classical feeling and was a worldwide hit.
Last has a large fan base in Europe and elsewhere. His trademark is big band arrangements of pop music hits; his series of party albums is equally well known. Over the course of his career, he has sold well over 100 million albums.תבנית:Citation needed
European concert dates For April 2011 have been advertised.
Last divides his time between Florida and Germany. He gives much credit to his wife and son, who help with his music.
Productions of James Last: (As Hans Last, Orlando and James Last)
- James Last Orchestra
- List of best-selling music artists