He was one of the first bandleaders to integrate his band; the year is variously given as 1935 or 1937. He was an outspoken admirer of Count Basie and Duke Ellington; Ellington once lent Barnet his charts after Barnet's had been destroyed in a fire. Throughout his career he was an opponent of syrupy arrangements.
In 1949 he retired, apparently because he had lost interest in music; he was able to retire so young because he had been born wealthy. He occasionally returned from retirement for brief tours but never returned to music full time.
Categories: 1913 births | 1991 deaths | Jazz bandleaders | Jazz musicians
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