Harry Betts

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For the professional baseball player, see Harry Betts (baseball).
Betts in c. 1947

Harry Betts (15 September 1922 – 13 July 2012[1]) was a jazz composer and trombonist.


Born in New York and raised in Fresno, California, he was active as a jazz trombonist and played with Stan Kenton's orchestra[2] in the 1950s, among others. His trombone can be heard on the 1959 Verve album by Ella Fitzgerald, Get Happy!


He has written and orchestrated soundtracks for several films, including The Fantastic Plastic Machine and Nice Dreams. Music from his 1972 soundtrack to Black Mama, White Mama was used in the 2003 soundtrack for Kill Bill, Volume 1.

Aside from his work in scoring, he is known for his 1962 album, The Jazz Soul of Doctor Kildare. He did numerous arrangements for singer Jack Jones.[2]

Partial discography[edit]

Stan Kenton, Eddie Safranski, Shelly Manne, Chico Alvarez, Ray Wetzel, Harry Betts, Bob Cooper, and Art Pepper, 1947 or 1948

As sideman[edit]

With Elmer Bernstein

With Bobby Darin

  • Venice Blue (Capitol)

With Fred Katz

With Barney Kessel


  1. ^ "Harry Betts Obituary". Los Angeles Times. 18 July 2012. Retrieved 24 November 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Eder, Bruce. "Harry Betts". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-01-03.