Harry Betts

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Harry Betts
Betts, c. 1947
Betts, c. 1947
Background information
Born(1922-09-15)September 15, 1922
New York, U.S.
DiedJuly 13, 2012(2012-07-13) (aged 89)
Occupation(s)Musician, arranger

Harry Betts (September 15, 1922 – July 13, 2012) was an American jazz trombonist.[1]


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


He wrote and orchestrated soundtracks for several films, including A Swingin' Summer (1965), The Big Mouth (1967), A Time for Dying (1969), The Fantastic Plastic Machine (1969), Goodnight, My Love (1972), Black Mama White Mama (1972), Little Cigars (1973) and Nice Dreams (1981). Music from his score to Black Mama White Mama was used in the 2003 soundtrack for Kill Bill, Volume 1.

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


Stan Kenton, Eddie Safranski, Shelly Manne, Chico Alvarez, Ray Wetzel, Harry Betts, Bob Cooper, and Art Pepper, 1947 or 1948
  • The Jazz Soul of Dr. Kildare (Ava, 1962)

As sideman[edit]

With Elmer Bernstein

With Bobby Darin

  • Venice Blue (Capitol)

With Fred Katz

With Stan Kenton

With Barney Kessel

With Shorty Rogers

With Pete Rugolo


  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.