Harry Betts

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For the professional baseball player, see Harry Betts (baseball).
Harry Betts
Harry Betts5354793210 c856efdba2 o.jpg
Betts in c. 1947
Background information
Born (1922-09-15)September 15, 1922
New York
Died July 13, 2012(2012-07-13) (aged 89)
Instruments Trombone
Associated acts tan Kenton

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 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 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.