James Elbert Raney (August 20, 1927 – May 9, 1995) was an American jazz guitarist born in Louisville, Kentucky, known for his work from 1951 to 1952 and then from 1953 to 1954 with the Red Norvo trio (replacing Tal Farlow) and, during the same time period, with Stan Getz. In 1954 and 1955, he won the Down Beat Critics' Poll for guitar. Raney worked in a variety of jazz mediums, including cool jazz, bebop, post bop, hard bop, and mainstream jazz.
In 1946, he worked for a time as guitarist with the Max Miller Quartet at Elmer's in Chicago, his first paying gig. Raney also worked in the Artie Shaw Orchestra and collaborated with Woody Herman for nine months in 1948. He also collaborated and recorded with Buddy DeFranco, Al Haig and later on with Bob Brookmeyer. In 1967 alcoholism and other professional difficulties led him to leave New York City and return to his native Louisville. He resurfaced in the 1970s and also did work with his son Doug, who was also a guitarist.
Raney suffered for thirty years from Ménière's disease, a degenerative condition that led to near deafness in both ears, although this did not stop him from playing. He died of heart failure in Louisville on May 10, 1995. His obituary in the New York Times called him "one of the most gifted and influential postwar jazz guitarists in the world".
Birth and Death Data: Born August 20th, 1927 (Louisville), Died May 9th, 1995 (Louisville)
Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1944 - 1950
Roles Represented in DAHR: guitar
|Company||Matrix No.||Size||First Recording Date||Title||Primary Performer||Description||Role||Audio|
|Decca||72160||10-in.||5/24/1944||Two heavens||Jerry Wald Orchestra||instrumentalist, guitar|
|Decca||75639||12/30/1949||Orinoco||Artie Shaw Orchestra||instrumentalist, guitar|
|Decca||75640||12/30/1949||Mucha de nada||Artie Shaw Orchestra||instrumentalist, guitar|
|Decca||75641||1/3/1950||Love is the sweetest thing-1||Artie Shaw Orchestra||instrumentalist, guitar|
|Decca||75642||1/3/1950||I get a kick out of you-2||Artie Shaw Orchestra||instrumentalist, guitar|
|Decca||75677||1/6/1950||There must be something better than love||Gramercy Five ; Artie Shaw||instrumentalist, guitar|
|Decca||75678||1/6/1950||Nothin' from nothin'||Gramercy Five ; Artie Shaw||instrumentalist, guitar|
|Decca||75679||1/6/1950||Love walked in-1||Artie Shaw Orchestra||instrumentalist, guitar|
|Decca||75680||1/6/1950||So easy-2||Artie Shaw Orchestra||instrumentalist, guitar|
|Decca||76079||4/4/1950||He's gone away||Artie Shaw Orchestra||instrumentalist, guitar|
|Decca||76080||4/4/1950||Foggy foggy dew||Artie Shaw Orchestra||instrumentalist, guitar|
|Decca||76081||4/4/1950||The Continental||Artie Shaw Orchestra||instrumentalist, guitar|
|Decca||76082||4/4/1950||I'll remember April||Artie Shaw Orchestra||instrumentalist, guitar|
|Decca||76099||4/7/1950||Crumbum||Gramercy Five ; Artie Shaw||instrumentalist, guitar|
|Decca||76100||4/8/1950||The shekomeko shuffle||Gramercy Five ; Artie Shaw||instrumentalist, guitar|
Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Raney, Jimmy," accessed October 19, 2020, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/339193.
Raney, Jimmy. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved October 19, 2020, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/339193.
"Raney, Jimmy." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 19 October 2020.
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