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Biography

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Overview (4)

Born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA
Died in New York City, New York, USA  (leukemia)
Birth NameJames Andrew Rushing
Nickname Mr. Five By Five

Mini Bio (1)

James Andrew Rushing was a blues and jazz singer and pianist who was best known as the featured vocalist of the Count Basie and His Orchestra from 1935 to 1948. Jimmy Rushing was known as "Mr. Five by Five" and was the subject of an eponymous 1942 popular song that was a hit for Harry James and others.

Born in Oklahoma City on August 26, 1903 into a family with musical proclivities, Rushing's father was a trumpeter and his mother and brother were singers. Young Jimmy took to the family vocation and was a success, touring the Mid-West and California as an itinerant blues singer in the years 1923 and 1924 before moving to Los Angeles, California, where he sang with 'Jelly Roll Morton'. Rushing got a gig singing with the Billy King before moving on to Walter Page's Blue Devils in 1927. He, along with other members of the Blue Devils, defected to the Bennie Moten band in 1929.

Moten died in 1935, and Rushing joined 'Count Basie" for what would be a 13-yera gig. Due to his tutelage under his mentor Moten, Rushing was a proponent of the Kansas City jump blues tradition, best evinced by his performances of "Sent For You Yesterday" and "Boogie Woogie" for the Count Basie Orchestra. After leaving Basie, his recording career soared, as a solo and with other bands. He appeared with the Count Basie and His Orchestra in 1954 on "The Tonight Show" with Steve Allen.

After becoming ill with leukemia in 1971, Rushing's performing career ended. He died on June 8, 1972 in New York, New York and was buried at the Maple Grove Cemetery, Kew Gardens, in Queens, New York.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jon C. Hopwood

Spouse (1)

Connie (1945 - 8 June 1972) ( his death) ( 2 children)

Trivia (3)

Jazz vocalist.
Inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame in 1988.
"Mr. Five by Five" is a 1944 popular song by Don Raye and Gene de Paul that celebrates the heavyset Rushing, "Mr. Five by Five" himself, who was the featured vocalist of Count Basie and His Orchestra from 1935 to 1948. The song was introduced in the Universal Pictures films Behind the Eight Ball (1942) and Who Done It? (1942). Ella Mae Morse with Freddie Slack's Orchestra had a hit recording with the song in 1942 (Capitol 115), as did Harry James and His Orchestra on the Columbia label that year.

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