b. 7 Dec 1906, Beggs, Oklahoma, USA. After shifting to St. Louis, Missouri, like a youngsters, James started playing clarinet and different saxophones with well-known local rings, including some of these organized by music group service provider Charlie Creath for function in resorts and on riverboats. In the past due 20s James attempted his fortune in Chicago where he used Jimmie Noone and in addition led his personal small clothing. In 1931 he became a member of Louis Armstrong for a number of months, then performed in several New York rings like the Savoy Bearcats, Fat Waller, Wayne P. Johnson, Benny Carter, and Teddy Wilson. After a spell with Lucky Millinder he led his personal bands in NY and additional eastern cities through the early 40s. In the middle-40s he was with Claude Hopkins, Noble Sissle as well as others before developing a music group of his personal, which he continuing to business lead intermittently through the next 2 decades. Through the 70s and early 80s he became popular internationally through travels as an associate of Clyde Bernhardt’s Harlem Blues And Jazz Music group. James was a reliable sideman and may also deliver great solos when the chance or want arose. Certainly, his alto playing is among the features of Armstrong’s 1931 recordings using what was in any other case a rather second-rate band.