Last Electrified Tralee with Big Band Sound in ’83

His estimated record sales reached 80 million and his easy-listening music made him a world-wide favourite.
Hans Last was born in 1929 in Bremen, Germany and played in dance bands there after the war. His career really took off after changing his name in the 1960s when he began making instrumental tracks under the name: James Last and His Orchestra.
James Last, the big-band leader and composer died in Florida on Wednesday at 86 years of age.
However, it was for his concert during the 1983 Rose of Tralee Festival in Austin Stack Park that he will always be remembered for here.
An estimated 13,000 people packed the hallowed GAA grounds there and were treated to a live, 42 piece, big band sound most had never heard the likes of before.
It was an ideal, early autumn Sunday evening and Mr. Last respectfully reminded the crowd that the event was being filmed for TV. He advised that stations in many countries around the world would see it and that it should be of great benefit to the local tourism industry, for the festival and for Ireland as a whole.
He won over the crowd very early on with his own arrangements of Irish tunes and later with his appearance in a Kerry, No 21 jersey as he conducted his orchestra in his own arrangement of The Rose of Tralee. He also played a piece of his that had gained great recognition as the signiture tune for The Sunday Game on RTÉ One – which had been on the air for five years at that stage. His final appearance as his orchestra leader was in London in March of this year at the Royal Albert Hall. May he rest in Peace.

Click on the link here to see James Last and his Orchestra in full flight during that 1983 concert in Tralee and, as it was seen abroad: