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Artie Shaw was known for his role as a 1930's and 1940's jazz bandleader and clarinetist, known as the "King of the Clarinet".
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By this time, Shaw felt out of step with the popular trends in music and decided to retire in 1954. He also ended his latest marriage not long after. The couple had a son, Jonathan, before divorcing in 1956.
Devoting himself to writing, Shaw spent several years living in Spain with his eighth wife, actress Evelyn Keyes, whom he married in 1957. He published a collection of novellas entitled I Love You, I Hate You, Drop Dead! in the mid-1960s. In the early 1970s,
Shaw moved to the Californian town of Newbury Park where he lived for the rest of his life. He and wife Evelyn lived separately from 1970 until their divorce in the mid-1980s.
Around this time, Shaw appeared with a band he formed to play his most popular songs and arrangements. He did not, however, lead the group; he had clarinetist Dick Johnson serve as bandleader. In addition to writing a collection of short stories, The Best of Intentions, Shaw also lectured on music and other numerous topics.
In 2004, Shaw received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Recording Academy. He died on December 30 of that year at his Newbury Park home from complications related to diabetes. Shaw once said that his epitaph in Who’s Who should read, “He did the best he could with the material at hand.” He later revised that statement, considering “Go away” more fitting for himself—a cankerous, but unarguably brilliant musician and composer.
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