Interesting Facts about Artie Shaw


  • Artie Shaw was a precision marksman, ranking fourth in the United States in 1962, and an expert fly fisherman, dairy farmer, and film producer
  • In 2004 Artie Shaw received Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • At the height of his popularity, Artie Shaw earned up to $60,000 per week.
  • On the eve of World War II, Time magazine reported that to Germans America meant “skyscrapers, Clark Gable and Artie Shaw.”
  • Shaw was president of a film distribution company named ‘Artixo Productions, Ltd.’ “Artixó”, the Catalan word for artichoke, is pronounced much like “Artie Show”
  • Shaw purchased the US distribution rights to a British crime drama titled ‘Séance On A Wet Afternoon‘, starring Kim Stanley and Richard Attenborough that won the 1965 Edgar Award for Best Foreign Film.
  • The library of the University of Arizona holds Artie Shaw’s collection of scores
  • Cole Porter – who lived in New Haven while attending Yale – said the secret to hit music was to write Jewish songs. Begin the Beguine, like many of Porter’s
    hits, has an unmistakable eastern Mediterranean, minor key melody.
  • Producer Irving Mansfield described Frank Sinatra as being obsessed with the thought that his wife, Ava Gardner, was having an affair with her former husband, Artie Shaw. He often started shouting about this on the set of the television show when he phoned his home and could not reach Gardner.
  • In October 1954 Artie Shaw played his last gig at the old Embers Club on 52d Street in New York.  He put down his clarinet that night and never picked it up again.
  • On February 8, 1960 Artie Shaw was awarded with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1709 Vine Street for the category of Recording. 
  • In 1983 Artie Shaw appointed Dick Johnson to lead the Artie Shaw Orchestra.  After Artie’s death Johnson surmised that the reason Artie so abruptly left the music industry was because after World War II Artie had lost teeth and was never able to play the clarinet quite the same again.
  • Artie Shaw received eight gold record plaques at a special luncheon held by RCA Victor in 1962. The inscription on the back of each read, “This award is presented to Artie Shaw in recognition of his major contribution to popular music and to commemorate his 25th year of association with the company, with sincere
    appreciation for the many millions of his records sold on the RCA Victor label.” All eight titles were certified by the RIAA, and it was reported that Shaw’s total sales to date were 43 million.
  • Artie Shaw’s Picardy Farm was located “four miles south of Pine Plains on route 82” a few hills down the road from Shekomeko, Dutchess County, New York.
  • One of Artie Shaw’s two favorite clarinets was a 1938 B-flat Buffet-Crampon & Cie, serial number 22457, made in Paris, France, which Artie gifted to The Smithsonian Institution.
  • One of Artie Shaw’s two favorite clarinets was a 1945 B-flat Henri Selmer, serial number M6727, made in Paris, France, which Artie gifted to The Smithsonian Institution.
  • Lee Wiley was one of Artie Shaw’s favorite singers. Wiley’s 1939 version of  ‘I’ve Got a Crush On You’ was played at the close of Artie’s funeral service on January 5, 2005
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