Jan August

Musical Artist

1904 – 1976


Who was Jan August?

Jan August was an American pianist and xylophonist. He had a hit with his version of "Misirlou" in 1947 with Carl Frederick Tandberg.

August, who was self-taught and began his career at age 17 in Greenwich Village, had hits with several other songs that blended classical styles and Latin beats. He was discovered in 1946 in a New York City nightclub by an executive for Diamond Records. The executive was so eager to have August with his label, he wrote the recording contract on one of the club's tablecloths. Early in his career August recorded on the Diamond label. He played his hit for the Press Photographers' Ball in Washington D C in 1947, and in turn, Harry S. Truman responded by playing the "Missouri Waltz" for August.

In the early 1950s he was recording on Mercury; one notable Mercury side is a swinging and thoughtful arrangement of "Hot Lips". Later LP albums demonstrated a shift away from August's distinctive earlier style, toward the semi-satirical "honky-tonk" style of the late 50s personified by such artists as Joe "Fingers" Carr.

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Sep 24, 1904
Also known as
  • Jan Auggustoff
  • United States of America
Jan 9, 1976

on July 23, 2013


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