Heinie Beau (March 8, 1911, Mount Calvary, Wisconsin – April 18, 1987, Burbank, California)[1] was an American jazz composer, arranger, saxophonist and clarinetist, most notable for his swing clarinet work and recordings done with Tommy Dorsey, Peggy Lee, Frank Sinatra and Red Nichols.[1] Living in Hollywood, California, Beau worked as an arranger and musician on television, radio and recordings, including contributing classic charts to Sinatra's Capitol repertoire.[1] Beau wrote the big band arrangement of "Lean Baby", the first single Sinatra recorded for Capitol in 1953. Beau had also recorded extensively in Europe, touring areas such as London.

Beau came from a musical family – both parents and all eight siblings played various instruments. At the age of 15, while still in high school, he joined the family dance band, the Wally Beau Orchestra, which played at numerous venues in the Midwest during the 1930s and 1940s. Beau's brothers Wally and Harvey, along with sister Marie, were part of the group, along with other musicians such as Rollie Culver.

His work can be heard on an early Ella Fitzgerald recording of "Would You Like to Take a Walk?", along with Dave Barbour and his Orchestra, on Decca from 1951. In 1959, he recorded Moviesville Jazz for Coral. Beau arranged and conducted for composer Wayne Shanklin on the 1959 hit, "The Big Hurt", for Toni Fisher on Signet Records, arranged and conducted on Fisher's Signet LP, and released an English version of Marguerite Monot's "Milord" as "Your Royal Majesty".

He ghost-arranged for Axel Stordahl and Billy May on Frank Sinatra recordings.[2]

In 1980, he and his wife, Grace, formed their own label, Henri Records, and recorded three albums entitled Hollywood Jazz Quartet in 1980, Blues for Two with Eddie Miller in 1982 and Midnight Clarinet with Bob Havens in 1984.

Personal life

Beau married Grace Burleton, of Oakfield, Wisconsin, in 1936. They had two daughters, Marguerite and Claudia.[3][4]


  1. ^ a b c Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 202. ISBN 0-85112-939-0.
  2. ^ Schwartz, Jonathan (1995). "Sinatra: In the Wee Small Hours". In Petkov, Steven; Mustazza, Leonard (eds.). The Frank Sinatra Reader. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 249. ISBN 0-19-509531-6.
  3. ^ "Jazz, Big Band Clarinetist Henry Beau Dies". Apnews.com. Retrieved August 14, 2021.
  4. ^ "HENRY (HEINIE) BEAU - The Washington Post | HighBeam Research". Web.archive.org. 16 April 2016. Retrieved August 14, 2021.