Dorian James

The Curry Coastal Pilot

Dorian was born Aug. 29,1921, in Los Angeles, to Daniel and Vivian James. He died Jan. 18, 2013, at his home in Brookings.

At 15, Dorian left school and worked for Western Union Telegraph delivering telegrams. With his first pay he bought a radio and fell in love with pop music and jazz, a love that followed him the rest of his life.

By the time he was 19 he had acquired an alto saxophone and a teacher. After some years, he was playing with notables like Frankie Carle, Perez Prado, Lawrence Welk and others in the twilight years of the Swing Era.

When rock 'n roll began to replace swing, (a "foul step backward," he would say) he worked in the San Francisco area as a technical illustrator until retiring and moving to Brookings in 1977.

It was his great pleasure to help form and work with the Friends of Music Association. He still played clarinet and sax and for a while had a small band that played for dances at the Elks Club and elsewhere. Residents of the Winchuck area may still remember hearing him playing his sax as he drove the road to and from town.

He is survived by Liz, his loving wife of 42 years; sons Steven Harwood and Rudi James; brother Jon Franklin; and grandchildren Michele and Nathan Harwood.

No service is planned, but there will be a private memorial party at his Winchuck home later in the year.

Condolences may be expressed online at

Submitted by Redwood Memorial Chapel.

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