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Benny. Goodman Classics







tompin’ at the Savoy

Bugle Call Rag

th Harry James Gene King Porter Stomp Avalon


Exclusive trade mark of Columbia Records

By George Avakian

This album commemorates one of the high spots of Benny Goodman’s fabulous career, the release in 1956 of Universal Pictures’ motion picture, “The Benny Goodman Story,” with Steve Allen playing the role of the clarinetist who made the entire world aware of swing music.

Fats Waller once told a young lady who wanted to know what swing was, “If you got to ask, you'll never know.”’ The recordings in this col- lection are definition enough. They constitute eleven of the most prominently featured selec- tions in ““The Benny Goodman Story,” in origina] recordings by the Goodman Orchestra, Quartet, and Sextet. All but two are “‘in person”’ record- ings, made either at the famous 1938 Carnegie Hall concert or from radio broadcasts by the original band.

The set, appropriately enough, opens with Benny’s theme, Let’s Dance. It is a Fletcher Henderson arrangement based on Carl Maria von Weber’s Invitation to the Dance, made for Benny’s appearances on the Saturday night “‘Let’s Dance’”’ programs of 1934 and 1935. This was a radio show, three hours long, which was a prime factor in launching Benny on a national scale, although it was not until the band hit the Palomar Ball- room in Hollywood in the summer of 1935 that it achieved the beginnings of the fabulous success that made Benny world renowned as “‘The King of Swing.”

Stompin’ at the Savoy, dedicated to the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem, was one of the first instru- mentals of the swing era. This version, by the Quartet, is from the Carnegie Hall performance.

Memories of You comes from a studio recording made by the Sextet when it included Charlie Christian on guitar. Charlie’s influence on later jazz has been profound, although he died when


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Let’s Dance

Stompin’ at the Savoy Memories of You

King Porter Stomp

Down South Camp Meetin’


Original Performances of the Benny Goodman Classics in Swing

One O’Clock Jump Avalon

Bugle Call Rag Don’t Be That Way Moonglow

Sing Sing Sing

he was only 24 (in 1942). Lester Young, and later Charlie Parker, form with Christian the basic influence on present-day “‘modern jazz.’’ Charlie played pretty as well as with significance, as this version of Memories of You, which runs ¢con- stantly through the film as a sort of theme, so clearly shows.

Jelly Roll Morton’s King Porter and Fletcher

Henderson’s Down South Camp Meetin’ are two

of the band’s finest vehicles. Both are arranged

by Fletcher, who was the backbone of the band’s *““‘book,”’ and both come from 1937 radio broadcasts.

One O’Clock Jump, from the Carnegie Hall con- cert, is the Count Basie classic which is perhaps

_the best-known blues from the swing era. This

version runs six and a half minutes, and is an ideal demonstration of the rocking swing that the Goodman barid could generate, given the combi- nation of. first-class material, an enthusiastic audience, and elbow room in which to operate.

From later in the same concert comes Avalon, one of the showpieces of the Quartet. It is a rare combination of inspired improvisation and pre- conceived arrangement; the downward figures toward the end are played with as much abandon as the ad lib solos, although they are, of course, worked out in advance.

Dean Kincaide’s arrangement of Bugle Call Rag

has been a Goodman stand-by for many years,

but never as excitingly on records as this 1937

version from a late evening radio pick-up. Don’t.

Be That Way, which opened the Carnegie Hall concert, is an Edgar Sampson score which pro- vides a running theme in the movie; one of Benny’s strongest personal characteristics is per- sistence, and throughout the film he is constantly subjected to well-meaning advice from others to give up his belief that he can make a success of leading a band that plays swing instead of com- mercial dance music. ‘“‘Don’t be that way,’’ he

This record is a precision-made product.

BENNY GOODMAN, his Orchestra, Quartet and Sextet featuring Harry James, Gene Krupa, Lionel Hampton and Teddy Wilson and many others

is told at every turn; but it is by being that way he finally achieves his goal.

Will Hudson and Eddie De Lange’s lovely Moonglow was one of the Quartet’s earliest and best ‘‘mood” pieces; this version is also one of the air checks of 19 years ago. The closing num- ber in this collection, of course, is the all-time *‘killer-diller,’’ the piece which topped the Car- negie Hall program and is the climax of the movie, Sing Sing Sing. It started out as just

another pop tune arrangement, but gradually it

developed into a series of elaborate solo and ensemble passages (none of which were ever written down, but grew out of various ideas within each section) held together by Gene Krupa’s drum solos. The other solos, by Babe Russin, Harry James, Benny, and Jess Stacy, are all classics, but Krupa’s drums set into motion a whole concept of showmanship in jazz which has a powerful influence (sometimes for better, sometimes for worse). ~

Complete personnels for this album follow in chronological order:

King Porter Stomp, Down South Camp Meetin’,

and Bugle Call Rag were recorded in 1937 during radio broadcasts, by Benny Goodman (clarinet); Harry James, ChrisGriffin, and Ziggy Elman (trum- pets); Red Ballard and Murray MacEachern (trombones); Hymie Shertzer, George Koenig, Art Rollini, and Vido Musso (saxes); Jess Stacy (piano); Allen Reuss (guitar); Harry Goodman (bass); Gene Krupa (drums).

Moonglow was also made on a 1937 broadcast by Benny Goodman (clarinet); Lionel Hampton (vibraphone); Teddy Wilson (piano); Gene Krupa (drums). The same foursome appeared at Car- negie Hall on January 16, 1938, when the per- formances of Stompin’ at the Savoy and Avalon were recorded.

It cannot be guaranteed to give full satis- faction unless the following conditions are met:

1. Do not use a needle which has been used beyond its recommended expectancy* (see chart below).

2. Record surface must be kept clean. 3. Turntable must be level.

RECOMMENDED NEEDLE LIFE CHART Osmium (metal) tip....... not over 20 hours Sapphire (sy. jewel).......not over 65 hours Diamond (genuine)....... not over 800 hours


Exclusive trade mark of Columbia Records ©

The band which recorded the orchestra num- bers at Carnegie Hall (One O’Clock Jump, Don’t Be That Way, and Sing Sing Sing) was the same as the 1937 band, except that Babe Russin re- placed Vido Musso, and Vernon Brown replaced Murray MacEachern.

Let’s Dance was recorded on October 24, 1939, by Benny Goodman (clarinet); Jimmy Maxwell, Ziggy Elman, and Johnny Martel (trumpets); Red Ballard, Vernon Brown, and Ted Veseley (trombones); Toots Mondello, Buff Estes, Bus Bassey, and Jerry Jerome (saxes); Fletcher Hen- derson (piano); Charlie Christian (guitar); Artie Bernstein (bass); Nick Fatool (drums).

Memories of You was recorded on November 22, 1939, by Benny Goodman (clarinet); Lionel Hampton (vibraphone); Fletcher Henderson (piano); Charlie Christian (guitar); Artie Bern- stein (bass); Nick Fatool (drums).

This collection serves as an introduction and sampler to the vast riches in the Columbia Benny Goodman catalog. For more music by the original Goodman band, and greater detail of information, one should explore such sets as ‘‘The Vintage Goodman”’ (which is the only album of record- ings from the 1931-34 period of struggle which forms the bulk of the plot of the movie), ‘‘The King of Swing’ (consisting of radio broadcast performances of the band at the peak of its suc- cess), ‘‘The Famous 1938 Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert’’ (which is the actual program performed by the Goodman band and guest stars on that historic occasion), and finally the many albums

of later recordings by Benny which encompass so

great a range that Columbia enjoys the unique distinction of presenting an almost continuous © panorama of Benny Goodman throughout the

last twenty-five years.

© “Columbia”, “360”, * Marcas Reg. Printed in U.S. &