Jazz Appreciation Month: Benny Goodman

Benny Goodman was dubbed the King of Swing, a title he shared with drummer Chick Webb, and his big band proved exceptionally popular do much so that on 16th January 1938 it became the first Jazz Band to perform at Carnegie Hall. At the time the band didn’t know they were being recorded and the recording was so carefully filed away by Goodman he’d forgotten about it until 1950 when it was released in edited form. The full unedited concert was released on CD by Columbia in the 90s. Not only did the concert involve Goodman’s hits it also involved a brief history of Jazz including tributes to Dixieland Jazz and the legendary Bix Beiderbecke, plus a Jam Session.

Understandably being on such a prestigious stage, the band were nervous and the opening number was played a tad underwhelmingly at first. Drummer Gene Krupa, armed with a double bass-drummed kit, noticed this and mid performance hammered the drum kit and picked the spirit of the band up. The number in question was Don’t Be That Way:

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