From the Vault...


Benny Goodman
"On The AIr (1937-1938)"

© Columbia/Legacy Records

Year of Release: 1992

track listing
Disc One:
  • Introduction/Let's Dance
  • Ridin' High
  • Moten Swing
  • Nice Work If
    You Can Get It
  • Vibraphone Blues
  • The Sheik Of Araby
  • Peckin'
  • Sunny Disposish
  • Nagasaki
  • Whispers In The Dark
  • St. Louis Blues
  • Life Goes To A Party
  • Sugar Foot Stomp
  • Moonglow
  • I'm A Ding Dong Daddy
  • I Hadn't Anyone Till You
  • Bumble Bee Stomp
  • Down South Camp Meetin'
  • That Naughty Waltz
  • Sweet Leilani
  • Vieni Vieni
  • Sometimes I'm Happy
  • Roll 'Em
    Disc Two:
  • King Porter Stomp
  • Have You Met Miss Jones
  • Limehouse Blues
  • Shine
  • Always
  • When Buddah Smiles
  • Minnie The Moocher's
    Wedding Day
  • Laughing At Life
  • Running WIld
  • You Turned The
    Tables On Me
  • Darktown Strutter's Ball
  • My Gal Sal
  • Bugle Call Rag
  • Mama That Moon Is Here Again
  • Clarinet Marmalade
  • Time On My Hands
  • Stardust
  • In The Shade Of
    The Old Apple Tree
  • Benny Sent Me
  • Everybody Loves
    My Baby
  • Moonlight On
    The Highway
  • Joesphine
  • Killer Diller
  • Someday Sweetheart
  • Caravan
  • Goodbye

  • WSVNRadio Archives
    A B C D E F G H I J K L M
    N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

    Benny Goodman related sites:
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    Benny Goodman
    "On The AIr (1937-1938)"

    Big Band lovers will really enjoy this week's album... Benny Goodman's 2-disc set, On The Air (1937-1938). Big Band music, Jazz Music, Swing Music. It's Benny Goodman at his finest. And what is more interesting, is learning the bandmembers. Lionel Hampton, Gene Krupa and Harry James to name a few. With a band of what would be future stars in their own rights, you just know this is going to be enjoyable, incredible music. Jazz music.

    This set takes a look at recordings from Goodman's radio shows, from 1937 to 1938. They were airchecks, recorded off the radio during those two years, by a young man by the name of Bil Savory. He was right out of college, and headed for a successful career of his own, as a Columbia Records recording engineer. By 1952, the 1937 1938 recordings would be reissued of Carnegie Hall concert recordings. One of the two would reach #1 on the albums chart. All of those recordings are in this On The Air set, with additional numbers (previously unissued), by the Goodman full band, trio, and quartet.

    Taken together, they (the tracks on this album) form a vividly accurate sound picture of the Goodman band in action: Superb arrangements, brilliantly executed, punctuated by solos which occasionaly rise to peaks of inspiration. Whether a one-nighter in Pittsburgh, Detroit or Dallas, or a residency at the Madhattan Room in New York's Hotel Pennsylvania, this is the music as it actually happened, during those few improbable years when big band jazz -- or something very close to it -- was America's popular music. (Taken from the liner notes of On The Air (1937-1938), written by Richard M. Sudhalter.)

    Many of the tracks are instrumentals, and very few vocalists. Lionel Hampton provides vocals on "Vibraphone Blues," where other vocal tracks featured either Martha Tilton or Helen Ward.

    The additional unissued 14 tracks are: "Moten Swing," "Nagasaki," "Whispers In The Dark," "Life Goes To A Party," "Bumble Bee Stomp," "That Naughty Waltz," "Vieni Vieni," "Limehouse Blues," "When Buddah Smiles," "Laughing At Life," "Mama That Moon Is Here Again," "In The Shade Of The Old Apple Tree." "Moonlight On The Highway," "Goodbye." Goodman reached the #1 spot on Billboard's Album chart in 1950: 1937-1938 Jazz Concerto No. 2 (1952, 8 weeks).

    What is also interesting from the liner notes, was when Benny Goodman received a phone call from Glenn Miller. Miller asked Goodman: "How do you do it? How do you get started? It's so difficult." I guess Benny Goodman was first before Glenn Miller, as they both became popular. It's obvious that Miller would be the most popular (at least in my opinion, as I remember more of Miller's music, than that of Goodman's).

    But having said that, it's obvious that Goodman was just as popular as Glenn Miller, and maybe even more popular as Lionel Hampton, Gene Krupa, and Harry James. It's just amazing how these musicians were part of his band, and to have Goodman as their bandleader. It's been mentioned that Benny Goodman was a "perfectionist." He expected 100% (or even more) from each of his musicians. Some say he was harsh, as some vocalists claimed that "in the 20 days they worked with him, it seemed like 20 years." If a musician did not perform up to Goodman'standards, he was placed in the back of the band stage, where his other bandmates playing would be louder, and to an extent, not be heard.

    Some goodness from Goodman's career was his take on the race issue of his bandmates. Where most black musicians would not get exposure in performing, Goodman included black musician artists such as Teddy Wilson and Lionel Hampton in his band. Hampton said, "As far as I'm concerned, what he did in those days—and they were hard days, in 1937—made it possible for Negroes to have their chance in baseball and other fields." Goodman also worked with Louis Armstrong in 1953, however his experience with him was not as successful. Goodman kept performing despite his health issues, until his death at age 77 from a heart attack in 1986. He was 77 years old.

    On The Air (1937-1938) is a great set of Benny Goodman music. It is Big Band Jazz, Swing Jazz. Benny. Goodman. Jazz. Classic.

    © All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Columbia/Legacy Records and is used for reference purposes only.

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