Swing, Swing, Swing: The Life & Times of Benny Goodman

Swing, Swing, Swing: The Life & Times of Benny Goodman

by Ross Firestone


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“A first-rate biography. . . . The narrative flows like a swinging jazz solo.” —Dan Morgenstern, director, Rutgers Institute of Jazz Studies

Before Elvis Presley and rock-'n'-roll, another King ruled the roost of American popular music. His name was Benny Goodman and his domain, the gilded age of Swing. Benny's concerts, records, and radio shows catapulted the hot and controversial sounds of jazz into the hearts and homes of a hungry public. Swing, Swing, Swing at once illustrates Goodman's enormous impact on American music and culture, reflects the rich textures of the times in which he lived, and evokes the very private life of a complicated, difficult man. Raised in a tenement in Chicago's Maxwell Street ghetto, he grew up to become the symbol of glamorous high-society living. Benny's undeniable position as social groundbreaker —his were the nation's first racially integrated bands—was characteristically downplayed by the man himself: he simply wanted the finest musicians he could find. Here are the sounds and stories that define the remarkable life of the world's most demanding and idiosyncratic band leader. The violent clashes between his smiling public persona and his intensely private nature; the infamous "Goodman Ray" (no musician who played with Benny escaped its wrath); the conflicting stories of Goodman's parsimony and his largess—these stories and many more paint a vibrant portrait of a truly original, undeniably American artist.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393311686
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 08/17/1994
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 524
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.40(d)

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