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Swing! Swing! Swing!

Guy Barker charts the pivotal moments that have changed the direction of jazz. He looks at hot jazz and the Swing era, ushered in by Benny Goodman in 1935.

Guy Barker continues to explore the history of jazz, focusing on the turning points and pivotal events that have shaped the genre, and discovering some great stories and larger-than-life characters along the way.

In its 100-year history, jazz has seen many changes and developments but, unlike other genres, jazz's direction has frequently changed due to a specific event: a momentary decision, an invention, one performance, or one person's idea. Each episode focuses on what jazz was like directly before this junction, the junction itself, and how things subsequently changed.

Part three, Swing! Swing! Swing! looks at Benny Goodman, the 'King of Swing'. In early 1935, Benny Goodman and his Orchestra were starting to attract attention with weekly appearances on the Let's Dance radio show, broadcast from New York. For most of the show, the band mainly played the unexciting sweet arrangements popular at the time, which failed to excite the East Coast audience. Although they weren't aware of it, the band had developed a following on the West Coast where listeners, three hours behind, were regularly treated to an extra hour of music, featuring hot jazz arrangements by the likes of Fletcher Henderson.

In July 1935, the band set out on a coast-to-coast tour, often receiving an indifferent reception. By August, Goodman found himself on the West coast and was ready to throw in the towel. Then, on 21 August 1935, everything changed. Amidst a lukewarm reception at the Palomar Ballroom in Los Angeles, in a do-or-die move, Benny Goodman decided to bring out some of Fletcher Henderson's hot arrangements into the otherwise fairly standard and unexciting set. Unbeknownst to him, this was the music the West Coast audience had been waiting for, the music they'd heard in the final hour of the Let's Dance shows. They went crazy and within days Goodman had become a national star. The Swing era had begun!

Guy Barker looks at this momentous junction in jazz, the effect it had on the jazz world, featuring new interviews with Frank Foster, George Avakian, Ted Gioia, Ed Shaughnessy, Buddy DeFranco, Gary Giddins, Scott Yanow and Loren Schoenberg; and archive from Fletcher Henderson, Artie Shaw, Teddy Wilson and John Hammond.

1 hour

Last on

Tue 7 May 2019 01:00

Music Played

  • Duke Ellington

    Half Past Midnight Jump

    • CD SINGLE.
    • PARADE.
    • LDP5013.
  • Benny Goodman

    Always

    • THE SONGS OF IRVING BERLIN.
    • AVID.
    • AVC-517.
  • Benny Goodman

    King Porter Stomp

    • Benny Goodman: Pure Gold.
    • bmg.
    • nd90-684.
  • Isham Jones Orchestra

    Swingin' Down the Lane

    • SWINGING DOWN THE LANE.
    • ACE OF HEARTS.
    • AH110.
  • Frank Sinatra

    SWINGIN' DOWN THE LANE

    • SONGS FOR SWINGIN' LOVERS.
    • CAPITOL.
    • CDP-74657O 2.
  • Fletcher Henderson

    ALABAMY BOUND

    • FLETCHER HENDERSON: A STUDY IN FRUSTRATION.
    • COLUMBIA.
    • C3K57596 / A.
  • ARTHUR SIMS & HIS CREOLE ROOF ORCHESTRA

    Soapstick Blues

    • JAZZ SOUNDS OF THE TWENTIES VOL 1.
    • PARLOPHONE.
    • PMC1166.
  • King Oliver and His Dixie Syncopators

    Sugar Foot Stomp

    • Jazz Classics - King Oliver Vol 1.
    • BBC.
    • RPCD-787.
  • Duke Ellington

    It Don't Mean A Thing, If It Aint Got That Swing

    • Piano in the Background.
    • Sony.
    • Col 512-919 2.
  • Benny Carter and His Orchestra

    Swing It

    • Benny Carter: The Music Master.
    • Proper.
    • Properbox-68.
  • Fletcher Henderson and His Orchestra

    New King Porter Stomp

    • Under The Harlem Moon.
    • ASV Living Era.
    • CDAJA-5067.
  • Count Basie

    JOHN'S IDEA

    • ORIGINAL AMERICAN DECCA RECORDINGS.
    • MCA.
    • GRP-36112.
  • The Benny Goodman Quartet

    A Handful Of Keys

    • Benny Goodman: 1937.
    • Classics.
    • 8-79.
  • Benny Goodman and His Orchestra

    Blue Skies (feat. Fletcher Henderson)

    • Jazz Hour : 1038.
    • Jazz Hour.
    • 1038.
  • Duke Ellington

    HARLEM AIR SHAFT

    • DUKE ELLINGTON.
    • JAZZ CLASSICS.
    • JZCL-5009.
  • Raymond Scott & His Orchestra

    When Cootie Left The Duke

    • THE GREATEST RECORDING OF THE BIG BAND ERA.
    • FRANKLIN MINT.
    • FM-80338A.
  • Shep Fields & His Rippling Rhythm Orchestra

    THAT OLD FEELING

    • THAT OLD FEELING.
    • LIVING ERA.
    • AJA-5458.
  • LUNCEFORD, JIMMY & HIS ORCHESTRA

    Annie Laurie

    • THE SWINGING MR LUNCEFORD.
    • EMPRESS.
    • RAJCD-897.
  • Elbow

    Grace Under Pressure

    • V2.

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