Speaker No major figures in his career, whether it's Teddy or Lion or just sea or any of the other instruments that you were close to or have good stories about, especially ones who aren't around anymore, Gene Krupa. You'll help us set them.

Speaker Not in the yeah. OK, we got speed. OK, we're wrong. Yeah, we start with. When you were a kid in Indiana. Back home in Indiana.

Speaker Yeah. Well, you know, from a little town, Tipton, Indiana, very small town. And when I was about 11 years old, you know, the radio was a big thing that started hearing a lot of wonderful music live. You know, in those days on the radio all over the country, I guess. And. There was a program that came on the air on Saturday nights that featured three bands, none of which I'd ever heard of. Didn't know I didn't know any about music then. And one of them was Benny Goodman. The other one was Xavier, who got an I can't think of the name of the other third one.

Speaker But when I heard that Benny Goodman music, I thought, oh, this is sensational. I just nobody had to tell me that that was jazz or swing or anything like that.

Speaker It just was so very exciting music. And now I'd never heard of Benny Goodman. And, you know, I didn't know much about the clarinet even.

Speaker So it was so exciting then. Then I ended up playing the piano myself and coming to many years later when I was thirty five or so, coming to New York and actually playing with Benny Goodman.

Speaker So it was such a thrill to finally get that chance back on the radio.

Speaker Did you particularly notice or did you like that you start to play piano yet. Just doing that.

Speaker Well, around that time I did start taking lessons, started playing and started playing jazz piano. And yeah, I started getting buying the Benny Goodman records, you know, and there was some some which were had Teddy Wilson on the piano. And he was really my first inspiration. It's crazy about Teddy. And I thought Teddy played just sensational, I thought his best playing was really with Benny Goodman, in my opinion.

Speaker Can you say anything about. I mean, again, I don't want to pretend, but technically or wherever. But what was different about Ted is playing to other people, as you heard, or what happened when he played with Benny that you noticed particularly.

Speaker I don't know. He's just he just had it all. You know, he just this is just pure excitement. And he was also very kind of cleans what I call it, sort of clean style and everything. He played with no sloppiness in its playing were some of the other Jaspan as of the day.

Speaker Sloppiness was sort of part of their style, you might say. A little sloppiness. It's kind of jazz, you know. But Teddy had a more.

Speaker I hate to say classical, but at least he had. I'm sure he must have had a class, some classical training because he played everything he played was so clean and beautiful. Was it still swinging, though? You know. So that's a pretty hard combination. You know.

Speaker Did you see any of Goodmans movies or did the whole sort of swing craze mean anything to you when you were a kid? Was that part of when you thought about becoming a musician? Mean.

Speaker No. Well, I don't remember the music and movies very much, but, you know, even in Indiana.

Speaker Every every every big city in the country. And those days featured bands, big bands were the thing. And every like there was the Lyric Theater, Indianapolis. And that's where all the bands played one one we could be Benny Goodman playing. You know, every day of be this show started at 11:00 in the morning or something like Wintel, I think 11:00 at night or something like that. You know, the the the band would play and usually they'd have a couple of tap dancers or a singer or something. And the two or three other acts that the band would back up.

Speaker And then then there'd be the movie and then back to the band, the band, and come out again.

Speaker So that's where I got to hear all these wonderful bands include, including Benny Goodman.

Speaker You know, I remember going into something specific when you went to hear that. Did you meet any of the guys? Did you get any?

Speaker Well, I was sort of in my little town. There was nobody else really that. Was crazy about jazz, like I was, well, one one friend of mine played trombone. But usually I'd hitchhike down Indianapolis all by myself.

Speaker Found my way to Indianapolis, which was sort of safe in those days, and stand in line. I go down there in the morning and stand in line with hundreds of other people.

Speaker And then sit and get in the front, try to get in the front row and sit there and listen to the band and watch the movie and then listen to the band again and sometimes watch the movie again and listen to the band again.

Speaker It's great, great fun. So I saw all the bands, not just Benny.

Speaker You know, I saw Basey and members seeing Tommy Dorsey's band, Bob Crosby. Man Jerry, go backstage. You know, I never had the nerve. I was only a real young man.

Speaker Tell us a bit about them when you came in.

Speaker To play for being when you were 35 and what it was like, and he told the story before about so-called audition, and then you could sort of sum up, get in there that you started with and then ended up playing with them on and off the next whatever it was.

Speaker Well, I just it was just plain luck coming to New York, I say I wish I had been playing with Woody Herman's band on the Road for quite a while. And I.

Speaker I guess I've got enough of the road for that for that period of time and was encouraged. We had played a week at Bird Lands and a lot of the local musicians sort of encouraged me to quit the band, so I quit the band enough and I don't remember how it happened. Oh, I know, I knew the drummer Roy Burns playing drums with him then, and Roy got me sort of sort of an audition. They didn't use that term, you know. Is this just a thing of Benny? Wanted to hear me play along with him and then Roy on drums and maybe a bass player. So that's all it was, we just jammed a few songs with a few standards and it seemed like I did all the right things because Benny just said, yeah, I like to use you want to start using you. And I couldn't believe my luck Cannell's. So I went right, right with Benny right away.

Speaker I think that was Benny's last.

Speaker Erby Greene was on that ban. He sort of Cohee, you know, helped Benny rehearse the band and he fronted the band. Sometimes when Benny wasn't there and that sort of thing, I think it was Benny's last actual full time band. It's 1957. It lasted about three months. And then he broke it up again.

Speaker You went on.

Speaker Then, yes, and then from that time on, Beneš just had wood, you know, assemble a small group, mostly small groups, occasionally a big band, and take him out for a specific tour like like the Russian tour, for instance. That was along when it was six weeks.

Speaker And.

Speaker Going back to when you went up to his apartment that first time. If you can sort of recreate for us how you felt. Here we go again. When you get up there, maybe you can be more like an additional Salewicz player, right?

Speaker Well, you know a lot. You go up there and then the first time was it was always this way, though. But the first time never having done it before. I mean, I was so thrilled just to shake his hand. And of course, I suppose it was probably pretty nervous, but I also had a lot of confidence in my playing.

Speaker And but, you know, we didn't just sit down and start playing, you know, and most for maybe for 10 or 15 minutes, we just sat there. Nobody is saying anything and is filling with the reeds, you know, putting his retrial.

Speaker And then, you know, and and they didn't like that. Reid took that Reid off put down here that reads all over the piano and I'm sitting there winning oil.

Speaker Are we ever gonna play or what's this? What's going on here?

Speaker And he wouldn't say anything you might say. Cold day out, huh?

Speaker Something like that. Many go, but read another read on, you know, a lot of tension there.

Speaker But, you know, like I say, then it just became like a little jam session we'd play. A few times he'd take a couple courses and he'd blow a couple of courses and then I'd blow a couple and then we'd take it out and then we'd say, do you know do you know this? You know, don't blame me.

Speaker You know what, Casey? OK. And you know this like a little jam session.

Speaker You said that in general he had trouble letting musicians know what he was thinking. Musically or otherwise, it wasn't just Diddy. It was hard. He wanted to.

Speaker Well, a lot of people I've I guess I've got mad mad at him myself a few times over all those years that I played with him.

Speaker But in a way, I think a lot of people really it just upset his his what they call the ray, you know, he had a he was known for this look that he would give a musician called the Ray. And after playing with them for so many years, I honestly don't know if.

Speaker If that was a critical look, it seemed that way when you look when he looked you in the eye, it seemed like he was just hated you.

Speaker And what if as if to say, what are you doing on my bandstand? That's the kind of look that he seemed to have on his face, but actually getting to know him. I think that he just didn't know how to express himself. And if just wondering. How can I tell this guy? Put it in words, what I want him to do on his instrument, you know? And he couldn't do it. So sometimes that would offend a musician to such a degree. Just get up and walk out something that's happened. You know?

Speaker And there was another story, you tell it that you have to mention him by name, just say another piano player.

Speaker Yeah, well, another piano player, one of the one of the other piano players that was in his favor told me this story that Benny. Right in the middle of a concert would come over to him and say, play less, play less, play less. So he'd play very sparingly. Then they come over after another minute or two and say, play, play more, play more. And then they go back and forth like this to such a degree. Finally, the piano player would get such exasperated, he'd say, Benny, why would you say play more, play less, play more of the play less? What do you mean? He'd say, Here's what I mean. Play more, but play less.

Speaker Uh.

Speaker You you described that he was very sharp musically, that he knew what was happening and kept in touch with who was available, and you've been gone for a few years playing Tony Bennett. You could tell about that. Many forget. Oh, yeah. Seen any.

Speaker Well, there was one period, I mean, I played with Benny often on really for twenty five years, at least from 57 to, well, I don't know, two about, say, three or four years before he passed away.

Speaker But there was one period where I didn't play with them for a holes for six years because I was with Tony Bennett and I played exclusively for Tony Bennett. I didn't do any other work.

Speaker And.

Speaker When I came back to New York after being sort of on the road all the time, I sort of had to start all over again. And the phone rang very just shortly after I.

Speaker You know, it came back to to try to get started again in New York, and it was Benny Goodman himself. It seldom ever had anybody else make its phone call. I usually do it himself. And he said, Why don't you come over, Pops, and we'll play a little. Just the two of us. I thought that was wonderful. You know, that he I don't know how he found out that I had left Tony, but he found out. In fact, we had he he bought me lunch. I remember I just remember that he bought me lunch, which for him was quite a big thing. And then we went over and we played a few tunes and then he started using me again right away.

Speaker You remember Jimmy Rowles told us the story about the gig where it was someone of this Carnegie Hall reunion's and he hired both of you for the day?

Speaker Yeah. Through all three of us, there was Mary Lou Williams, too.

Speaker It and it would pass. You would tell us whatever part you want or you remember if you include in the story. Jimmy was I guess it asked for double scale for the record part. Yeah. So Benny kept telling him we beat it for you to get out thing. Yeah.

Speaker Well, that the hot that was a big concert with a big, big orchestra that we'd rehearse and then we rehearse quite a while for this.

Speaker It was a I think, a fortieth anniversary of this. Yeah, it must. I think it was the fourth anniversary of his big 1939 Carnegie Hall concert. And he had three. He had hired three pianists, which was kind of strange. Jimmy Rowles, Mary Lou Williams and myself. My job was supposed to be to play with the big band. Mary Lou played her numbers that she wrote for Benny some of the arrangements. And Jimmy was to do small group, the small group.

Speaker Then then Jimmy. She sort of told Benny told us at the last minute, this is going to be recorded.

Speaker So Jimmy Rolls asked for double scale that made Benny so mad that he made Jimmy sit back during the concert. Jimmy just sat back in the backstage and I think he only called him out for one. No. That was the one where he and I both play two pianos called I Love a Piano. It's an old Irving Berlin tomb outside that Jimmy didn't didn't play. And because he wouldn't let them play the tunes that he'd rehearse, so I ended up playing some of the tunes that I never had, that I'd never rehearsed. And Mary Hendaye had Mary Lou had it all kind of mixed all up. He called Mary Lou for the wrong tunes that she hadn't rehearsed, that she had me play some of the tunes that Mary Lou is supposed to play or Jimmy.

Speaker So it was really a mixed up deal. Did he ever talk to you about Stacey? Because I mean something, you know, the piano in the backseat didn't like comparing anybody to anybody else. No, I don't think so. I respected them. I think so. Yeah. Yeah.

Speaker To tell about the night in Indianapolis, when we take a break, don't drink water. You don't mind your.

Speaker We start up with a story that, yeah, sure, and.

Speaker Ready to roll.

Speaker Well, you know, one of the we won one of those concert tours where we played my hometown, Indianapolis, and it's near my hometown. I had I had played there someone I knew a lot of musicians in Indianapolis and.

Speaker It was that beautiful new concert hall there, and I come backstage and get ready to go out there on the stage and I see my old friend, George Nicolau, wonderful, wonderful clarinet player himself and.

Speaker If it's started again, maybe a little bit less specific, specific about the hall. Yeah. OK. Yes, it is. Yeah, OK. We would give quiet, please. Sorry, I really.

Speaker Well, we played Indianapolis and I know a lot of musicians there. So one of them was Jordan Nicolau, one of a clarinet player.

Speaker And he was backstage. I don't know how he got back there because they used to be so careful of letting people in. So anyhow, we had a big talk there for a few minutes then. And he said, you've got to introduce me to Benny. I've idolized them all my life and I just. Would you do me that favor? And I said, well, George, I got to tell you a little something about Benny. He's he's very strange man, personally. The great musician, but he is kind of strange. I said, you know, I might introduce you to him, but he might might not even hold his hand out, shake hands with you. So don't feel, you know, don't feel insulted by that. I do. Just strange. And he may have something else on his mind. So we go out and we play the first half of the concert and we come back. They come off the stage. Take the intermission. And I see George over in the corner talking to Benny, I thought, oh, he blew it. He really blew it. He went right up the bench and started talking to him without me introducing him. And then they disappeared. They went downstairs to the dressing room area. And I'm thinking, oh, boy, that's going to be embarrassing for my friend. Anyhow, we're getting ready to go back for the second half of the concert and Joy, my old friend George comes up and says, I don't know what you're talking about. Benny was wonderful to me. He just he was so nice. And we talked for 15 minutes.

Speaker And he gave me a box of reeds and he gave me a box of his clarinet reeds. It was wonderful. So there you go. Now that that shows how unpredictable Benny was. You know.

Speaker One way that I feel is ridiculous about it musically was about tempo. You could never tell. He would stop and start. Yeah. Anything.

Speaker Well, he. You know, the way he is sometimes there be you know, the applause would die down, would be on during a concert.

Speaker The players would die down. And rather than like most people in music.

Speaker As soon as the applause dies down, the next music starts. Or some something happens. There's no dead, dead air there.

Speaker Not not with Benny. Hee hee hee hee. Take forever to get the temple started, you know, to count off the band, you know, and get to think about it. And he'd be standing there in the musicians to be looking at him. And the people in the audience would be looking up, wanting, what's the matter with Benny? You know, and he he'd just take plenty of time to get that temple gone. Sometimes it'd be, I'd say, as much as 15 seconds before he'd start the band off at his Karloff. Were so vague. It took me forever to learn, you know, worry was that I mean, it wouldn't be a one, two, one, two, three, four. Wouldn't be definite like that, you know, he'd be. His hands go like this, since it's really hard to figure out where he was coming from. You know?

Speaker How about with drummers? Did you experience any of his frustration or theme? It's related to something of temples, of feeling like he want to change the tempo and the drummers would sometimes be steady or to experience. That was a part of the rhythm section.

Speaker Well.

Speaker He was he was kind of tough, one drummer. I think it was tougher on.

Speaker On piano players, probably than any other instrument.

Speaker That, you know, he'd start picking on that he would start picking on a musician sometimes. And I'm talking about really wonderful musicians in most cases, you know, people that really didn't deserve it.

Speaker But I think I know what he wanted and a drummer.

Speaker I think he wanted a drummer that could play with excitement, that he could create himself. Benny could play on the clarinet. And that's it. But play it soft. And, you know, there's not too many drummers that can do that play with a really. Sort of type, exciting beat, but not played too loud while he's doing it. You know, not too many guys can handle it.

Speaker Drink during your relationship with them over the years. Did you see him in? I guess you told me one story about him with with Jeanne and Teddy, where you were shocked at how he sort of treat.

Speaker You won't even tell. Well, on camera or not. Anything that you do want to tell it, you could. I mean.

Speaker Well, it's I was, you know, after it came back from Russia. He decided to do a sort of reunion record with that wonderful quartet he'd had back in the thirties.

Speaker Gene Krupa, Teddy Wilson and Lionel Hampton. And, you know, I was.

Speaker In his favor in those days and I had just bought this wonderful camera and I asked Ben if he minded, if I came down and shot a few pictures, if I didn't interfere with the. So I had occasion to observe a lot. And one of the things was the fact that he treated hears these guys. They were all big stars. But this time, this was in the 60s, you know, like twenty five years they had been stars.

Speaker And he treated them just like he treated us. They treated us sidemen in the best, his regular band. You know, he treated Gene Group and particularly Gene and Teddy, sort of like second class citizens. I was surprised that that somehow. And they took it to.

Speaker Did you tell he was long the tour to Russia? Do you talk to tell him much about any or get any sense about his?

Speaker No, not much, no. But except that you are not really in regard to. But it was a thrill personally for me to be with Teddy. You know, cause I'd idolized them so much as a child.

Speaker And to be to be able to hear him play every night and talk to him, get to be friends with him was a great give us a sense of what he was like as a guy. Now, he was a real sort of a gentleman type and. He was pretty much like he played, I guess, kind of played real clean and beautiful and sophisticated jazz, I would say.

Speaker And that's the kind of person he was, a sophisticated person.

Speaker Was he still interested in politics in those years? Who? Benny.

Speaker Benny was interested, I know. And then someone told me against guess they told us that Teddy was really sick.

Speaker I don't remember talking to him about that law.

Speaker Yes, sure. You, as you mentioned, traducing clarinet, that makes people listen.

Speaker Oh, yeah. Tell us a little.

Speaker One time we played in the summertime, we played at Ravinia Park in Chicago, a great big park out there were thousands of people are out in the outside in the audience listening.

Speaker And they had a system that we should start again. I'm sorry about the call for him. Are you OK? No, it's OK. We played out in the revenge, a park, a concert one time, and I think we had a sextet and.

Speaker It's a big park in Chicago, outside of Chicago there where they have thousands. People come and they sit outside and beautiful trees and everything. And listen to music. And they heard there was another band in front of us or act in front of us. So we were backstage and waiting to go on and the big thunderstorm came along and lightning and everything and all the lights went out and the entire park and the dressing room where we were is all total darkness. And. And for a long time, at least an hour or more than an hour, we waited. Not knowing whether we would even play or not because of this emergency.

Speaker Finally, they decided to put us on and they had hundreds of candles, they had assembled candles all around the front of the stage. And of course, we had no electricity, so we had no P.A. system. So, you know, everything had to be acoustical and to play like that outside with thousands of people listening with no P.A. system. I mean, it was incredible. It was so quiet and all the wind had died down to the absolute calm. And it was so impressive. It was a great experience to be able to get that attention from these people without a P.A. system, you know, anyhow. And the next day, coming back in the airplane, he called me up. We rode in the back of the plane and he rode in first class. He wanted to talk to me about some arrangements or something. So he asked me to come up and see him up and first class. I'm standing there talking to and and I mentioned to him, I said it's amazing what happened last night, how we were able to play that concert with no P.A. system. And I said, you know, there's something about the clarinet, the nature of the clarinet.

Speaker I said that the. That really gets the attention of the people. And he said now it's not that. He says he said, you got to make them listen. And I was really surprised that they had him saying that to me. But, you know, I think that he meant that he had felt that he had such concentration when he played in such belief that he could make them pay attention that he. That he could sway them that much. Get to them.

Speaker I guess I guess you you said that in that sense he raised things, you talked about how he played balance. Yeah, yeah.

Speaker He could play. He could play a tune like Memories of You, for instance, or some tune or slow tune like that and just play. Maybe he played. Here's that rainy day. Like to play that.

Speaker And he'd just play one cause real slow. And he mostly just played the melody. Now, you wouldn't think that that would. You wouldn't think that that would be very impressive, but I'll tell you something about him and the way he did that, that there wasn't a call for a sound in the audience. Every time he did, it was amazing. And the B, the B, the pianist behind him. Of course, with such a thrill for me to play. To help bring it off, you know, and. I never saw anybody be able to do that, just play mostly just the melody and still bring the house down.

Speaker Know. This made I don't mean to make you I would make you feel self-conscious as this question to me. But I I'm very struck off when I hear. Benny with pianist or sometimes the rest, the rhythm section. A real sense of like an interplay of like anticipating each other. Yeah. Something that you would do. Or another piano player, which is if he would respond to almost like.

Speaker Yeah, well, that's the that's the art of governing, I do.

Speaker I mean, I never I think I must just I sound like I'm an egotistical thing to say, but I must just have the knack of it because I've never really listened to people accompany singers or instrumentalists very much. But what you what you have to do is to to be good at it, I think, is try to sense when they're going to play and when they're not going to play and and only. Only try to make them sound as good as they possibly can sound. And that's the way you do that. Mostly is just play chords behind them when they're playing and when they're not playing. Maybe play a little fill in there. And you have to say, I don't know, sort of concentrate on their style so that you don't get in their way.

Speaker I think this broad, if many like me, probably like me because I didn't play much less. Yes, I played less, but I played more.

Speaker Taking your mind anywhere with Hollywood?

Speaker Well, I you know, I've noticed that I used to notice that Benny was at his best when he had a small group without fail.

Speaker He's always seemed to be easier to play, easier to be. We were around and he could be delightful guy to be around jokes and everything and play great in front of small group. But in front of whenever he had the big band, it seemed like it was. You get very uptight. Not E wouldn't even play good sometimes. And so I one time I told him that, I said, Benny, I don't know why you you want to have big band put a big band together because it seems like I don't. I didn't tell him that he was nervous when I told him. Seems like that you're playing is not you know, you're not as happy. That's where I put it. Even though you're not as happy when when you're in front of the big band as you're in a small band. He said, oh, no. That's not true. No, no. That's not true at all. So what are you to say? You liked it when people spoke? Well, I think that yeah. I think maybe eight possibly that he. One of the things he liked about me was that I would, you know, tell him what I thought. So to be truthful with him and certain in certain occasions like that.

Speaker I think he liked that better than somebody that held her, held themselves back a lot. You know?

Speaker Scott was going on and on about his sense of humor. And that really was very funny guy. And get a good sense of humour. Although, as you said, a terrible joke. Yes, very funny.

Speaker Yeah, you can tell it. Any joke? Oh, well. Dictators laugh.

Speaker Oh, I just thought something. One time he came. He was a customer. He came in to I was playing with a Dixieland band. Eddie Condon's. And they were there was already a clarinet player in the band. And then we had somebody invited to other clarinet players to come up and.

Speaker And Benny happened to be there that day. That night. And the audience in here, here is Benny Goodman sitting in the in the audience listening to three clarinet players and they're all playing at. Oh, I know there was another piano player had said in to. So I was sitting there talking to Benny and we were listening to this and it was ridiculous. All three clarinet players playing high and fast and all the notes and everything and high notes. And I turned to him and I said, sounds like somebody set fire to the henhouse. And I thought Benny was going to fall on the floor at that, whether. He he he just broke up with that. I thought he was gonna get sick. He laughed so hard. I was sort of surprised that his reaction. But that's a way he could be known.

Speaker He agreed with that, I'm sure, straight that. Stand your fingers getting cold.

Speaker Yeah, well, that's that's when I hadn't been with them too long. And so I wasn't so truthful with them now. But I'm sitting there. It was it's very cold in his. He had a rehearsal at his house out in the back. He had a studio out there. And in fact, Rick, we could record it, it was capable of recording. There's a very nice studio with a Steinway grand and all that. Anyhow, it was very cold that day. And finally, I didn't have the nerve to seining to him. But Bucky Pizzarelli says, Benny, don't you think it's kind of cold in here? And says all, yeah, so he puts his clarinet now and he goes out, disappears into another room and he comes back wearing a sweater. And it stayed and it remained the same temperature, I might add.

Speaker You told us before about going out to Hollywood Bowl. He said he had a quality of being able to get hot like that. Yeah, usual. Was that remarkable in him? A lot of musicians.

Speaker No, I never saw anybody. He was able to really turn it on. Right. Right on the first tune. He'd come right out there and play a really roarin song right at the beginning. And we played the Hollywood Bowl one time where it was a big jazz fest with all many different jazz groups, one after another. And there was a revolving stage. And so, you know, we were in the back getting ready to go on. So we had set all up back there. And then the other group was out on this on performing out in front of the audience. It was Chick Corea. I think. Anyhow, it was a very hot, modern group, and I'm thinking to myself, gee, how are we going to follow that? It's going to be very anemic. And but, you know, the stage stand anyhow, if they get a big roaring ovation and we the state turns around and we we now we're facing the audience and he starts playing, I forget what it was running wild or some really fast tune. And he played chorus after chorus after chorus, really hot. We could hardly keep up with him. And, you know, but that time he was already Benny was way up in his 60s. I mean, he was very inspiring, you know, to see what kind of a force that he put into that.

Speaker Coming back to the sense of humour, can you describe his laugh or whether he's very sad? He said he was hurt.

Speaker Yeah, well, he would tell it when he'd tell a joke. He would laugh harder than anybody else, which makes the joke pretty funny, you know. Yeah. I can't I can't think of any of his jokes. But the. He would collapse. He was capable of being a really a funny guy.

Speaker How about when he discovered that after a long gap, that along came the generation musicians that was included, Scott and Warren, you worked for playing with time and sort of remember what sort of oppression that man and.

Speaker Now, he just you know, he he just feel like somebody hurt him. I don't think he thought about things like that at all. If you like somebody and, you know, one time I told them about, oh, one time at 80 comments when I was playing in there one night when slow night. They let this girl come up and sing. It was the wife of the clarinet player, Bobby Gordon, I can't think of the girl's name right now. Well, there weren't very many people in that place, but she sang real soft. And whatever tune she sang, the people were were mesmerized. And I was so impressed by this gal. And so then I had to go up and see Benny that day or two later, and I may have mentioned this is what I just told you. To him. And he says, I want to hear her. And I didn't think I didn't think anything that he would want to hear this gal. She wasn't a professional. It turns out she never had ever sang in public before. So chic. I brought her up and he hired her. He I think she was on that Carnegie Hall album, that fourth anniversary, and she was you know, she's just not used to that. And it was quite a if he likes somebody just on the spur of the moment, union care, if she'd never sang in public before, he'd bring her out the front. A thousand people, you know.

Speaker Incredible.

Speaker Anything else about Russia? You remember specifically the funds. Was involved in, right?

Speaker No, I don't think Russia's through, as you know, in those days was the Cold War was going on and the food mainly with the food. You know, when you're travelling that much, if you don't have good food, that's that's about that. And the music is the U.N. and you look forward to. All the other details, the traveling and and the hotels, which were not too good, even though we were in the very best hotels they had to offer. You know, it was very depressed. That part of it wasn't very enjoyable.

Speaker OK, well, I can't get over any other questions unless you feel left out.

Speaker Well, you know, when I go home, I'll probably think it's going. But that's, you know, probably as good as we can do.

John Bunch
Interview Date:
American Archive of Public Broadcasting GUID:
cpb-aacip-504-2804x54z9b, cpb-aacip-504-vx05x26743
"John Bunch, Benny Goodman: Adventures in the Kingdom of Swing." American Masters Digital Archive (WNET). 18 Jan. 1993,
(1993, January 18). John Bunch, Benny Goodman: Adventures in the Kingdom of Swing. [Video]. American Masters Digital Archive (WNET).
"John Bunch, Benny Goodman: Adventures in the Kingdom of Swing." American Masters Digital Archive (WNET). January 18, 1993. Accessed January 26, 2022


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