Speaker Well, let's look at it since every day. Well, we'll get to that. OK. So start to start again. You were you say you I was telling you were alive and started.

Speaker There were probably nine or 10 years, nine, 10 years old, relatively. And my sister would bring the record home of Susie in our household.

Speaker All right. It can be recorded.

Speaker Just wait in between. We'll give you a chance that your suggestion on start again.

Speaker I'm going to say I was 10 or Bennewitz when I was 10, veneers probably nine at the time when her older sister, Lena, who would bring a record home of Philip Sousa and others, you know, and we would play there. And there's very great music just now because it's spiritless and had a great impact on our lives, I'm sure particular music and in that period. There was so much music on the outside and our neighbors that all the time bands would play for weddings and marches and funerals. And as soon as we heard the music, we drop whatever we were doing, like playing on the street, playing hockey or whatever rough. But we'd drop everything and go see the band together. This is the music now. And this was we live close to the park where they have and I think there's a war going on those days as our periods and soldiers would be camping in the park right nearby. And there's always music in the park is rowdy at a concert, bands particularly. And we have some music. So much music around us in those days.

Speaker I remember your father was your father's music.

Speaker Yeah. Well, then my impression of my father, though. He was a religious man, but I don't think many of and family were aware of it because he was being very poor and struggling like he was.

Speaker He couldn't afford to give a seven year sentence for lessons that the other kids would go to see the rabbi and I'd go along with him, but with the kids while they took their lessons in this and realizing now my father would sing these Jewish songs by himself in the house, you know, for the outwardly and nothing he did, he always has an instrument like a small vibraphone. I can't can't recall the name of it always.

Speaker If we'd break it, he'd go get another one. And father was a musician. He was in them. He was a musician and himself, you know, great. Because he'd sing these songs, you know, draw one to one the names of songs. And you probably recognize, like Colin Natural Yellow. And he was a lover of music, you know.

Speaker And then, of course, I'd hear him say these biblical names all time in his arguments and so forth.

Speaker And you remember that time with the support from the people that your father took you to the Kahil and Jacob.

Speaker Yeah, well, he would definitely happen to that period. He was walking home from after visiting one of his friends. And he came by the Kahil and Jacobs synagogue. He heard this music immolating from the show.

Speaker And so we stopped and he inquired to see if it passed within the.

Speaker They have some way of getting his boys, you know, in there to start music. And this is how it started because he did inquire and they said, bring the boys over. And he gave Beneke. They gave Ben a clarinet.

Speaker And Harry got a baritone, I believe. And so then the following two weeks, I went along and got an alto horn.

Speaker And so we used to play there and get lessons from this teacher. Boguslawski.

Speaker And this is how it started. This was about to break up in. And a friend of mine that we were has gone to school with barely nine. We went I went to the Harrison High this period. And this bar being attended. He was familiar with how it was because his house was intended area. So he's the one who suggested we go over to our house and this our house came about.

Speaker Okay, hold on one second. Would you like a glass of water or anything? Are you all right? I'm fine. That's sweet. All right. I mean, you got a squeak there. She knew what she was. That me? Yeah. Oh, sorry. I beg your pardon. All right. We got that tape. All right. Sweet. It's pretty OK. I'm sorry. Would you mind starting again with. I would. We were going to Harrison High.

Speaker Just start that story again. Because about handsome. Yeah. And then you had a friend who was Italian, and that's how you do.

Speaker Well.

Speaker Well, after we finish grammar school, then, as it turned out, Benny and I graduated in the same class together because I fell behind. And so we both graduated the same teacher principal.

Speaker And after graduation, we went we were then went to Harrison High in the Harrison High.

Speaker I joined the band there. And within the band there was this young man named Victor Analogy. Also a trumpet player. And he was the one that informed us about how he was having a band and they were just putting this band together to hours because Jane Adams, who was the principal of our house and bought all these instruments, you know, and uniforms.

Speaker And so we just got in on the server, which is very fortunate. So we start with how we came to go to Holehouse.

Speaker And as you get music lessons there, too. No, we didn't. There weren't.

Speaker We didn't get the lessons the these places speak.

Speaker Our director is our one time. I went to his house when his name was Jimmy Sylvester. He was a director.

Speaker He gave us some lessons, but their precarious. And we we play there and we did a lot of our practicing at home and get things together. I think this is our foundation.

Speaker You know, what was it that made Benny get the kick and start practicing? So hopefully practicing.

Speaker Well, I remember one thing. This is very important. He loved the INS with so much a one time forward. Just kept in that period.

Speaker I can see him kissing or really edgy, beat up his mouth, kissing it, because naturally, you know, the sound that he produced at that age. Was comparable to whether a professional man would get in.

Speaker He loved the design and he had a very analytical mind for picking up a cause. Try it out. He and I went to school together. And I could see how he grasped these very fast periods. A little later on, I could see where Louis Abassi had a book out, you know.

Speaker And all these things by Louis are suddenly great.

Speaker You know that. Were you aware of like Louis and Buster Bailey and Jimmy? No. Love you. You put them on paper. You couldn't very well.

Speaker Come there.

Speaker Say they're trying to get trying, like, you know, the notes that were written on the paper wouldn't catch the title right here. You couldn't very well find out. I can't find the words right now. But anyway. But he was he was so quick, you know, then he could play and he could play. He could try. In other words, just write it off. This is I. But they've been here. Benny was so great, you know, because I know very a writer. I prefer only.

Speaker Let's let's go. Go up to that later on. Yeah. Yeah. Compared to Ben, you know. Yeah. Come on. Let's go.

Speaker Don't worry. I won't. I'm working for Artie Shaw, you know.

Speaker I got Artie Shaw, Eddie Sadr and you know, Sadr really come from Benny. For the Schocken.

Speaker And.

Speaker Can't find a damper. Let's see if it's nerve wracking with the camera. You know, I'd like to say I just kind of second.

Speaker As jobs and about sort of his work ethic, because that became such an important thing for many of working hard.

Speaker He was a hard worker in those days. It reminds me of these, frankly, these days. So they are tough with history itself. People get a job these days. You know, what he would do is work as a tailor, you know, on.

Speaker And later on, you realize he wasn't finished, Taylor, yet. Are there others who do anything because he had all his kids to support?

Speaker And so he worked as a tailor and then. My brother Charlie or Louis. He worked in the tailor shop and he'd bring home some suits. And my father, the father would take these suits down the street and sell them to his friends. And he was very friendly with another tenor down the street who had a alterations store.

Speaker So I think this man would do the ordering were after my father sold.

Speaker But everything everything after that, there was one period that he thought we've got to drill going on to.

Speaker So let's start with your father again. But you said he had different kinds of jobs. He also worked in the store.

Speaker Yeah, like one time in one time, he he bought up a bunch of dishes, you know, and on Sundays, you would take the dishes over to Maxwell Street and on the sidewalks we would display these dishes and sell them there, you know?

Speaker And we always got a kick out of that because he's all right over together every five minutes, buy a hotdog, delis, Axle's Street, however, nothing inherently.

Speaker I think he's right across from this spot that we were using. The sales square was a jail and all these colored guys seem down the cellar in jail, you know, just laugh at them because they were so used to, you know, being hit over the head. There was no misery for them.

Speaker Oh, tell, tell. That you said that your father also worked in the stockyards. Remember how he worked his back yard just starting in? My question will be the same. Our father or dad. Yeah.

Speaker Yeah. Our father worked in the stockyards, period. I don't think he was too long a period, but he e had to work. And so he this was his job. And like, I could see him come home with the. Was there in the wintertime, particularly the grease on his pockets. He is carry some this margin in his pockets to bring home for family.

Speaker And.

Speaker So this is my recollection of the time he worked his stock.

Speaker And you remember when Benny went for less music lessons with the guy from the Chicago shop?

Speaker Yeah. Yeah. He went to work. Yes, sir. I've come to realize who who recommended Shep. But he went to work. He went study with Shep, you know.

Speaker And he was very generous in the one he studied hard to get a private teacher.

Speaker And me, he realized when he first started with Boguslawski first that the answer, yes, travel to a Brinker's reads very frequently. It really was. Next time you break or read your through, no work.

Speaker But this is how the start of how we played for this jazz night in Chicago. You know, we talk about because Boguslawski was the father of ciggy, Boguslawski, who directed the band at the Central Park Theater. And so then the theater was part of Balaban Katz Circus. You know, those so early. So he had told his father probably when he went home for lunch or dinner that he to an actor.

Speaker So sorry, he's a. I'll get you a drink.

Speaker I could see both Tracy coming down the street one afternoon and I was so surprised taking up taxi, walking down the street with his cane, you see jovial.

Speaker The older man with Benny go get him. You know, I got this. And he said, once you get dressed up and come to the theater, so we move. Benny and I went there. You're OK. Stories that you and I were that I was sitting up in front there. And this time when my baby smiles to me, was very much to him those days. And he played a second time in the next show. He's sleeping away.

Speaker And, you know, I supposed to play.

Speaker I said, oh, yeah, I got you'll here as soon as they hit the first couple notes to go. But I said, Oh, he was.

Freddie Goodman
Interview Date:
American Archive of Public Broadcasting GUID:
cpb-aacip-504-1v5bc3tc6v, cpb-aacip-504-kh0dv1dc11
"Freddie Goodman, Benny Goodman: Adventures in the Kingdom of Swing." American Masters Digital Archive (WNET). 11 Mar. 1993,
(1993, March 11). Freddie Goodman, Benny Goodman: Adventures in the Kingdom of Swing. [Video]. American Masters Digital Archive (WNET).
"Freddie Goodman, Benny Goodman: Adventures in the Kingdom of Swing." American Masters Digital Archive (WNET). March 11, 1993. Accessed May 22, 2022


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