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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf



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BENNY GOODMAN

AFRS Radio Shows, Vol.3

SOUNDS OF YESTERYEAR DSOY831

 

 

  1. Benny Goodman Show No 5 Introduction: Let's Dance
  2. All The Cats Join In
  3. Comedy By Peter Donald
  4. If I Had You
  5. Who Do You Love I Hope (Voc: Eve Young)
  6. Introduction Of Gene Krupa
  7. I Want To Go Where You Go - Then I'll Be Happy (Trio)
  8. More Than You Know (Mobilgas Orchestra) (Repeat From Show One)
  9. Sometimes I'm Happy (Sextet) (Voc Eve Young)
  10. Comedy By Peter Donald
  11. Don't Be That Way (Gene Krupa And Louis Bellson On Drums)
  12. Closer: Good-Bye - I Want To Go Where You Go - Then I'll Be Happy (Trio)
  13. Benny Goodman Show No.6 Introduction: Let's Dance
  14. I'm Just Wild About Harry
  15. Comedy By Peter Donald
  16. Sweet Lorraine
  17. I Know That You Know (Repeat From Show Two)
  18. My Blue Heaven (Voc: Art Lund)
  19. Introduction Of Vincente Gomez
  20. Carnival In Seville (Vincente Gomez Acc: Guitar)
  21. Comedy By Peter Donald
  22. South America Take It Away (Voc: Eve Young)
  23. Flying Home (Sextet Plus Orchestra)
  24. Closer: Good-Bye - I'm Just Wild About Harry (Reprise)
Benny Goodman and his orchestra
rec.1946

 

Goodman's weekly half hour series for AFRS (Armed Forces Radio Service) began in 1946 and Sounds of Yesterday has announced its intention to make available the entire run of broadcasts, which will come to around 20 CDs. They were put out on Monday evening by NBC, and recorded onto 16 inch transcription discs, which were then flown out to American forces overseas. Many have survived, but not all the NBC shows were transferred for AFRS. Still, it's a large haul, in an already busy market place.

For these two programmes there were special guests; Gene Krupa, recently released from his drugs bust, and the Spanish virtuoso guitarist Vincente Gomez. These live shows had the inevitable introductions and some corny scripted stuff, including a Krupa segment, along with a regular spot for comedian Peter Donald. For the most part these won't excite anyone, but the final spot, in which Donald and Goodman cross talk just might, as it's a choice example of the clarinettist deadpanning, Jack Benny style, resulting in a crack up from Donald. BG could be funny when he wanted to be.

The band was classic post-war Goodman with Bernie Privin, Lou McGarity, Cutty Cutchall, Hymie Schertzer, Joe Bushkin, Jack Lesberg and Louis Bellson among the ranks. There are spots for the trio, where Krupa replaces Bellson, and the sextet. The band also becomes the Mobilgas Orchestra (the show's sponsor) via the addition of strings. The singers - Art Lund and Eve Young - are nothing special.

The arrangements are good, the band plays well, but there are precious few spots for the sidemen. Goodman, naturally, takes a concertante approach. It's BG all the way on If I Had You and also on Sweet Lorraine where his Jimmie Noone-inspired trills are pure South Side Chicago. The Krupa-Bellson mini drum battle on Don't Be That Way brings things to life. Gomez plays his evocative Iberian, non-jazz, piece Carnival in Seville with exceptional control.

These radio shows always present a dilemma for the collector. The band isn't really playing flat out, and it's more a showcase for Goodman, guest stars and a proliferation of gags and singers. But it certainly captures the spirit of the times.

Jonathan Woolf



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