Benjamin David Goodman (May 30, 1909 – June 13, 1986) was an American jazz clarinetist and bandleader known as the "King of Swing".
In the mid-1930s, Goodman led one of the most popular musical groups in the United States. His concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City on January 16, 1938 is described by critic Bruce Eder as "the single most important jazz or popular music concert in history: jazz's 'coming out' party to the world of 'respectable' music."
Goodman's bands started the careers of many jazz musicians. During an era of racial segregation, he led one of the first integrated jazz groups. He performed nearly to the end of his life while exploring an interest in classical music.
Goodman in 1942
|Birth name||Benjamin David Goodman|
|Born||May 30, 1909|
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
|Died||June 13, 1986 (aged 77)|
New York City
Goodman was the ninth of twelve children born to poor Jewish emigrants from the Russian Empire. His father, David Goodman (1873–1926), came to America in 1892 from Warsaw in partitioned Poland and became a tailor. His mother, Dora Grisinsky, 1873–1964), came from Kovno. They met in Baltimore, Maryland, and moved to Chicago before Goodman's birth. With little income and a large family, they moved to the Maxwell Street neighborhood, an overcrowded slum near railroad yards and factories that was populated by German, Irish, Italian, Polish, Scandinavian, and Jewish immigrants.
Money was a constant problem. On Sundays, his father took the children to free band concerts in Douglas Park, which was the first time Goodman experienced live professional performances.To give his children some skills and an appreciation for music, his father enrolled ten-year-old Goodman and two of his brothers in music lessons at the Kehelah Jacob Synagogue. During the next year Goodman joined the boys club band at Hull House, where he received lessons from director James Sylvestert. By joining the band, he was entitled to spend two weeks at a summer camp near Chicago. It was the only time he could get away from his bleak neighborhood.
He received two years of instruction from classically trained clarinetist Franz Schoepp. When he was 17, his father was killed by a passing car after stepping off a streetcar. His father's death was "the saddest thing that ever happened in our family", Goodman said.:42 He attended Lewis Institute (Illinois Institute of Technology) in 1924 as a high-school sophomore and played clarinet in a dance hall band.
His early influences were New Orleans jazz clarinetists who worked in Chicago, such as Jimmie Noone, Johnny Dodds, and Leon Roppolo. He learned quickly, becoming a strong player at an early age, and soon playing in bands. He made his professional debut in 1921 at the Central Park Theater on the West Side of Chicago. He entered Harrison Technical High School in Chicago in 1922. At fourteen he became a member of the musicians' union and worked in a band featuring Bix Beiderbecke. Two years later he joined the Ben Pollack Orchestra and made his first recordings in 1926.
Goodman moved to New York City and became a session musician for radio, Broadway musicals, and in studios. In addition to clarinet, he sometimes played alto saxophone and baritone saxophone. In a Victor recording session on March 21, 1928, he played alongside Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, and Joe Venuti in the All-Star Orchestra directed by Nathaniel Shilkret. He played with the bands of Red Nichols, Ben Selvin, Ted Lewis, and Isham Jones and recorded for Brunswick under the name Benny Goodman's Boys, a band that featured Glenn Miller. In 1928, Goodman and Miller wrote "Room 1411", which was released as a Brunswick 78.
He reached the charts for the first time when he recorded "He's Not Worth Your Tears" with a vocal by Scrappy Lambert for Melotone. After signing with Columbia in 1934, he had top ten hits with "Ain't Cha Glad?" and "I Ain't Lazy, I'm Just Dreamin'" sung by Jack Teagarden, "Ol' Pappy" sung by Mildred Bailey, and "Riffin' the Scotch" sung by Billie Holiday. An invitation to play at the Billy Rose Music Hall led to his creation of an orchestra for the four-month engagement. The orchestra recorded "Moonglow", which became a number one hit and was followed by the Top Ten hits "Take My Word" and "Bugle Call Rag".
NBC hired for Goodman for the radio program Let's Dance. John Hammond asked Fletcher Henderson if he wanted to write arrangements for Goodman, and Henderson agreed.:114 During the Depression, Henderson disbanded his orchestra because he was in debt. Goodman hired Henderson's band members to teach his musicians how to play the music.
Goodman's portion of the program was broadcast too late at night to attract a large audience on the east coast. He and his band remained on Let's Dance until May of that year when a strike by employees of the series' sponsor, Nabisco, forced the cancellation of the radio show. An engagement was booked at Manhattan's Roosevelt Grill filling in for Guy Lombardo, but the audience expected "sweet" music and Goodman's band was unsuccessful.
Goodman spent six months performing on Let's Dance, and during that time he recorded six more Top Ten hits for Columbia.
On July 31, 1935, "King Porter Stomp" was released with "Sometimes I'm Happy" on the B-side, both arranged by Henderson and recorded on July 1.:134 In Pittsburgh at the Stanley Theater some members of the audience danced in the aisles. But these arrangements had little impact on the tour until August 19 at McFadden's Ballroom in Oakland, California. Goodman and his band, which included Bunny Berrigan, drummer Gene Krupa, and singer Helen Ward were met by a large crowd of young dancers who cheered the music they had heard on Let's Dance. Herb Caen wrote, "from the first note, the place was in an uproar." One night later, at Pismo Beach, the show was a flop, and the band thought the overwhelming reception in Oakland had been a fluke. [a]
The next night, August 21, 1935, at the Palomar Ballroom in Los Angeles, Goodman and his band began a three-week engagement. On top of the Let's Dance airplay, Al Jarvis had been playing Goodman's records on KFWB radio. Goodman started the evening with stock arrangements, but after an indifferent response, he began the second set with arrangements by Fletcher Henderson and Spud Murphy. According to Willard Alexander, the band's booking agent, Krupa said, "If we're gonna die, Benny, let's die playing our own thing." The crowd broke into cheers and applause. News reports spread word of the exciting music and enthusiastic dancing. The Palomar engagement was such a marked success that it is often described as the beginning of the swing era. According to Donald Clarke, "It is clear in retrospect that the Swing Era had been waiting to happen, but it was Goodman and his band that touched it off."
The reception of American swing was less enthusiastic in Europe. British author J. C. Squire filed a complaint with BBC radio to demand it stop playing Goodman's music, which he called "an awful series of jungle noises which can hearten no man.":243 Germany's Nazi party barred jazz from the radio, claiming it was part of a Jewish conspiracy to destroy the culture. Italy's fascist government banned the broadcast of any music composed or played by Jews which they said threatened "the flower of our race, the youth.":244
In November 1935 Goodman accepted an invitation to play in Chicago at the Joseph Urban Room at the Congress Hotel. His stay there extended to six months, and his popularity was cemented by nationwide radio broadcasts over NBC affiliate stations. While in Chicago, the band recorded If I Could Be with You, Stompin' at the Savoy, and Goody, Goody. Goodman also played three concerts produced by Chicago socialite and jazz aficionado Helen Oakley. These "Rhythm Club" concerts at the Congress Hotel included sets in which Goodman and Krupa sat in with Fletcher Henderson's band, perhaps the first racially integrated big band appearing before a paying audience in the United States. Goodman and Krupa played in a trio with Teddy Wilson on piano. Both combinations were well received, and Wilson remained.
In his 1935–1936 radio broadcasts from Chicago, Goodman was introduced as the "Rajah of Rhythm." Slingerland Drum Company had been calling Krupa the "King of Swing" as part of a sales campaign, but shortly after Goodman and his crew left Chicago in May 1936 to spend the summer filming The Big Broadcast of 1937 in Hollywood, the title "King of Swing" was applied to Goodman by the media.
At the end of June 1936, Goodman went to Hollywood, where, on June 30, 1936, his band began CBS's Camel Caravan, its third and (according to Connor and Hicks) its greatest sponsored radio show, co-starring Goodman and his former boss Nathaniel Shilkret. By spring 1936, Fletcher Henderson was writing arrangements for Goodman's band.
In late 1937, Goodman's publicist Wynn Nathanson suggested that Goodman and his band play Carnegie Hall in New York City. The sold-out concert was held on the evening of January 16, 1938. It is regarded as one of the most significant in jazz history. After years of work by musicians from all over the country, jazz had finally been accepted by mainstream audiences. Recordings of the concert were made, but even by the technology of the day the equipment used was not of the finest quality. Acetate recordings of the concert were made, and aluminum studio masters were cut. "The recording was produced by Albert Marx as a special gift for his wife, Helen Ward, and a second set for Benny. He contracted Artists Recording Studio to make two sets. Artists Recording only had two turntables so they farmed out the second set to Raymond Scott's recording studio....It was Benny's sister-in-law who found the recordings in Benny's apartment [in 1950] and brought them to Benny's attention.:366 Goodman took the discovered recording to Columbia, and a selection was issued on LP as The Famous 1938 Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert.
Pianist and arranger Mary Lou Williams suggested to Hammond that he see guitarist Charlie Christian. Hammond had seen Christian perform in Oklahoma City in 1939 and recommended him to Goodman, but Goodman was uninterested in electric guitar and was put off by Christian's taste in gaudy clothing. During a break at a concert in Beverly Hills, Hammond inserted Christian into the band. Goodman started playing "Rose Room" on the assumption that Christian didn't know it. But his performance impressed everyone. Christian was a member of the Benny Goodman Sextet from 1939 to 1941, and during these two years he turned the electric guitar into a popular jazz instrument.
Goodman continued his success throughout the late 1930s with his big band, his trio and quartet, and the sextet formed in August 1939, the same month Goodman returned to Columbia Records after four years with RCA Victor. At Columbia, John Hammond, his future brother-in-law, produced most of his sessions. By the mid-1940s, however, big bands had lost much of their popularity. In 1941, ASCAP had a licensing war with music publishers. From 1942 to 1944 and again in 1948, the musicians' union went on strike against the major record labels in the United States, and singers acquired the popularity that the big bands had once enjoyed. During the 1942–44 strike, the War Department approached the union and requested the production of V-Discs, a set of records containing new recordings for soldiers to listen to, thereby boosting the rise of new artists Also, by the late 1940s, swing was no longer the dominant style of jazz musicians.
By the 1940s, some jazz musicians were borrowing from classical music, while others, such as Charlie Parker, were broadening the rhythmic, harmonic, and melodic vocabulary of swing to create bebop (or bop). The bebop recordings Goodman made for Capitol were praised by critics. For his bebop band he hired Buddy Greco, Zoot Sims, and Wardell Gray. He consulted his friend Mary Lou Williams for advice on how to approach the music of Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker. Pianist Mel Powell was also an adviser in 1945. Goodman enjoyed bebop. When he heard Thelonious Monk, he said, "I like it, I like that very much. I like the piece and I like the way he played it....I think he's got a sense of humor and he's got some good things there." He also admired Swedish clarinetist Stan Hasselgard. But after playing with a bebop band for over a year, he returned to his swing band because he concluded that was what he knew best. In 1953, he said, "Maybe bop has done more to set music back for years than anything....Basically it's all wrong. It's not even knowing the scales....Bop was mostly publicity and people figuring angles.":354
In 1949 he studied with clarinetist Reginald Kell, requiring a change in technique: "instead of holding the mouthpiece between his front teeth and lower lip, as he had done since he first took a clarinet in hand 30 years earlier, Goodman learned to adjust his embouchure to the use of both lips and even to use new fingering techniques. He had his old finger calluses removed and started to learn how to play his clarinet again—almost from scratch."
Goodman commissioned compositions for clarinet and chamber ensembles or orchestra that have become standard pieces of classical repertoire. He premiered works by composers, such as Contrasts by Béla Bartók; Clarinet Concerto No. 2, Op. 115 by Malcolm Arnold; Derivations for Clarinet and Band by Morton Gould; Sonata for Clarinet and Piano by Francis Poulenc, and Clarinet Concerto by Aaron Copland. Prelude, Fugue, and Riffs by Leonard Bernstein was commissioned for Woody Herman's big band, but it was premiered by Goodman. Herman was the dedicatee (1945) and first performer (1946) of Igor Stravinsky's Ebony Concerto, but many years later Stravinsky made another recording with Goodman as the soloist.
He made a recording of Mozart's Clarinet Quintet in July 1956 with the Boston Symphony String Quartet at the Berkshire Festival; on the same occasion he recorded Mozart's Clarinet Concerto in A major, K. 622, with the Boston Symphony Orchestra conducted by Charles Munch. He also recorded the clarinet concertos of Weber:324
After forays outside swing, Goodman started a new band in 1953. According to Donald Clarke, this was not a happy time for Goodman. He reunited the band to tour with Louis Armstrong. But he insulted Armstrong and "was appalled at the vaudeville aspects of Louis's act...a contradiction of everything Goodman stood for". Armstrong left Goodman hanging during a joint performance where Goodman called Armstrong back onstage to wrap up the show. Armstrong refused to perform alongside Goodman, which led essentially to the end of their friendship, cordial or otherwise.
Goodman's band appeared as a specialty act in the films The Big Broadcast of 1937; Hollywood Hotel (1938); Syncopation (1942); The Powers Girl (1942); Stage Door Canteen (1943); The Gang's All Here (1943); Sweet and Low-Down (1944), Goodman's only starring feature; Make Mine Music (1946) and A Song Is Born (1948).
He continued to play on records and in small groups. In the early 1970s he collaborated with George Benson after the two met taping a PBS tribute to John Hammond, recreating some of Goodman's duets with Charlie Christian.:434 Benson appeared on Goodman's album Seven Come Eleven. Goodman continued to play swing, but he practiced and performed classical pieces and commissioned them for clarinet. In 1960 he performed Mozart's Clarinet Concerto with conductor Alfredo Antonini at the Lewisohn Stadium in New York City. Despite health problems, he continued to play until his death from a heart attack in 1986. He died at the age of 77 at Manhattan House.
One of Goodman's closest friends was Columbia producer John Hammond, who influenced Goodman's move from Victor to Columbia.:259 Goodman married Hammond's sister, Alice Frances Hammond Duckworth (1913–1978), on March 20, 1942. They had two daughters and raised Alice's three daughters from her first marriage to British politician Arthur Duckworth. Goodman's daughter Rachel became a classical pianist. She sometimes performed in concert with him, beginning when she was sixteen.
Goodman and Hammond had disagreements since the 1930s. In the 1939 Spirituals to Swing concert Hammond had inserted Charlie Christian into the Kansas City Six to play before Goodman's band, which had angered Goodman. They disagreed over the band's music until Goodman refused to listen to Hammond. Their arguments escalated, and in 1941 Hammond left Columbia.:311 Goodman appeared on a 1975 PBS tribute to Hammond but remained at a distance. In the 1980s, after the death of Alice Goodman, Hammond and Goodman reconciled. On June 25, 1985, Goodman appeared at Avery Fisher Hall in New York City for "A Tribute to John Hammond".
Goodman was regarded by some as a demanding taskmaster, by others as an arrogant and eccentric martinet. Many musicians spoke of "The Ray",:173 the glare that Goodman directed at a musician who failed to perform to his standards. After guitarist Allan Reuss incurred Goodman's displeasure, Goodman relegated him to the rear of the bandstand where his contribution would be drowned out by the other musicians. Vocalists Anita O'Day and Helen Forrest spoke bitterly of their experiences singing with Goodman "The twenty or so months I spent with Benny felt like twenty years," said Forrest. "When I look back, they seem like a life sentence." He was generous and funded several college educations, though always secretly. When a friend asked him why, he said, "Well, if they knew about it, everyone would come to me with their hand out.":296, 301, 302, 401
Goodman helped racial integration in America. In the early 1930s, black and white musicians could not play together in most clubs and concerts. In the Southern states, racial segregation was enforced by Jim Crow laws. Goodman hired Teddy Wilson for his trio and added vibraphonist Lionel Hampton for his quartet. In 1939 he hired guitarist Charlie Christian. This integration in music happened ten years before Jackie Robinson became the first black American to enter Major League Baseball. "Goodman's popularity was such that he could remain financially viable without touring the South, where he would have been subject to arrest for violating Jim Crow laws." According to Jazz by Ken Burns, when someone asked him why he "played with that nigger" (referring to Teddy Wilson), Goodman replied, "I'll knock you out if you use that word around me again".
In 1962, the Benny Goodman Orchestra toured the Soviet Union as part of a cultural exchange program between the two nations after the Cuban missile crisis and the end of that phase of the Cold War; both visits were part of efforts to normalize relations between the United States and the USSR. The Bolshoi Ballet came to the United States, and the Benny Goodman Orchestra toured the USSR. Members of the band included Jimmy Knepper, Jerry Dodgion, and Turk Van Lake (Vanig Hovsepian).
After winning polls as best jazz clarinetist, Goodman was inducted into the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame in 1957.
His papers were donated to Yale University after his death. He received honorary doctorates from Union College, the University of Illinois, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Bard College, Brandeis University, Columbia University, Harvard University, and Yale University.
Originally a dance studio built in 1923, the ballroom was managed by Bill Sweet and turned into one of Oakland's best ballrooms. It was known as McFadden's in the 1930s and as Sands Ballroom in the 1970s.
"Bye Bye Blues" is a popular and jazz standard written by Fred Hamm, Dave Bennett, Bert Lown, and Chauncey Gray and published in 1925.Gene Krupa
Eugene Bertram Krupa (January 15, 1909 – October 16, 1973) was an American jazz drummer, band leader, actor, and composer known for his energetic style and showmanship. His drum solo on "Sing, Sing, Sing" (1937) elevated the role of the drummer as a frequently used solo voice in the band.
He is also known for defining the standard drum kit used today in collaboration with brands Slingerland and Zildjian. Krupa is considered "the founding father of the modern drumset" by Modern Drummer magazine.Goodbye (Gordon Jenkins song)
"Goodbye" (sometimes written "Good-Bye") is a song by American composer and arranger Gordon Jenkins, published in 1935. It became well known as the closing theme song of the Benny Goodman orchestra.
Jenkins had written the song when working with the Isham Jones orchestra, and Jones allegedly rejected it as it was "too sad".
Music critic Alec Wilder described "Goodbye" as "as sad a song I know" and Leonard Feather called it among his "top ten songs it would be hardest to tire of hearing".I Didn't Know What Time It Was
"I Didn't Know What Time It Was" is a popular song composed by Richard Rodgers with lyrics by Lorenz Hart for the musical Too Many Girls (1939). Early hit versions were recorded by Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw. The Crampton Sisters 1964 revival for the DCP label was a Hot 100 entry.
The song was introduced by Richard Kollmar and Marcy Westcott in the musical Too Many Girls. It was performed by Trudy Erwin – dubbing for Lucille Ball in the 1940 film version produced by RKO – and interpolated into the score of the 1957 film Pal Joey, where it was sung by Frank Sinatra.It's Only a Paper Moon
"It's Only a Paper Moon" is a popular song published in 1933 with music by Harold Arlen and lyrics by Yip Harburg and Billy Rose. It was originally titled "If You Believed in Me," but later went by the more popular title "It's Only a Paper Moon." The song was written for an unsuccessful 1932 Broadway play called The Great Magoo that was set in Coney Island. Claire Carleton first performed this song on December 2, 1932. It was used in the movie Take a Chance in 1933 when it was sung by June Knight and Charles "Buddy" Rogers. Paul Whiteman recorded a hit version which was released in 1933 featuring Bunny Berigan on trumpet. Another popular recording in 1933 was by Cliff Edwards.Its lasting fame stems from recordings by popular artists during the last years of World War II, when versions by Ella Fitzgerald, Benny Goodman (vocal by Dottie Reid)Lionel Hampton
Lionel Leo Hampton (April 20, 1908 – August 31, 2002) was an American jazz vibraphonist, pianist, percussionist, and bandleader. Hampton worked with jazz musicians from Teddy Wilson, Benny Goodman, and Buddy Rich to Charlie Parker, Charles Mingus, and Quincy Jones. In 1992, he was inducted into the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame, and was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 1996.Memories of You
"Memories of You" is a popular song with lyrics written by Andy Razaf and music composed by Eubie Blake and published in 1930.On the Sunny Side of the Street
For the Pogues song, see Sunny Side of the Street (song)"On the Sunny Side of the Street" is a 1930 song composed by Jimmy McHugh with lyrics by Dorothy Fields. Some authors say that Fats Waller was the composer, but he sold the rights to the song. It was introduced in the Broadway musical Lew Leslie's International Revue starring Harry Richman and Gertrude Lawrence.
Richman and Ted Lewis enjoyed hit records with the song in 1930.Room 1411
"Room 1411" is a 1928 instrumental composed by Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman and released as a Brunswick 78 by Bennie Goodman's Boys. The song was Glenn Miller's first known composition and was an early collaboration between Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman, who would become the most successful bandleaders of the Big Band Era during the 1930s and 1940s.Serenade in Blue
"Serenade in Blue" is a 1942 Big Band song composed by Harry Warren, with lyrics written by Mack Gordon. It was introduced in the 1942 film Orchestra Wives by Glenn Miller and His Orchestra, sung by Lynn Bari in the film but dubbed by Pat Friday.Sing, Sing, Sing (With a Swing)
"Sing, Sing, Sing (With a Swing)" is a 1936 song, with music and lyrics by Louis Prima, who first recorded it with the New Orleans Gang. Brunswick Records released it on February 28, 1936 on the 78 rpm record format, with "It's Been So Long" as the B-side. The song is strongly identified with the big band and swing eras. Several have performed the piece as an instrumental, including Fletcher Henderson and, most famously, Benny Goodman.Stompin' at the Savoy
"Stompin' at the Savoy" is a 1934 jazz standard composed by Edgar Sampson. It is named after the famed Harlem nightspot the Savoy Ballroom in New York City.Taking a Chance on Love
"Taking a Chance on Love", a popular song by Vernon Duke with lyrics by John La Touche and Ted Fetter, published in 1940 (see 1940 in music), has become a standard.The song was featured in the 1943 film Cabin In The Sky.
A Benny Goodman cover featuring Helen Forrest (which was recorded in 1940) reached No. 1 in 1943; Sammy Kaye also enjoyed chart success in 1943, reaching the No. 13 position.Teddy Wilson
Theodore Shaw Wilson (November 24, 1912 – July 31, 1986) was an American jazz pianist. Described by critic Scott Yanow as "the definitive swing pianist", Wilson's sophisticated and elegant style was featured on the records of many of the biggest names in jazz, including Louis Armstrong, Lena Horne, Benny Goodman, Billie Holiday, and Ella Fitzgerald. With Goodman, he was one of the first black musicians to appear prominently with white musicians. In addition to his extensive work as a sideman, Wilson also led his own groups and recording sessions from the late 1920s to the 1980s.The Benny Goodman Story
The Benny Goodman Story is a biographical film starring Steve Allen and Donna Reed, directed by Valentine Davies and released by Universal-International in 1956. The film is based on the life of famed clarinetist Benny Goodman, who recorded most of the clarinet solos used in the film.
The film captures several major moments in Goodman's life but it has been described as less than accurate in details. Goodman's Jewish background is mentioned only implicitly, despite its playing a part in his artistic and personal endeavors for decades. In one scene, where his mother tries to talk him out of a romance with Alice Hammond (played by Donna Reed), whom Goodman eventually married, she says, "Bagels and caviar don't mix."The Famous 1938 Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert
The Famous 1938 Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert by Benny Goodman, Columbia Records catalogue item SL-160, is a two-disc LP of swing and jazz music recorded at Carnegie Hall in New York City on January 16, 1938. First issued in 1950, the landmark recording captured the premiere performance given by a big band in the famed concert venue. The event has been described as "the single most important jazz or popular music concert in history: jazz's "coming out" party to the world of "respectable" music." Both critical and public reception of the performances was outstanding.
The title, mastered from preserved acetates, was among jazz's first double albums, first live recordings, and first to sell over a million copies. One of the earliest records of Benny Goodman music issued on the new long-playing format, the concert recording was also sold in a set of nine 45 rpm records in 1950 by Columbia. The subsequent discovery of the aluminum studio masters made from the original recording resulted in several high-quality CD reissues beginning in 1998.This Can't Be Love (song)
"This Can't Be Love" is a show tune and a popular song from the 1938 Rodgers and Hart musical The Boys from Syracuse when it was sung by Eddie Albert and Marcy Westcott. The lyrics poke fun at the common depiction of love in popular songs as a host of malignant symptoms, saying, "This can't be love because I feel so well."
The song was a hit for the orchestras of Horace Heidt (vocal by Larry Cotton) and Benny Goodman (vocal by Martha Tilton) in late 1938 and early 1939.Up Swing
Up Swing is a compilation album of phonograph records released by bandleaders Tommy Dorsey, Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, and Artie Shaw in 1944 as a part of the Victor Musical Smart Set series. The set, a progenitor to greatest hits releases, features some of the most popular Dance Band Era recordings by the four bandleaders.Why Don't You Do Right?
"Why Don't You Do Right?" (originally recorded as "Weed Smoker's Dream") is an American blues and jazz-influenced pop song written by Joseph "Kansas Joe" McCoy in 1936. A minor key twelve-bar blues with a few chord substitutions, it is considered a classic "woman's blues" song and has become a standard.