[ l ] Benny Goodman filmed in Moscow, 1962; [ r ] Remi Castonguay
helped to restore that footage. Photos courtesy of Yale University.
GOODMAN IN GOOD HANDS AT YALE
A recent, extensive preservation project at the Irving S. Gilmore Music Library at Yale University in Stamford, CT has saved more than 100 of Benny Goodman’s personal 16mm and 35mm films from deterioration. The films contain dozens of hours of never-before-seen footage, including rehearsals; trips to Brussels, Thailand, and Moscow as a Cold War diplomat; and home movies.
Goodman moved to Stamford in the 1940s and, over the years, visited and performed at Yale. He was given an honorary degree from the University in 1982.
After he died in 1986, it was revealed that Goodman had left a portion of his music collection to Yale. Now held by Yale as the “Benny Goodman Papers,” there are 1,500 musical arrangements; 5,000 photographs; 500 reel-to-reel and other audio recordings; scrapbooks and other memorabilia; and personal correspondence. There’s even a plaster cast of Goodman’s teeth!
Some of the audio recordings of previously-unissued material were used to produce 12 Goodman compact discs on the MusicMasters and Jazz Heritage Society labels and Yale received the royalties from them.
The Yale team, namely Remi Castonguay, Public Service Projects Librarian; Francesca Livermore, former Arts-area Digital Librarian; and Brian Meacham, Archive and Special Collections Manager at the Yale Film Study Center, knew who to ask to help them identify and evaluate the films --- they turned to Dave Jessup, jazz scholar and author of Benny Goodman: A Supplemental Discography (Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2010).
I asked Dave to detail his involvement.
“My name came up as an ‘expert’ on Goodman,” he explained, “[ and ] eventually evolved into a request that I travel out and assist in evaluating the importance of, and condition of, various films held in the Archives . . . they wanted to ensure preservation of anything that was worthwhile, unique, and in danger of loss through deterioration. So we went through a list of the holdings, identified anything that wasn’t clearly and correctly described, then - at last – sat and watched footage for three days. The end result was pinning down what had been vaguely noted and setting up priorities for preservation.”
Dave got to see some memorable footage.
“To some degree I hold good memories of all of it,” he said. “I wish we’d had twice the time, for we had to concentrate on what was ‘unknown.’ I still look forward to seeing some of the ‘known’ material all the way through, sometime in this lifetime – just two examples would be the uncut ‘Swing Into Spring’ network specials sponsored by Texaco (NBC, 1958 and CBS, 1959). We sampled those, just enough to see that they were what they claimed to be and were uncut – including commercials involving Benny.”
What about the home movies?
“Home movies stretched back as far as the mid 1930s, and one from 1941, shot by Vido Musso, was fascinating,” Dave recalled. “That had been excerpted in ‘Adventures in the Kingdom of Swing,’ the BG documentary produced by Oren Jacoby for PBS’ ‘American Masters’ series. Footage that Oren’s father Irving shot in 1955 is also excerpted in that program – we looked at much of the raw material for that never-finished documentary showing ‘behind the scenes’ at a Columbia recording session. In fact, “Adventures . . . ” is a good taste of what’s held at Yale; I highly recommend that DVD.”
Does Dave think that Yale will produce any more Goodman CDs?
“Loren Schoenberg’s liner notes for Volume 11/12, the NBC Broadcast Recordings, say ‘With this album, we come to the end of what has been a 14-year labor of love.’ Much as I wish otherwise, I don’t know of any plans for further releases at this time,” Dave confided. “Optimistically, I’d say ‘never say never,’ but realistically….”
Regardless of who or what Goodman music comes out in the future, Dave is making note of it.
“At the moment, I can say that yes, I’m keeping the discography updated,” he reports. “While my book was in production (thus the contents were locked), the gratifying news about the Bill Savory Collection being found hit the news – that’s just one example from the past five years . . . Certain releases have come as pleasant surprises to me – the October 1959 Freiberg concert material [ on Jazz Haus ] was fun to hear, and one never knows what else might turn up. That Dr. Michael Arie and his associates were able to run through the entire 1945-46 Benny Goodman / Victor Borge radio series [ on Sounds of YesterYear ] was gratifying – now I have to get them!”
For a “Collector’s Checklist” which I have prepared of Goodman compact discs, click on this link; you can compare it to what you have on CD. Meanwhile, how does Dave keep track of all of the Goodman downloads being offered at, for example, Amazon.com?
“At the moment, I generally don’t annotate commercial downloads; there’s no physical, tangible object to list, and I haven’t found much - commercially – that isn’t also embodied in a physical sound carrier.”
VAUGHN MONROE’S LEGACY
The Vaughn Monroe Appreciation Society, organized in 2004 by Lou Kohnen and Claire Schwartz, is working together with the American Big Band Preservation Society to acquire the collection of Vince Paterson of Australia, who passed away in 2012.
Vince and his wife, Di, were long-time friends of the Monroe's and Vince was president of Vaughn's Australian fan club.
Di recently visited the USA and Schwartz was able to meet her in person.
“She is a lovely lady and we want to help her honor Vince's memory by providing a good home for his complete collection of Vaughn's works,” Schwartz announced. “We will keep you posted as things develop.”
Meanwhile, on the Monroe Society’s website, vaughnmonroe.org, there is a new tribute to him written by Cathy Norton, who provides an update to Monroe memorabilia that had been on display in southern Florida.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU
Stumpy Brown, b.Sep 1, 1925. Trombonist - vocalist with Brown '43-'01?.
Virginia Maxey, b.Sep 4, 1923. Vocalist with Barnet '43 / '48 "Red Skin Rhumba"
[ sic ] Universal film short; Pastor '44; Elman '47.
Jonnie Miller Hoffman, b.Sep 14, 1944. Daughter of Glenn Miller.
Joe Temperley, b.Sep 20, 1929. Baritone saxophonist with Herman '67; Ellington Orch
'75 / '81 "Sophisticated Ladies" RCA.
Velma Middleton, b.Sep 1, 1917. Vocalist with Armstrong '42-'61 .
Joe Venuti, b.Sep 1, 1904. Violinist with Whiteman. Leader of own band.
Clyde Hurley, b.Sep 3, 1916. Trumpeter with Pollack '37-'39; Miller '39-'40; T Dorsey
'40-'41; Shaw '41.
Trigger Alpert, b.Sep 3, 1916. Bassist with Rey '40; Miller '40-'42; Miller AAF '43-'45.
Gerald Wilson, b.September 4, 1918. Trumpeter with Lunceford '39-'42 and bandleader.
Johnny Letman, b.Sep 6, 1917. Trumpeter with Slack '42; Calloway '46; Basie '51.
Sol Schlinger, b.Sep 6, 1926. Saxophonist with Jerome '40; Fields 41-'43; T Dorsey
'43-'46; J Dorsey '47.
Bill Slapin, b.Sep 6, 1929. Saxophonist with Morrow '47; McIntyre '49; Anthony '51;
Sauter-Finegan '55; Goodman '56; Shaw Capitol album '68.
Max Kaminsky, b.Sep 7, 1908. Trumpeter with T Dorsey '36 / '38; Shaw '37 / '41-'42
/ '43; Teagarden '57 / '58-'59.
Joe Newman, b.Sep 7, 1922. Trumpeter with Basie '43-'46 / '52-'61 ; Jacquet '47;
Cliff Leeman, b.Sep 10, 1913. Drummer with Shaw '36-'39; T Dorsey '39; Barnet
'40-'43; Herman '43-'44.
Raymond Scott, b.Sep 10, 1910. Leader of own band '34-'60s?.
Cat Anderson, b.Sep 12, 1916. Trumpeter with Ellington '44-'47 / '50-'59 / '61-'71.
Joe Shulman, b.Sep 12, 1923. Bassist with Miller AAF '43-'45; Rich '46; Thornhill '47.
Chu Berry, b.Sep 13, 1910. Saxophonist with F Henderson '35-'36; Calloway '37-'41.
Mel Torme, b.Sep 13, 1925. Vocalist with Marx '42-'43; Shaw '46.
Bobby Nichols, b.Sep 15, 1924. Trumpeter with Monroe '40-'43; Miller AAF Band
'43-'45; Beneke-Miller Orch '46-'47; T Dorsey '51-'52, Sauter-Finegan '52-'56;
McKinley-Miller Orch '61.
Gene Roland, b.Sep 15, 1921. Composer-trumpeter with Kenton '44-'45; Herman
Sam Butera, b.Sep 17, 1927. Saxophonist with McKinley '47; Prima '54-'70s.
Frank Socolow, b.Sep 18, 1923. Tenor saxophonist with Raeburn '44; Shaw '49-'50.
Helen Ward, b.Sep 19, 1916. Vocalist with Goodman '34-'36; McIntyre '42-'43;
James '43; Time-Life "Swing Era" '70.
Tommy Potter, b.Sep 21, 1918. Bassist with Eckstine '44-'45; Hines '52-'53; Shaw
Ray Wetzel, b.Sep 22, 1924. Trumpeter with Herman '43-'45; Kenton '45-'48 / '51;
Barnet '49; T Dorsey '51.
Frank Foster, b.Sep 23, 1928. Tenor saxophonist with Basie '53-'64. Leader of Basie
Herb Jeffries, b.Sep 24, 1913. Vocalist with Ellington '39-'42.
Garvin Bushell, b.Sep 25, 1902. Clarinetist with Calloway '36-'37; Webb '37-'39.
Shadow Wilson, b.Sep 25, 1919. Drummer with Hampton '40-'41; Hines '41-'43;
Basie '44-'46 / '48; Jacquet '46-'47 / ' 50 / '53-'54.
Lammar Wright, Jr., b.Sep 28, 1927. Trumpeter with Hampton '43-'46; Barnet '47-'48.
Carmen Leggio, b.Sep 30, 1927. Saxophonist with Goodman '57; Ferguson '58-59.
BIG BAND DATES
Count Basie Orchestra directed by Scotty Barnhart. Sep 19, Oakland, FL; Sep 25,
Tommy Dorsey Orchestra directed by Terry Myers. Tour of Australia: Sep 10,
Orange; Sep 11, Dubbo; Sep 12, Sydney; Sep 13, Newcastle; Sep 15, Port
MacQuarie; Sep 16, Brisbane; Sep 17, Maryborough; Sep 18, Tweed Heads;
Sep 19, Cairns; Sep 20, Toowoomba; Sep 23, Rockhampton; Sep 24,
Bundaberg; Sep 25, Caloundra; Sep 26, Mackay; Sep 27, Wollongong;
Sep 30, Nowra.
Harry James Orchestra directed by Fred Radke. Sep 22-29, Hawaii tour.
Glenn Miller Orchestra directed by Nick Hilscher. Sep 27, Stockton Performing
Arts Center, Galloway, NJ.
Claude Thornhill. “The Claude Thornhill Collection: 1934 - 53,” Acrobat (E) FADCD
2054. 46 tracks on two discs, including, of course, Thornhill’s own band, as well one
example each of his work as a sideman with Goodman, Prima, Miller, and Noble.
Paul Weston. “The Paul Weston Collection: 1935-61,” Acrobat (E) ACQCD 7088.
4 discs of Weston’s band or arrangements, including some when he was known as
In next month’s News,” a package of Neal Hefti music is in the pipeline.