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Benny Goodman and the Swing Era

Benny Goodman and the Swing Era (Hardback)

By Collier, James Lincoln

  • $78.50
  • In stock

This biography of Benny Goodman's music and times attempts to recreate the colourful music world of the 1920s and 1930s, when Goodman was hailed the King of Swing . The author offers insights into the character and music of a man who helped transform the Depression years into the... read full description below.

ISBN 9780195052787
Barcode 9780195052787
Published 26 October 1989 by Oxford University Press (S3)
Format Hardback
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Full details for this title

ISBN-13 9780195052787
ISBN-10 0195052781
Stock Available
Status Available at publisher; ships 6-14 working days
Publisher Oxford University Press (S3)
Imprint Oxford University Press, USA
Publication Date 26 October 1989
International Publication Date 1 October 1989
Publication Country United States United States
Format Hardback
Author(s) By Collier, James Lincoln
Category Jazz
Blues music
Biography & Autobiography: Film, Television, Music, Theatre
Number of Pages 416
Dimensions Width: 163mm
Height: 237mm
Spine: 31mm
Weight 762g
Interest Age 19+ years
Reading Age 19+ years
Library of Congress Jazz musicians - United States, Jazz - History and criticism, Jazz musicians - United States - Biography, Goodman, Benny
NBS Text Biography: The Arts
ONIX Text College/higher education;Professional and scholarly
Dewey Code 781.65092
Catalogue Code Not specified

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Source Pub. RRP Forex Disc. Price Frt Landed Cost
United States 1 Oct 89 USD $56.00 0.6047 0% $123.17 14%
Availability: In stock (Allow 6-12 working days)
New Zealand 26 Oct 89 NZD $78.50 0% $68.26
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Description of this Book

Born of poor Jewish immigrant parents in Chicago in 1909, Benny Goodman joined the local synagogue band at the age of ten with two of his brothers. As he was the smallest of the three, he was given a clarinet. Within a decade he was a musical legend, constantly in demand for radio shows and guest appearances with America's leading jazz orchestras. In 1934 he formed his own band, and by the mid-1930s, Benny Goodman was hailed as the King of Swing . This biography of Goodman's music and times attempts to recreate the colourful music world of the 1920s and 1930s, when the music industry was just expanding, radio was the great source of musical entertainment, and swing bands were first finding national audiences. The author also offers insights into the character and music of a man whose magic transformed the Depression years into the Swing Era.

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Awards, Reviews & Star Ratings

NZ Review 'The author gives a scrupulous account of Goodman's life and character, without indulging in excessive psychological speculation. He also presents an excellent survey of the rise of the big band.' Geoffrey Smith, Country Life 'he has marshalled the available data very diligently ... a commendable work on the Jewish boy from the ghetto who made good' Jim Godbolt, Sunday Telegraph 'his book leaves us with a sharply drawn, far from flattering portrait of the ambitious, totally self-centred clarinettist and band leader ... But Collier paints an enthralling picture of the whole American popular music industry through to the fifties ... Collier is an extremely able social historian ... His ensembles blow as hard as his solos making this book an indispensable companion to the records.' John Ellis, The Guardian 'brilliantly chronicled by James Lincoln Collier in this in-depth study ... With its fine photographs, notes, index and discography, it belongs in every jazz fan's library.' Elaine Ives-Cameron, Jewish Chronicle 'Collier... writes wonderfully well' Devon Life 'Even with the benefit of all the diligent research that has made this book so gripping, Collier is unable to explain why Goodman could be so uniquely nasty ... a disturbing and revealing account of one of the most paradoxical lives in jazz.' Jazz FM 'authoritative study ... The author gives a scrupulous account of Goodman's life and character, without indulging in excessive psychological speculation. He also presents an excellent survey of the rise of the big band.' Geoffrey Smith, Country Life 'this is a substantial and recommendable read' Wire Monthly 'Collier's probing of Goodman's personality and his assessment of the music it created is superior to his earlier studies of Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong.' Times Literary Supplement 'the book gives a new and fascinating insight into Goodman's particular style of leadership and discipline ... This is, without a doubt, the most in-depth analysis of any band leader ... that you are ever likely to read.' Tony Parker, Oldham Evening Chronicle 'the most reliable of Collier's three jazz biographies' Jazztimes, November 1991 'Collier's book amplifies very extensively Goodman's autobiography, The Kingdom of Swing.' Times Literary Supplement
US Review Noted jazz critic Collier adds to his impressive production of biographies (Louis Armstrong: An American Genius; Duke Ellington) with this study of legendary clarinetist Benny Goodman, which includes as well a portrait of the swing era. While this is as complete a bio of Goodman as we are likely to see, the author often punctuates his story with mini portraits of various musical influences (Dixieland, the big band, be-bop) and personal influences on Goodman (Ted Lewis, Doc Berendsohn, Jimmie Noone, Jimmy Dorsey, Pee Wee Russell, Fud Livingston, Jimmy Lytell, Volly DeFault, Don Murray), as well as of important fugures in the creation of the modern dance orchestra (Art Hickman, Ferder Grofe, Paul Whiteman). Collier takes the story back to Goodman's origins as the son of a poor Jewish immigrant family in Chicago, seeing a major influence in Goodman's observing his admired father laboring hard at debilitating and demeaning work. He thus grew up determined to rescue himself and his father (who, nevertheless, died young). Goodman's parents made the propitious choice of clarinet for young Benny, and by the time he was 15, he had so taken to the instrument that he was outearning his father and all of his older brothers. Collier also chronicles and provides critiques of most of Goodman's recordings and concerts (including the famous January 1938 Carnegie Hall concert that brought modern jazz to that hallowed hall for the first time: Goodman's initial reaction to the idea was, Are you out of your mind? What the hell would we do there? ). Meanwhile, Collier makes no bones about the fact that he considers big-band swing music to be the finest kind of popular music we have seen in centuries, a contention that, in itself, elevates Goodman to the highest ranks of popular icons in America. A fine addition to musical autobiography, more studied than Stanley Baron's Benny: King of Swing (1979) and obviously more complete than Goodman's half-century-old The Kingdom of Swing. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author's Bio

About the Author: James Lincoln Collier is the author of over forty books, which have been published in twelve languages, including Russian: he is the only American writer on jazz to have official acceptance in the U.S.S.R. His books on music include biographies of Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington, The Making of Jazz and Practical Music Theory, used in many schools. His articles on music have also appeared in the New York Times Sunday Magazine, Village Voice, Wall Street Journal, and many others. He contributed major articles to the New Grove Dictionary of American Music and to Grove's Dictionary of Jazz. Collier has worked as a jazz musician around New York for many years, and has played with groups in a dozen nations around the world.

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