How talented would a 16-year-old musician in the early 1940's have had to be to grab the attention of Benny Goodman? And not only that, but to then have the King of Swing offer him a job as pianist, singer, and arranger with the biggest of the big bands? That teenager was Buddy Greco, and … Continue reading Buddy Greco’s Benny Goodman Moment
You might or might not remember Art Lund, but I'm willing to bet that you'd recognize his 1947 chart-topping "Mam’selle" if you heard it. (And you can, below.) But Lund was in no way a one-hit wonder. He was actually a multi-talented guy with a long performing life that began with success as a big-band … Continue reading The Many Talents Of Art Lund
I've written many times about songbirds -- not the feathered variety but the ladies who sang during the big band era -- and how some of them went on to become solo stars and even movie icons. But I also enjoy writing about someone like Jane Harvey, who didn't quite reach superstar status but still … Continue reading Jane Harvey – Seven Decades Of Artistry
If you've visited the GMC over the last couple of days, you've noticed some turmoil in the way it looks. It all began when the hosting company apparently had a snag in the ways things were formatted for some of their sites, and it made for some strange looking views. That's all fixed now (hopefully … Continue reading And The Winner Is . . .
I guess the headline is a little misleading because the Fantastic Foursome hasn't really been gone, but it has been AWOL for almost two months so we're certainly due for another installment. (A little info for new visitors; the Fantastic Foursome is a GMC special feature that offers a chance to hear - and vote … Continue reading Fantastic Foursome Is Back!
As I've said before, the big musical stars have all had plenty of stuff written about them, but what about those who were just as talented -- maybe even more so -- but never got the recognition? Guys like saxophonist Toots Mondello, who was one of the best but remains relatively unknown to most music … Continue reading A Hidden Treasure – Toots Mondello
One of my favorite posts on the GMC is titled Picnics And Music –The Curious Case Of Moonglow, and it explores how "Moonglow" -- a fine song in its own right -- somehow got attached to the theme from the 1955 film Picnic, and became a best-selling record. In fact, the resulting two-song medley was … Continue reading A Lunar Fantastic Foursome
It would be difficult to find a song with a more unusual history of success than the swing era classic, "And The Angels Sing." Originally an instrumental with a Jewish klezmer-style segment, it would later have lyrics added and become a hit record for a famous big band, while at the same time turning into … Continue reading Anatomy Of A Song – “And the Angels Sing”
I'm pretty sure that legendary clarinetist Benny Goodman didn't require his life-long friends to be virtuosos of his caliber, but at least one of them was just that. Pianist/composer Mel Powell might not have been quite as famous as Benny but he was every bit as talented, and over the course of their long careers … Continue reading Benny’s Buddy Was A Virtuoso Too
I've always been pretty upfront about my appreciation for legendary clarinetist Benny Goodman -- even kiddingly comparing myself to him in an earlier post -- but there were lots of guys in the early jazz age who played a mean licorice stick. In fact, some of them probably inspired Goodman when he was first starting … Continue reading The Clarinet Wizardry Of Johnny Dodds