Personnel: Benny Goodman (clarinet); Martha Tilton (vocals); Hymie
Shertzer, Phil Bodner, Milt Yaner (alto saxophone); Al Klink,
Peanuts Hucko, Boomie Richman (tenor saxophone); Sol Schlinger
(baritone saxophone); Harry James, Ruby Braff, Chris Griffin, Billy
Butterfield, Bernie Privin, Jimmy Maxwell, Carl Poole, Doc
Severinson, Bernie Glow, John Durante (trumpet); Urbie Green, Will
Bradley, Lou McGarity (trombone); Lionel Hampton (vibraphone); Dick
Hyman, Morris Wechsler, Mel Powell (piano); Tony Mottola, Al Caiola
(guitar); Milt Hinton, George Duvivier (bass); Bobby Donaldson, Don
Producer: F.M. Scott III.
Reissue producer: Michael Cuscuna.
Recorded at the Riverside Plaza Hotel, New York, New York on
December 7, 8 & 14, 1955. Includes liner notes by George T.
Digitally remastered by Jeff Rach.
Personnel: Ella Fitzgerald, Fred Astaire, Helen Forrest, Helen
Ward, Joe Harris , Jimmy Rushing, Johnny Mercer, Al Hendrickson,
Lillian Lane, Lionel Hampton, Liza Morrow, Martha Tilton, Peggy Lee
, Art Lund, Billie Holiday (vocals).
Recording information: 09/13/1939-04/14/1949.
Consumer advisory: In 1955, Universal Pictures released The Benny
Goodman Story, starring Steve Allen. Goodman himself played the
music in the film (which consisted of re-recordings of his old
hits), rounding up such former band members as Harry James, Martha
Tilton, and Lionel Hampton, and a successful soundtrack LP was
issued by Decca. But Goodman wasn't under contract to Decca; he was
on Capitol, which rushed him into the studio in December to recut
his hits again. Capitol then released this album early in 1956,
with the same title as the film and the Decca soundtrack, its cover
deceptively declaring that it contained "brilliant new high
fidelity recordings made especially for this album of the
selections featured in the motion picture of his life." Pretty
sneaky. Forty years later, Capitol reissued the album on CD with
the same cover, which indicates that ethics in the record business
have not improved (in case you were wondering). That said, the
reissue adds five bonus tracks, pushing the album to an hour's
length. And though the album is not what it claims to be, it is
nevertheless a hot session on which Goodman plays with his usual
assurance, and the big band, which features Dick Hyman and Milt
Hinton along with guest appearances by James, Tilton, and Ruby
Braff, and a version of the quintet featuring Hampton, Mel Powell,
George Duvivier, and Bobby Donaldson, are effective. (The Decca
soundtrack is now on MCA; the original versions are on RCA.)
(Originally released on LP by Capitol Records in 1956, The Benny
Goodman Story was reissued on CD by Capitol Jazz on Nov. 7, 1995.)
~ William Ruhlmann