Bio of swing band leader 'Benny Goodman' from age 10 (1919) to his landmark Carnegie Hall band concert in 1938. Not exactly historically accurate, but great music. Also, guest appearances ... See full summary »
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Bio of swing band leader 'Benny Goodman' from age 10 (1919) to his landmark Carnegie Hall band concert in 1938. Not exactly historically accurate, but great music. Also, guest appearances by many great musicians of the time. Written by
Don Femia <email@example.com>
Already an accomplished piano player, Steve Allen learned how to play the clarinet for this film. See more »
Benny Goodman is shown playing the Gordon Jenkins standard "Goodbye" after he learns of his father's death. Goodman's father died in 1926, but Jenkins did not compose "Goodbye" until 1935. Goodman used "Goodbye" as the sign-off tune for the "Let's Dance" radio program and live performances. See more »
Benny Goodman's theme song is played over the appearance of the "Universal International" globe. See more »
This film is considered by many as being a pretty mediocre film, but I think this film is truly great. Maybe it's just a jazz-lover's point of view; Benny Goodman is my favourite artist, and is the man who inspired me to take up the clarinet. Steve Allen comes across as a likable Goodman, and manages to look the part. Donna Reed also does her job pretty well but the people in the film who will really catch your attention are the jazz musicians that are in the film, playing themselves. These musicians include: the very enthusiastic drummer Gene Krupa, the trombone player Edward "Kid" Ory, the vibraphone player Lionel Hampton and the famous band leader and drummer of the '20s Ben Pollack. Whether you like the film or not, you have got to like the music which includes such Goodman classics as "Don't be that way", "Sing, Sing, Sing", "Let's Dance" and "One o'clock jump". All in all, a highly enjoyable film which, as far as I am concerned, is better than the much acclaimed film "The Glenn Miller Story" starring James Stewart in the part of Miller. "The Benny Goodman Story" is a must-see for all jazz fanatics and all clarinet players. The film also features a very impressive rendition of Mozart's clarinet concerto (Goodman also gave classical music a try, as you can see, to great effect). I'd say that it is decidedly worth seeing. Enjoy!
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