Today, May 30, is Benny Goodman’s birthday, so what better way to celebrate than with one of his earliest records?
On June 4, 1928 in Chicago, Illinois, in what I believe was only his third session under his own name, future King of Swing Benny Goodman (credited here as “Bennie”) and his Boys recorded Shirt Tail Stomp and Blue, issued on Brunswick 3975. Also recorded that day were Jungle Blues and Room 1411.
In addition to Goodman on clarinet, alto sax, and baritone sax, the band includes Jimmy McPartland on cornet, Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey on trombone, Fud Livingston on clarinet and tenor sax, Vic Breidis on piano, Dick Morgan on guitar, Benny’s brother Harry Goodman on tuba, and Ben Pollack on the drums.
According to legend, Shirt Tail Stomp was intended as a parody of Dixieland jazz and deliberately played as corny as possible, which, to the musicians surprise, turned out to be a hit with audiences. Nevertheless, the excellent musicianship shows through, and it remains an excellent, if somewhat novel piece.
On the flip-side, Benny’s Boys play a little slower on Blue, a 1922 Lou Handman, Grant Clark, and Edgar Leslie composition, credited on the label to Clark, Leslie and Pete Wendling.
Updated on June 24, 2016 and with improved audio on November 13, 2016 and May 28, 2017.