Legacy

Benny Goodman Quartet: The Commercial

Questions:

  1. Was this made in the late 1930s? Apart from some ad hoc reunions, that's when this particular edition of the Benny Goodman quartet was together. Then again, the band would have been in its mid-late 20s in the late 1930s, and their caricatures might make them look a bit more wrinkled than that. Hard to tell, of course. The uploader surmises the '50s or '60s, but admits he "isn't sure."
  2. What medium was this designed for? The uploader labels it a "TV" commercial, in which case it would have been unlikely to have been made in the late '30s, when TV was just emerging. But it could have been designed for movie theaters, which would permit the '30s date. It might be noted that this particular Benny Goodman quartet appeared in the movie Hollywood Hotel in 1937.
  3. Who would have funded this? Surely this was not a cheap thing to commission, and would have only made sense for a company with a lot of funding and a star with a lot of fame. Columbia Records under John Hammond, maybe? They oversaw the rise of (bespectacled, coiffed, clarinet-playing) Goodman into a teen idol in the '30s.
  4. When was the last time you saw a mass media, motion picture commercial for a jazz band?
  5. Now that it's 2012, does this make you uncomfortable despite its good intentions re: racial and religious unity? If you said yes, and you're an American, does this somehow make you feel proud to be American in spite of that?

The YouTube uploader, 1964MBrooks, has put up more Goodman material. All this is via Jazz Lives.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.