Swing punk: Benny Goodman

At the suggestion of our piano tuner we rented The Benny Goodman Story (1956 film with Steve Allen and Donna Reed).

Oddly enough it felt like it could have been The Iggy Pop story… or The Joe Strummer Story. His story is one where the status quo is challenged via a new musical approach.

Something deep inside me respects people who challenge things and eventually, via commitment to something larger than themselves, change the world.

Every individual included in Apple’s Think Different campaign falls into this bucket. Steve Jobs and Lee Clow missed a few people… I’d throw Iggy, Joe and Benny into the same bucket as Pablo and Hensen.

Born in 1909, he was a lad when the massive force of the Roaring 20s hit. Popular music at that time was classical waltzes. Benny drew from every source he could find (mostly from New Orleans players), did the equivalent of tearing the roof off… and invented Swing.

He and the people around him created the taproot that later became Jazz. He called his alternative approach to music making “hot” music. When looked it within the context of the music around at the time it was, indeed, hot.

Benny was a punk… a Swing punk.

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