Benny Goodman in 1981


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In 1981, Greg Jackson began a TV interview show for CBS Cable called Signature. Ahead of its time, the format featured the subject up close and Jackson off-camera asking the questions in a friendly, engaging tone that seemed to be a cross between Dick Cavett and Charlie Rose. In this TV interview, we get to hear Benny Goodman for 20 minutes—the sound of his voice, the rhythm of his articulation, and his polite fatigue with some of the questions he's asked. Also, I'm not sure how the interviewer could have missed asking Goodman about the 1935 Palomar Ballroom appearance that sent Swing into the mainstream. Though the line of questioning at times reveals a lack of homework and a failure to plan a course for the interview, Goodman remains hip, lucid and fascinating to hear. He would die five years later in 1986. Here's the interview...

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This story appears courtesy of JazzWax by Marc Myers.
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