[Dixielandjazz] Greenspan & Woody - Redux

Stephen Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Thu Dec 4 12:16:54 PST 2003

Can anybody find anything in the many biographies of Alan Greenspan that
he played with Woody Herman? I cannot, but that doesn't prove anything.

As to whether Greenspan played with Herman in 1944 as others suggest,
please note the following from a New Yorker profile of Alan Greenspan,
by John Cassidy -- 4/24 and 5/1/2000: (which of course may be inaccurate

"Music was another passion, which he inherited from his mother.  At
family gatherings, Greenspan was a star attraction.  His uncles would
give him a dime to sing the Depression song 'Brother, Can You Spare a

 "When Greenspan finished high school, he applied to Juilliard and spent
two years there, studying the saxophone and the clarinet.  In 1944, at
the end of his sophomore year, he dropped out and decided to try to make
some money by playing professionally.

"It was the beginning of the bebop era. Jazz orchestras, featuring
virtuosos like Dizzy Gillespie, were starting to emerge; and some of the
old swing bands were forced to update themselves.  One such outfit was
the Henry Jerome Band, which played regularly at the Childs restaurant
in the Paramount Theatre building, in Times Square.  The band's manager,
who also played in its horn section, was a young law student named
Leonard Garment - the same Leonard Garment who went on to become
President Nixon's counsel during Watergate."

"Greenspan enjoyed the show-business life, but soon realized it wasn't a
viable career.  'I was a pretty good amateur musician, but I was average
as a professional'. During his time in the band, Greenspan had started
reading books about business and finance and he found them fascinating.
In 1945, he quit and started taking classes at New York University's
business school."

If the above is accurate. From 1942 to 1944 Greenspan was at Julliard.
1944 to 1945, he was playing with Henry Jerome's band. From 1945 to 1948
he attended New York University majoring in Economics, graduating Summa
Cum Laude. Based on the above, graduated from hight school on 1942. No
mean feat for a man born in 1926, who would have been 16 in 1942, in
case we are wondering why he wasn't drafted.

Steve Barbone

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