[Dixielandjazz] Benny and Microphones

Robert S. Ringwald robert at ringwald.com
Wed Jun 13 22:58:41 PDT 2007

A few days ago someone posted a message regarding Benny Goodman getting to a
concert and telling the sound men to take away all, or maybe all but one  of
the mics.

I sent the message to Zeke Zarchy.  Zeke is now 92-years-old.  He still has
perfect recall.  He played with Goodman in 1936 and '37.

In fact, Zeke played in my band when I lived in Los Angeles.  one night on a
gig, Benny's younger brother came in.  He had been the band boy when Zeke
was with Goodman.  Zeke introduced me to him.

Below is Zeke's reply regarding Benny and mics.

Note the interesting fact about the black bands of the era.  Zeke has told
me about them before.

> Dear Bob
         "                         That story re Benny saying " Take away 
mikes" could very well be true.  there was indeed only
one mike on all the bandstands and that was indeed
used for announcements and vocalists. That went for
every band I was ever with.   All the black bands put
their.string basses right alongside  the mikes before
going on the air.
>                                    And you can quote
me on that  Zeke

Zeke told me how the black bands put the bass right in front by the mic 
which really gave them a hard driving  sound.  Funny that the white bands 
never got on to that.

--Bob Ringwald K6YBV
Leader, The Fulton Street Jazz Band
The Boondockers (jazz and Comedy)

"The bottom line of any country is, what did we contribute to the world?
We contributed Louis Armstrong." Tony Bennett  -- 

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