[Dixielandjazz] Carnegie Hall Liner Notes

Stan Brager sbrager at socal.rr.com
Fri Jun 15 18:12:22 PDT 2007


The reference to Benny's single mike at Carnegie Hall comes from an
interview with Bill Savory and was written in an email to the DJML list on
June 12 which was addressed to you as well as DJML. Bill knew Benny fairly
well according to his statements.

Zarchy's statements regarding the mikes was in reference to floor microphone
standards for big band venues during the 30s and early 40s as well. For
Carnegie Hall, my guess is that Benny noticed the overhead mike and was
satisfied enough not to concern himself about other microphones. I can't
remember ever seeing a photo taken in Carnegie Hall before 1940 which showed
a floor microphone.

Regarding Irving Kodolin, while was most probably at the concert, he erred
when he stated that one copy of the recording was for the Library Of
Congress. Judging from his liner notes and the fact that he was a budding
journalist at the time, I would hazard the thought that he was more
interested in the people and financial success aspects of the concert and
didn't give a fig about the technical concerns such as microphones, etc.

While we'll never know for certain, I'll put my money on Bill Savory as
having the most accurate assessment of the recording process.

Stan Brager
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Steve Barbone" <barbonestreet at earthlink.net>
To: <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
Cc: "Dixieland Jazz Mailing List" <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Thursday, June 14, 2007 6:22 PM
Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Carnegie Hall Liner Notes

> "Stan Brager" <sbrager at socal.rr.com> wrote:
> > Steve;
> >
> > In light of what we now know, it sounds as though Kolodin's information
> > from Benny who thought that there were only a single mike. That's the
> > it's important to quote sources for historical information for which
this is
> > no direct personal knowledge.
> The lawyer in me says be careful about laying the blame for the microphone
> misinformation on Goodman. All Benny said was: "Somebody did." (according
> Kolodin when Goodman was told "too bad somebody didn't record it")
> There is no evidence, or inference that Goodman said anything about a
> mike. That single mike reference was placed in the liner notes by Kolodin
> some 12 years later. Perhaps he remembered it hanging there? Anyway, 12
> years is a long time where one's memory is concerned.
> Also staying with mikes, far be it from me to disagree with Zeke Zarchy
> his perfect recall even at age 92. He said there was only on mike when
> B.G.'s band would play, ditto for all the bands Zeke was ever in.
> Well, maybe Zeke played only in smaller venues with BG.
> Those who have the Ken Burns Book can plainly see see a photo of B.G's
> at the Paramount Theater in NYC in 1938. That photo, on page 254 shows 3
> microphones. One stage right on a riser by the vibes, one center stage and
> one stage left in front of the reeds. That was a "return engagement" after
> his first smash appearance there in 1937. Goodman may well have used more
> than one mike depending upon the size of the venue and the crowd noise. Or
> maybe they were turned off, though I don't see why they would not have
> removed then since they are regular floor stand mikes.
> While perusing the book, see pages 260 and 261 for multiple mikes in front
> of the Basie Band as well as in front of the Woody Herman Band. Obviously
> Herman is playing into one of the Mikes because he is facing sideways.
> Randall's Island circa 1938. (this was a HUGE outdoor concert venue)
> IMO, it all depends on the venue. Seeing Basie at Birdland, there was only
> vocal mike, as I remember, for Joe Williams. Small room, capacity about
> Seeing Basie outdoors in Central Park, as I remember, there were several
> mikes out in front of the band.  Various soloists would step up to get
> closer to one when their turn came.
> There is also an interesting band photo on page 309 of Earl Hines' band at
> the Apollo circa 1943. Several mikes at floor level, front of stage in
> addition to the center mike. For tap dancers? For the band?
> Bottom line, sources (even supposedly unimpeachable ones) can be quite
> and often are. There is nothing like a little investigation on one's own.
> Cheers,
> Steve Barbone

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