[Dixielandjazz] Fun With Benny's Microphones

Robert Newman bobngaye at surewest.net
Sat Jun 16 16:56:07 PDT 2007

Gentlepersons -- Reading your most intellectual and profound discussion of the Earth-shattering details of Mister Goodman's Carnegie Hall concert in 1938 and the use of microphones therein, has been quite entertaining.    Out of curiosity I looked at page 25 of the booklet that came with the two Columbia CD's.   It is a full page Carnegie Hall concert picture of Martha Tilton singing into a big floor mic with CBS plainly visible on top.   Living proof that at least one floor mic was used, in addition to the much-storied overhead mic.

And, just to see what Benny used in the MADHATTAN (not Manhattan) room of the Pennsylvania Hotel in 1937, look at pages 120 and 122 of the November 1, 1937 issue of Life Magazine -- an interesting 3-page illustrated piece called LIFE GOES TO A PARTY.     The picture on 120 shows BG stage-front by a small house standup mic, talking down smilingly to enthusiastic fans.   The picture on 122 was taken by a photographer evidently standing on the stage by the piano, looking out toward the fans crowded up to the bandstand and looking directly at you -- with Jess Stacy down here to the right, the piano charts on the piano and a tenor sax book open on a sax music stand down in the lower left corner of the picture.   That picture shows the small house mic and a large mic plainly marked  CBS, both on stands.

Very incidentally, Mr. Kolodin spelled his name Kolodin, not Kodolin.    And the recording was done by Albert Marx, Helen Ward's husband.    It is well known that BG's set of acetates was found in his apartment by his sister-in-law, Rachel Speiden, not his daughter Rachel (Edelson) if you happen to be reading Kolodin's original 1950 liner notes.

By the way, ask Bob Ringwald what Benny said about my clarinet setup when he played it here in Sacramento in 1978.    No, come to think of it -- don't.

Bob Newman

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