Kings Of Swing

Linton Chiswick presents a new three-part series examining the music and careers of two giants of the swing era: clarinetists and bandleaders Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw.

Dubbed the 'King of Swing' and the 'King of Clarinet' respectively, Goodman and Shaw played down their rivalry, suggesting they were two very different musicians seeking very different results. A close look at their recordings and careers, however, reveals musicians astonishingly similar in background and aspiration. Linton tells the story of a fascinating musical rivalry threaded through radio orchestras, powerhouse big bands, innovative small bands, the first racially integrated line-ups in American music and a jazz scene unprecedented in its popularity and commercialism.

Episodes

SeriesEpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
Comments
199B01Rhythm Is Our Business19990629

Russell Davies presents a three-part series looking back at the era when swing bands were America's bill-topping entertainment.

1:`Rhythm Is Our Business'.

This programme looks at the big-band life.

199B02Seven Years With The Wrong Leader19990706

Russell Davies presents a three-part series looking back at the era when swing bands were America's bill-topping entertainment.

2: `Seven Years with the Wrong Leader'.

This programme focuses on the despots of swing.

199B03Swing That Music19990713

Russell Davies concludes his three-part series looking back at the era when swing bands were America's bill-topping entertainment.

`Swing That Music'.

This programme explores the creation of a style.

200A0120000103

Russell Davies presents a six-part series celebrating the big band era through the words and music of the stars who made it.

200A0220000110

Russell Davies presents the second of six programmes celebrating the big band era through the words and music of the stars who made it.

200A0320000117

Russell Davies presents the third of six programmes celebrating the big band era through the words and music of the stars who made it.

200A0420000124

Russell Davies presents the fourth of six programmes celebrating the big band era through the words and music of the stars who made it.

200A0520000131

Russell Davies presents the fifth of six programmes celebrating the big band era through the words and music of the stars who made it.

200A0620000207

Russell Davies presents the last of six programmes celebrating the big band era through the words and music of the stars who made it.

JF0120070407

Linton Chiswick presents a new three-part series examining the music and careers of two giants of the swing era: clarinetists and bandleaders Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw.

Dubbed the 'King of Swing' and the 'King of Clarinet' respectively, Goodman and Shaw played down their rivalry, suggesting they were two very different musicians seeking very different results. A close look at their recordings and careers, however, reveals musicians astonishingly similar in background and aspiration. Linton tells the story of a fascinating musical rivalry threaded through radio orchestras, powerhouse big bands, innovative small bands, the first racially integrated line-ups in American music and a jazz scene unprecedented in its popularity and commercialism.When Artie Shaw knocked the Benny Goodman Orchestra off the number one spot in the annual Downbeat poll in 1939 by 47 votes, to Shaw's fans, it was the ushering in of a new era. Their man had finally deposed The King of Swing and validated their devotion. But by November, Shaw had left for Mexico, he'd had enough of the chaos, of the fans, of the band. Featuring rarely heard archive interviews with Goodman and Shaw as well as contributions from many of their friends and colleagues.

JF0220070414

Linton takes a closer look at some of Goodman and Shaw's key big band recordings. And two of the world's greatest clarinetists, Dick Johnson and Ken Peplowski, bring their instruments into the studio to help Linton discuss and deconstruct the two musicians' style and techniques.

JF03 LAST20070421

We focus on Goodman and Shaw's highly innovative small group recordings, which, enlivened by their rivalry, pushed swing to its outer limits and laid the foundations for bebop. Linton also examines how both musicians expressed their tenacity by risking their careers to employ and feature black musicians when a rigid colour barrier was still the norm.