Memorial Day is not veterans day, not 'show your pride in the military' day. There are people who died in the service of their fellow men and women in this country who deserve ot be remembered - including many who did not lose their lives in military excursions who, in my opinion, should also be remembered and honored; people like the Haymarket martyrs, hung for organizing a demonstration for the 40 hour workday; or Joe Hill, executed on trumped up charges for organizing dock workers and writing union songs. I'm no nationalist - every country has its honored dead, not just victors. No one should owe years of their lives, or their very lives, to the government of the real estate upon which they were born. In our world, a military is necessary; if a country doesn't have conscription where everyone serves, volunteers fill the bill. In our day, this has led to military families, some serving out of patriotism, but many, from lower economic classes, because it's a way to a decent living and leg up in the world - if you don't get killed, the benefits are good. Unless you need healthcare. Every time I think of professional soldiering as a job, I think of Rome or other such empires. Nowadays, we not only have professional military families, but special insurance, special retail programs, special homeowners programs, and etc. for military families and their descendants - except, of course, proper care for the wounded of body and spirit. Hmmm, I think this this little diatribe has gone on longer than the couple of songs I played for the real Memorial Day.
Goodman put his first big band together to audition for a Billy Rose show. They got hired. When the show closed, they successfully auditioned for the "Let's Dance' radio program. Benny's outfit was one of three bands on the show - their segment started at 12:30am. Most of what they played were arrangements in the new "swing" style of jazz, done by Fletcher Henderson, and African American whose own band hadn't been able to stay financially afloat. Benny even hired members of Henderson's band to teach his guys how to play swing. After 6 months, the sponsor pulled the plug on the radio show due to a strike at their plant. Goodman went on tour. It was a disaster. No one wanted to hear this 'new' music.
I hope listeners enjoy the show.