Songs To While The Class Struggle By (Kind Of)- Buddha Swings- Benny Goodman On The Air-1937-38- A CD Review
Click on the headline to link to a YouTube film clip of Benny Goodman his band performing, well, performing swing music, what else.
Benny Goodman On The Air-1937-38, Benny Goodman and the 1937-38 version of his band, Columbia Records, Sony Music, 1993
Delores LaBlanc had had just enough of Elizabeth (Betty) LaCroix and her tangled love life with her brother, Jean. Every other week it seemed that she was breaking up with him over one question. Let me give you a hint. Betty and Delores are seniors at Olde Saco High School in this year of our lord 1937. Let me add that they are both dark-haired French-Canadian American beauties dewy like only those from the north up in Quebec can be. So sex is naturally in the equation, especially since in a few months they will be having their senior prom, always a highlight in the Olde Saco calendar year, for those who graduate and those who, for one reason or another don’t. And graduation or not the next step is marriage. That is just ethos of the town, the culture and the times. Right this minute though this Delores fed-up moment the sex question revolves around Betty and Jean.
Seems that Betty had had her fifteenth, no sixteenth, fight and never make-up with dear Jean. And whether the year is 1039, 1539, or like now 1939 the issue, to put it delicately, was sex, or rather “doing it.” Or the real rather why she wanted to wait until marriage, and not before, to give in to one Jean LeBlanc. Needless to say All-American boy, really all All-American French-Canadian boy and former star of the Olde Saco High football team, the one that beat Auburn for the state title a couple of years back, Jean, was all for doing the do right now as a test run for marriage, or so that is how he presented it to Betty last Saturday (and many a previous Saturday night) down in the dunes of Olde Saco Beach as they watch old Neptune do his ocean magic. And Jean almost made the sale, except by the time Betty decided yes, she wasn’t in the mood any longer. Jesus.
And what does all this have to do with Benny Goodman, king of swingness, and the possibilities of seeing said king in person. Well where have you been? How do you think our boy Jean, champion football mover but a little bashful in the sex department when he came right down to it tried to get one Betty LaCroix in the mood. Take one guess. No I will give a hint-think clarinet, a heavenly deep beat-pacing clarinet that sets those drums a rolling, those trumpets blowing to Gabriel’s heaven, and sets those sexy saxes on fire to blow the wall of Jericho down. A Little Body And Soul or Swing Time In The Mountains. Maybe Blue Skies. Get it.
So one can see Delores point, a little. But here is the funny part. Delores is having her own sexual dilemmas with one Jean Jacques LaCroix (yes, Betty’s brother, it’s that kind of town and that kind of clannishness). See, one night she let sweet boy Jean Jacque go a little farther than she should have while they were down the dunes of Olde Saco Beach in his father’s Hudson while the Benny Goodman Hour was on the radio. Get it.