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'Goodbye' to Benny Goodman

June 21, 1986

Thank you for clarifying (in your obituary on the classical and "King of Swing" clarinetist Benny Goodman) the significance of the famous Palomar Ballroom at the corner of Third Street and Vermont Avenue in Los Angeles.

Now occupied by Ralph's Supermarket (where we have shopped for years), the ballroom represents the start of the modern swing era and Goodman's initial appearance there on the night of Aug. 21, 1935. This was prior to Goodman's later engagement at the Paramount in New York in 1937 and the Carnegie Hall concert of 1938.

Your article mentions the late trumpeter and bandleader Harry James. James came out of Texas and joined Goodman in 1936 at the age of 21, appeared with Goodman's orchestra in the 1937 "Hollywood Hotel" movie, and interspersed a short classical trumpet solo into his 1938 jazz virtuoso performance at Carnegie Hall. So Goodman was not the only jazz musician with classical music background and capability.

KENNETH LLOYD LARSON

Los Angeles

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