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Conrad's 'And the Angels Swing'

June 29, 1986

For ONCE (and just once) I have seen a Conrad cartoon (June 18) with which I can agree. The tribute to Benny Goodman was superb. Oh for a lithograph copy of it!

It must be a commentary on the failure of our culture that music such as that produced by Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, Harry James, et al., is unappreciated by these latter generations. (Albeit a few of the current generation has shown interest). And the deterioration of "popular" music into what Mr. Goodman characterized as "amplified junk" makes any commentary extremely sad.

But, maybe there's hope. We could, someday, suffer a mammoth, nationwide power gridlock. Then, as orchestra leader Frank DeVol so aptly put it: "There's nothing wrong with rock 'n' roll that a good power outage wouldn't fix."

Benny Goodman was an almost overwhelming influence on American music, on musicians, listeners, dancers and just plain folks. I can still hear (without benefit of stereo or radio) the soaring clarinet on a broadcast in 1934 which directly caused me to begin a career that's now over 50 years long. And, because of Benny--I've LOVED every eighth and 16th note of it. Move over, Gabriel, you got a new horn up there that SWINGS!

JON A. HOLIDAY

North Hollywood

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