Thanks for joining the All About Jazz community! Porter heard the beguine rhythm and adopted it for a huge production number for his new musical Jubilee. Although it brought Shaw success, it also marked a period where he grew to loathe the public that demanded that he play it night after night. Password Reset your password.
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Sign in to view read count Dueling Clarinetists During the Swing Era Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw were the clarinetists that reigned supreme and serious fans divided themselves into factions that loved one or the other. While both left their mark on the time period, nobody felt the tension between art and entertainment like Artie Shaw.
He quit playing in the mid-fifties, frustrated by the music business and weary of a scene that demanded he regurgitate his hits when he had more artistic aspirations in mind.
The problem was that Shaw wanted to be famous, but hated everything that came with fame. So why is "Begin the Beguine one of the best records of the Swing Era?
Because it is simply one of the greatest pop songs ever recorded. The Beginning Cole Porter, the composer of "Beguine, wrote the song after a stop at Martinique on a cruise around the world.
Porter heard the beguine rhythm and adopted it for a huge production number for his new musical Jubilee. At bars, it was an extraordinarily long song. When Moss Hart heard it for the first time he said, "I thought it had ended when he was halfway through. When it opened it , Jubilee was a flop. The Times for one found "hints of distant splendors in the melody.
Reportedly, Porter was only miffed that nobody cared for "Just One of Those Things, another song from the show. However, by fans were asking Shaw if he knew how to play "Beguine, and Shaw asked his arranger Jerry Gray to come up with a chart for the popular tune.
We knew it was going to be big. It sold millions of copies, was featured on jukeboxes around the world and, as Shaw said, "that recording of that one little tune was the real turning point in my life. The Ending It was a turning point in more ways than one.
Although it brought Shaw success, it also marked a period where he grew to loathe the public that demanded that he play it night after night. Shaw had no qualms about spitting venom when given the chance.
Autograph hunters? The hell with that. Only gawking. These people made you. Surly and disgruntled until the end of his life, in he told an NPR interviewer that his preferred epitaph was, "Go away. He had aspirations to record classical music and was able to sit in quite comfortably with symphony orchestras, and his later bands swung hard while featuring daring improvisations and inventive charts.
But most importantly his playing featured an unswerving melodic sense and a facility in every register. No one put it better than Whitney Balliett, who wrote that "his solos, whether embellishments of the melody or full-tilt improvisations, were faultlessly structured.
He had a way of playing the melody that suggested that this is the way it should sound Coda Shaw titled his autobiography The Trouble With Cinderella, and his life was a Cinderella story if there ever was one: a young, Jewish kid records a neglected song and rides it to fame and fortune. The success of "Beguine led to a year where Shaw produced some of the best music of the era, and temporarily dethroned Goodman as the King of Swing in the Down Beat poll that year.
Sources: McDonough, John. Down Beat, vol. Schuller, Gunther. The Swing Era. New York: Oxford University Press, The Swing Era: Jay Gold, ed. New York: Time Life Records, White, John. Artie Shaw: His Life and Music.
Would You Like to Be the Love of My Life – Artie Shaw Sheet Music
Begin The Beguine – Artie Shaw Sheet Music