The Early Swing Era, 1930 to 1941

By Dave Oliphant | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Chapter 3

The Name White Bands

Although the Paul Whiteman Orchestra and the Casa Loma Orchestra were the earliest successful white big bands of the 1930s, these two organizations would not in the long run exert the same level of influence, reap the same financial rewards, nor receive the same adoration of listeners as would the next generation of white big bands. Even though some of the future big-band leaders grew up hearing Bix Beiderbecke and Frankie Trumbauer and in some cases even performing with those Whiteman stars, the new generation of leaders would develop their bands during a different time and would leave behind the stiffer, more formal approaches of the Whiteman and Casa Loma orchestras, largely as a result of hearing and even associating with black musicians of the era. Although in the first half of the decade segregation still precluded mixed groups in public, the new generation would participate in recording sessions with black musicians, and most of the white big-band leaders would eventually hire black players for their small or large units. Hailing from Chicago, Shenandoah (Pennsylvania), New York City, and Clarinda (Iowa), these future big-band leaders would bring to jazz some of the same lyrical qualities inherent in the playing of Bix and Tram but would apply them to a big-band setting either through their own soloistic talents and/or through arrangements created by them or by their sidemen.


Born on May 30, 1909, on the West Side of Chicago, Benny Goodman was active as a professional musician at age fourteen. In 1924, he took a job with the Ben Pollack band, which had relocated from the Chicago area to Venice, California, where Glenn Miller also soon arrived to join the Pollack outfit. All the major white big-band leaders of the 1930s would at one time or another play together in some group or other before eventually starting their own bands. And although all the name bandleaders of the


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Early Swing Era, 1930 to 1941


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 465

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?