On the Sid Caesar Show – 1954

Benny Goodman and Gene Krupa

A unique performance teaming the King of Swing with Sid Caesar

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On the Nov. 1, 1954 edition of the Sid Caesar Show, Benny Goodman and his orchestra with Gene Krupa were guests.

At first one sees Goodman and Krupa arriving to the excitement of rabid fans including Caesar, who briefly kidnaps Krupa.

Then the musicians are onstage with clarinetist Goodman, drummer Krupa, and pianist Mel Powell playing a fine version of “After You’ve Gone” while the audience, which is full of actors led by Caesar, goes crazy with joy.

Goodman then leads a big band through “Sing, Sing, Sing” with a spot for trumpeter Charlie Shavers, an explosive solo by the clarinetist, and unrelenting drumming from Krupa.

There is humorous pandemonium in the audience (a satire of what it might have looked like in 1937) with some wild dancing.

In a big surprise, after Goodman’s solo, Sid Caesar goes on stage with a saxophone and plays a simple but effective solo before Krupa drives the piece to its conclusion.

This is a unique and priceless film clip, very much of the period yet timeless.

-Scott Yanow


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