Gordon Jenkins — Goodbye–And remembering Chuck Cecil

It has now been a year since Chuck Cecil retired from radio after being on the air for 70 years. I miss him because he always found something new (to me) in this old music. He kept the Swingin’ Years alive for his generation, and for those of us who were much younger. He played old music and made it new. I hope he is enjoying his belated and much deserved retirement. Today, I’ll feature a song Chuck played frequently, Benny Goodman and Goodbye. The segment of his show called “The Swingin’ Years Is On The Air” which was  where Chuck played transcriptions of radio broadcasts. Benny Goodman had many years “On the Air” would end his broadcasts with the Gordon Jenkins composition, Goodbye.

Thanks to cenotosa1 for the You Tube

Gordon Jenkins was working for Isham Jones at the time he wrote Goodbye, But Isham Jones rejected Goodbye as being too morose. It so happened that Gordon Jenkins played tennis with Benny Goodman and he offered the song to Goodman. Later, when Jenkin’s son, Bruce,  was researching a biography on his father, he discovered from Martha Tilton, vocalist for Benny Goodman, that Goodbye was written by Gordon Jenkins in 1935, after the death of his first wife and child in childbirth. That accounts for the intensely sad lyric of the song. Here’s Frank Sinatra’s vocal version of Goodbye, arranged by Nelson Riddle and conducted by Felix Slatkin, in 1958 and issued on the LP Only The Lonely.

Thanks to Bob Berry for the You Tube

Twenty five years later, in 1983, Nelson Riddle arranged and conducted the recording of Linda Ronstadt singing Goodbye. I had seen Linda Ronstadt live in 1967, as I mentioned before, at Doug’s Troubadour in Hollywood when she sang country rock with the Stone Poneys. I sat about ten feet away from her. She was a tiny woman with a gigantic voice. While she was still active in he 1980’s, but late in her career, she sang everything from operettas to Mexican folk music. She can no longer sing due to Parkinson’s Disease.

Thanks to catman916 for the You Tube

And me?  Don’t worry.  I’ll be back next weekend.

About Richard Rollo

I am a retired Community College Instructor. I taught Political Science 1 American Government for 22 years in Southern California. I am originally from Northern Minnesota. My earliest years were spent in the living quarters of a rural Duluth Winnipeg & Pacific Railway Depot. Then my family joined the great 1950's migration to Southern California where I joined up with fellow baby boomers in overcrowded schools.
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