Benny Goodman — You Turned the Tables on Me (1936)

Thanks to Overjazz Records for the You tube

My friend Jim who was once a bassist in a rock and roll band many years ago, recently asked me if I knew this record. Yes, I have a reissue copy of it somewhere, I replied. Helen Ward briefly was Benny Goodman’s first vocalist. She left Goodman’s band after they had a romantic falling out. From what I’ve read, being a female vocalist in a big band, especially Benny Goodman’s big band was more like combat than a romantic adventure.

You Turned the Tables on Me was written and composed by Louis Alter in 1936. Benny Goodman had released one of the earliest versions. This record came between two important events in the emergence of “Swing Music.” In the summer of 1935, the Goodman band had been on a tour that had been mostly a flop up until the dance they played at the Palomar Ballroom in Los Angeles. The Palomar dance and radio broadcast of it put Benny Goodman and Swing music on the map. Nevertheless,  Benny Goodman was not an early pioneer of swing music. Duke Ellington and Fletcher Henderson had been playing swing compositions since the late 1920’s. But their work hadn’t taken off in record sales. Indeed, Henderson was in financial trouble and had been seriously injured in an auto accident, so Goodman bought his arrangements and hired him. Although this record was not a Henderson arrangement, his work became the backbone of Goodman’s success.

The second event that established Swing Music as the dominant popular music and Benny Goodman as the King of Swing was the Carnegie Hall Concert in January 1938. It was a smashing success.  (Update:  I forgot the last paragraph.)

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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