Listen : “King Porter Stomp”

Early in 1935 the Benny Goodman orchestra set out on a cross-country tour to capitalise on the success of their “Let’s Dance” broadcasts. At their final Victor session, before leaving New York they recorded two of the finest arrangements Fletcher Henderson had produced for the band, “King Porter Stomp” and “Sometimes I’m Happy.” Both tunes had been written back in the 1920s and Victor decided to release them on one disc. The leading jazz magazine Downbeat proclaimed it “colossal” and Melody Maker magazine claimed, “It’s a waste of time trying to describe this band; you will simply have to listen to it yourselves.” Bunny Berigan’s outstanding opening solo on “King Porter Stomp” virtually set the mood for the Swing Era that was to follow. Benny Goodman had been putting so much pressure on Fletcher Henderson to supply him with band arrangements that it had been necessary for Fletcher to call on brother Horace to give him a hand. “Sometimes I’m Happy’ was an example of an arrangement completed by the two brothers.