Ben Pollack - Father of Swing

Picture of Ben Pollack

Ben Pollack was a fine drummer, but more importantly he was a bandleader that had a eye for finding and developing very talented musicians. His gift earned him the nickname the "Father of Swing."  He truly deserved that title.  

Here's a list of some of the musicians that passed through his bands from the mid-1920's to the 1940's: Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Bud Freeman, Freddie Slack, Harry James, Jack Teagarden, Jimmy McPartland, Muggsy Spanier, and Yank Lawson. I could list more but I think you get the point.

So do you think that some of those names listed above influenced the Big Band era at all?  :) Another thing to consider are the bandleaders that came from that first wave of bandleaders themselves.  Glenn Miller with Tex Beneke, Charlie Spivak, Ray Anthony, Hal McIntyre and so on.  Benny Goodman spun off Gene Krupa,  Bunny Berigan, Teddy Wilson and Lionel Hampton just to name a few.

I just threw a lot of names at you there.  One day when I have a chance,  I think I will map out a little "Family Tree" style of chart starting with Ben Pollack. I'm very curious on how many bands and artists I'll be able to include.  Heck, he even organized a band that was led by comedian, Chico Marx in the early 40's.

Listen to Ben Pollack and His Band perform "Got The Jitters"

Ben remained active well after the Big Band Era ended.  He even appeared as himself in the movie The Benny Goodman Story, and made a cameo in The Glenn Miller Story.  In 1971,  Pollack sadly took his own life after suffering a series of major financial losses.  He was only 67.

You can hear the great music of Ben Pollack and his many talented bands, right here on Swing City Radio.

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Swing City Radio: Playing Your Big Band and Swing Music Favorites from the 1930's, 40's and Today! - Big Band Radio Station Streaming Online from King of Prussia, PA. Commercial Free!

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