RE: old cassette tapes ∼ BRUNO LEICHT’s BEGINNINGS … as a JAZZ COLLECTOR

Dear swingin’ folks —

This post could be all about Margie, alas it won’t. — My first experience with Margie occurred when I was in the tender age of 15. I got a cassette recorder for Christmas, or was it my birthday? I don’t remember.

It might have been the year 1978, the 40th anniversary of the famous Carnegie Hall Concert, January 16, 1938.

What I remember, is, that I had a portable radio too. I’d put the tape recorder with the inbuilt microphone close to the radio speaker and pushed the ‘record’ button as soon as I heard big band swing in the Süddeutscher Rundfunk.

Among them very first jazz sounds I had recorded this way, was a broadcast, a quite short radio portrait on Benny Goodman. One of the featured tunes was … yeah, you got it! It was my beloved Margie, played in a great big swinging way by Benny Goodman & His Orchestra! — Harry James – whom I didn’t know then – soloed on trumpet.

The sound of the cassette was below Lo-Fi. To be honest: it was a torture to listen to it. But it was all I had. And I listened to it over and over, again and again. Blog owner’s note: a sample of the original tape can be heard on the below playlist.

That’s how those cassettes looked like in the late 1970’s:

After some bad experiences with the FerroSuper formate, I changed to Chromdioxid cassettes like this:

The tunes were: Riffin’ At The Ritz (Benny plays lead alto sax), Margie, Russian Lullaby and a version of King Porter Stomp I got crazy over since I couldn’t find it anywhere until a friend of mine, one of the moderators of BBT, gave me the clue: it was recorded for the soundtrack to The Benny Goodman Story. But my search for the original sounds of that broadcast is another story and will be told later.

I still have that very tape. And I still love that tune, I still love Margie. Maybe, one day I’ll play the definitive version 😉 Maybe!

I’ll let you know, and so: stay tuned!

BREW’s FIRST BEE GEE, or: A reconstructed radio portrait of Benny Goodman

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