Khrushchev Plays Note on Jazz

MOSCOW — Premier Nikita S. Khrushchev chitchatted with Benny Goodman, toasted President Kennedy and wished the American people peace and success today [July 4, 1962] at a good-humored Fourth of July reception. Mr. Khrushchev even did a “boom-boom-boom” imitation of a drummer to indicate that bad music, such as jazz, was quite incomprehensible. Mr. Goodman started the jazz talk going as he was shaking hands with the Premier. “Ah, a new jazz fan,” said Mr. Goodman. “No.” said Mr. Khrushchev, smiling. “I don’t like Goodman music, I like good music.”

Here’s some of what the Premier might have heard, first, MEET THE BAND (which proves that Benny could remember names when he wanted to):

Newsreel footage from that Moscow concert, with the last portion of a roaring KING PORTER STOMP:

As to the Premier’s reaction, everyone‘s a jazz critic.  Or simply a critic.

Thanks to Mal Sharpe for the news story and thanks to 1964Mbrooks for the rare Goodman clips — that YouTube channel has astonishing BG rarities!

May your happiness increase.

3 responses to ““BOOM-BOOM-BOOM”

  1. I seem to recall BG having to pause a bit before getting Mel Lewis’ name out on the released recording of “Meet the Band.” I think there was even an “uum” in there… 🙂 Sorry that they cut the nice, building section work out of the video, but you can see the entire trombone section suddenly sitting down before the trumpets’ turns which means it once was there.

  2. “No.” said Mr. Khrushchev, smiling. “I don’t like Goodman music, I like good music.”

    They do, huh? Tell that to Dmitri Shostakovich!

  3. Eila Kaarresalo-Kasari, Finland

    Mr. Khrushchev didn’t like jazz – period. All sheet music I got from saxman Marion Brown and sent to a pianist now Estonia, then a part of the Soviet Union was destroyed by his government officials as American propaganda.

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