Tag Archives: Russia


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.