Woodraw “Woody” Charles Herman (16.05.1913 – 29.10.1987) was a saxophonist, clarinetist, singer and bandleader. He started his career as a child, by 1925 he knew that he wanted to be a jazz musician.
As clarinetist, Woody Herman didn't reach the same level as soloist as Benny Goodman, Harry James or Artie Shaw, he preferred to let the other members of the orchestra shine. In fact, Herman's strength was the ability to recognise talent long before others did.
He hired young talented musicians and arrangers and he refused to play only hits of the past. Therefore he always led big bands which were fresh, vital, exciting, musically sharp and popular, and this for fifty years!
With his first ensemble “The Band That Plays The Blues“, formed 1936, he recorded (At The) Woodchopper's Ball the first time in 1939 for Decca. Woodchopper's Ball is an up-tempo blues tune, composed in the same year by Joe Bishop and Woody Herman. It was not a hit from the beginning. But Decca kept re-releasing the tune and within three or four years it became one and eventually the song sold more than five million copies.
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Song of the Week #1: “All The Cats Join In” by Benny Goodman & Orchestra
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