Benny Goodman & Teddy Wilson

Taking the Stage as the First
Black-and-White Jazz Band
in History

This post joins other
kidlit bloggers on the
Nonfiction Monday Roundup
and also joins It's Monday!
What are you reading?

Holiday House
(pub. 1.1.2014) 32 pages

A True Tale with 
A Cherry On Top

A uthor: Lesa Cline-Ransome
           and Illustrator: James E. Ransome
C haracters:  Benny Goodman - clarinet player  
                   Teddy Wilson - piano player

O verview from the jacket flap: 

    "Brought together by the love of jazz, Teddy Wilson and Benny Goodman broke the color barrier in entertainment when they formed the Benny Goodman Trio, with Gene Krupa. This lush and lyrical picture book tells the story of how two musical prodigies, one a young boy who studied music at Tukegee College in Alabama, the other the son of struggling Russian Jewish immigrants from the West Side of Chicago, came together through music and helped create the style known as swing."

T antalizing taste: 

"Only late at night
In jam sessions
In recording sessions
In Harlem
Offstage, backstage
On vinyl
Were black and white together
When Benny's music swung
with the best
Fast fingering
Drums thumping
Trumpets trumping
It wasn't soft
It wasn't black
It wasn't sweet
It wasn't white
It was swing

and something more:  A wonderful interview of Lesa Cline-Ransome and James E. Ransome, the wife and husband author and illustrator team of Benny Goodman & Teddy Wilson, is featured on the website of the publisher, Holiday House. I was particularly moved by these answers to these questions: "What makes this book special to you? What important message do you feel it brings to young readers?"

Lesa: "I think this book celebrates the passion of two artists while demonstrating that race and background are secondary to the common goals that bind us."

James: "Segregation is such a dark period in American history. I think sometimes it is hard for those who have not grown up in that period to understand that in public, while everything was segregated, people have always been integrated when it comes to playing music." 


Myra Garces Bacsal said...

Hi there Jeanne. This is definitely another book that I will add to my PBB Pinterest Board. :)

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Hi Myra! Thanks for stopping by. Very cool -- a PBB Pinterest Board... I'm off to check it out.