Benny Goodman: Sing, Sing, Sing – as heard in Woody Allen's New York Stories (1989), Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993) and Deconstructing Harry (1997)
Sing, Sing, Sing
Benny Goodman (clarinet)
Sing, Sing, Sing (Bluebird RCA 5630)
Benny Goodman (clarinet),
Composed by Louis Prima. Arranged by Jimmy Mundy.
Recorded: Hollywood, July 6, 1937
Rating: 89/100 (learn more)
Immensely popular in its day, "Sing, Sing, Sing" is the nadir of white jungle music. Not to be confused with the 1990s electronic drum-&-bass dance genre, jungle music in jazz has racist connotations. During long runs at such dubiously named Prohibition-era Manhattan nightspots as the Plantation Club and Cotton Club, Duke Ellington's nonpareil orchestra—ignominiously billed as The Jungle Band—entertained white patrons in jungle-themed floor shows with light-skinned Negro female dancers in loin cloths. "Sing, Sing, Sing" updates this foolishness to the Swing Era, and compounds the insult by being performed entirely by white men. Cringe, cringe, cringe at our ancestors' naïveté.
Reviewer: Alan Kurtz