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Monday, May 15, 2006

In the spring of 1934 Benny and the band took off on a summer tour. Although they had Benny’s music, they were told to stay with the standards because of the complaints of the older ballroom dancers about the new style of the band. Refusing to acquiesce to this demand, the tour was becoming a failure as fewer people were showing up to hear the new sound. As plans to disband the tour were discussed, they reached California. The first stop was Oakland where lines of young people extended around the block to get into Sweet’s Ballroom to "jitterbug" the night away to the sound of Benny’s music. He was happy with this success but considered it more as a one time situation than any sort of breakthrough. However, when the band reached the Palomar Ballroom in Los Angeles for the last stop on the tour, the crowds of kids and adults were there to greet him and dance the night away again. The band stayed at the Palomar for a two month gig before heading back east wallowing in the success of the West Coast dates. Thanks to the East Coast-West Coast time difference of three hours, Benny Goodman had become a star through his late night radio broadcasts.

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