Benny Goodman’s inimitable vocalist is gone, at 97

Benny Goodman’s inimitable vocalist is gone, at 97


norman lebrecht

December 10, 2018

Big band singer Dottie Reid, who sang with Jimmy Dorsey and did a world tour with Benny Goodman, has passed away in Arkansas.

How did they ever get voices to sound like this?

Did they go to smoking classes?



  • Mick the Knife says:

    The tightness of the big bands during the 40’s is amazing. Incredible chops!

    • John Kelly says:

      Harry Glantz, legendary first trumpet in the NYPO, NBCSO and in Philly apparently went to hear the Goodman orchestra when Harry James was leading the trumpet section (about 1938 when they gave their concert at Carnegie Hall – available on CD and incredible) – Harry asked Benny about the trumpets – “what are you feeding them? Raw Meat!?”

      • Spenser says:

        GREAT story, John….
        Might you have any more anecdotes to share about Harry Glantz, the greatest among greats?
        Or about BG, for that matter….

        • R McKinney says:

          Chastisement of Toscanini to Harry, Harry said “Go to Hell” , Arturo said (didn’t understand English well) …too late to apologize. Old but tasty

  • Larry says:

    Not sure I understand the “smoking classes” bit, Norman. Please explain. If you’re suggesting that Ms. Reid’s voice sounds somewhat “husky,” may I refer you to: Chris Connor, Anita O’Day, June Christy, Ann Richards, to name just a few. Ms. Reid’s voice sounds quite nice to me and, although I am a huge jazz fan, I confess to not knowing her work at all.

    BTW, the opening photo of the Goodman band (“It’s Only a Paper Moon,” from 1945), is historically inaccurate, since it shows Gene Krupa on drums. He was with Benny from 1934-38.