Filed Under: "Benny Goodman"

Illustration, Columbia Records new popular-release weekly trade mailer Hit of the Week, August 1942, promoting clarinet-tooting bandleader Benny Goodman’s new single, “I’ve Got a Gal in Kalamazoo.” At the time, Flora was working in the Columbia art department under then-Art Director Alex Steinweiss. Another illustration from this series of ads can be viewed here.

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The Picasso of Jazz

June 17, 2012

Thanks to Clayton Walter for a nice little Flora gallery at his Claytonology blog: “I think of Flora as the Picasso of Jazz; his other-worldly depictions of Jazz musicians capture perfectly the vibe of a certain era of the music—brash, swingin’ and full of ecstatic movement. There’s another side to Flora as well. If you look closely at his LP illustrations, beyond the exciting flash,  you see a cunning method to his cartoonish madness.”

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Benny Goodman @ 101

May 30, 2010

Jazz clarinetist Benny Goodman, as portrayed by Flora for the March 1952 issue of Columbia’s monthly Coda new release booklet. Goodman was a founding father of the mid-1930s jazz big band (“swing”) style—launched in force after he hired arranger Fletcher Henderson in 1935. As he matured, he performed and recorded classical repertoire; the above figures illustrated Coda’s preview of Goodman’s recording (with the American Art Quartet) of Mozart’s Quintet for Clarinet and Strings. Flora was…

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three legends

November 4, 2009

Three jazz legends, stacked, in the July 1952 issue of Coda, Columbia’s new release monthly. From the top: Harry James (trumpet)Benny Goodman (clarinet)Art Tatum (piano) Each had a new LP that month: James with Soft Lights, Sweet Trumpet, Goodman’s Let’s Hear the Melody, and Art Tatum Concert. As art director, Flora launched Coda in 1943, and provided most illustrations for the (largely classical music) monthly until he was named Sales Promotion Manager in 1945. This…

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Longtime friend, music collector, and fellow Floraphile David Burd reports a first sighting: The new Flora book is in stores today! I just picked up my copy. We expected the book to hit streets in mid-August. That’s what happens when you work with a niche publisher—they surprise on the upside. (Note: Amazon.com lists a release date of July 29, 2009.) Illustration of celebratory Benny Goodman (above): not in this book. It appeared in our second…

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Benny Goodman’s clarinet

December 23, 2008

A celebrity in its own right, brags to the media about Benny’s awesome embouchure. Reporter doggedly chronicles sensationalistic account, anticipates major scoop. Detail, Columbia Records ad, Look magazine, 1943.

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This Is Benny Goodman

January 26, 2008

Sketches for RCA Victor LP cover, 1955; final design below:

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