SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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1939 Golden Gate Exposition

1939 Golden Gate Exposition

Great photo taken by a sailor from the USS California visiting San Francisco in 1939 of Benny Goodman and his band. Fletcher Henderson on the piano, Nick Fatool on drums and Louise Tobin sitting next to the piano.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Fletcher Henderson

Can we get a print of the Fletcher Henderson color film.
What would it cost?

We are doing a Fletcher Henderson Museum.



King of Swing

This was probably taken between July 2 and 9, 1939, in the Temple Compound of on Treasure Island, in the middle of San Francisco Bay. The Goodman Band was booked for a two-week stay (later extended to three weeks, by popular demand), the first week of which was "Navy Week," during which time the military bands of the battleships California, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, among others, became part of the Exposition. All three of those battleships were damaged (but not destroyed) on December 7, 1941 at Pearl Harbor.

It Is Benny Goodman

Sorry, forgot to add that when I posted this picture. There's another photo of him close up at the same concert. Thanks for your comments.

Benny G.

There's a big G on the bandstands, that's kind of a giveaway, and the profile looks so familiar.

Benny rides again

A friend of mine has home movies of the band playing at this venue on a different day, judging from the outfits that Benny and Louise are wearing. It's the only color footage I've ever seen of Fletcher Henderson playing the piano. Silent film, sad to say.

Goodman's band in the late summer of '39 included Ziggy Elman on trumpet, Red Ballard and Vernon Brown on trombone, Jerry Jerome in the sax section, Arnold Covey on guitar and Artie Bernstein on bass. Hard to pin down the rest without knowing the exact date of this shot.

Benny Goodman

Looks like Benny Goodman on clarinet.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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