George Simon 1 of 2
Jack Twomey March 13, 01
George Simon also wrote "Simon Says: The Sights and Sounds of the Swing Era". This was a large book that compiled his original Metronome Magazine reviews for the years 1935-1955. As a young drummer of 14, I received the book at Christmas, 1971. Over the years, I have had it autographed by the people who appear in it. Benny Goodman signed his photo in 1974. Max Roach in 1993. I led a big band at the Red Blazer for several years, and I ran into George, who also played there from time to time. I wanted George to sign his book, so I brought it along with me one day when I knew he'd be playing. That night as I was leaving a rehearsal at Carrol studios on W.41rst, carrying the large book under my arm, I ran into Lionel Hampton who was in the hall, after finishing his own rehearsal. I showed him the book and he happily signed away, asking after George. I proceeded to the Red Blazer, sat down with George, and pulled the book out of my bag, placing it on the table before him. He said "Jack, you made my day!" He was proud of that particular book, and I told him I had just seen Lionel and showed him the autograph, and also the Benny Goodman picture which B.G. had signed. Needless to say, I had made this author happy- and it was so deserved. That book, along with "The Big Bands", and "Glenn Miller and his Orchestra", had brought me so much rich, rewarding reading over the course of my life. He was a real gentleman, and I will miss him. Jack Twomey
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