Sunday, July 03, 2016

Popsy … (Contiuued … 1958 in NY City)


Popsy had been the band boy for Benny Goodman for years until the demise of the Big Band era and when that happened Benny didn't leave Popsy high and dry. He presented him with a small photography studio in the Theater District of NY City and told him to try his hand at taking pictures … a dream that Popsy had talked about for years.

My husband Dick, an accomplished photographer, promised to teach Popsy all he knew in exchange for his being able to use the studio and dark room at his convenience. It was a good partnership and they became fast friends.

One night we received a frantic call from Popsy. He had just spoken with Benny who was wrapping up a European tour with a 10-piece ensemble. They were on the way to New York where Benny was still a great box office draw and had been booked at “Basin Street East” for a 3 night gig. He was offering Popsy the chance to take all the publicity photos.

Popsy was fit to be tied. He didn't want to let Benny down but he had no idea how to take candid shots of that sort. I knew why he had called Dick because this was his expertise. We told Popsy to calm down and we rushed over and formulated a plan.

On the opening night we arrived early and Dick set up his big strobe lights. We were seated at a large table right in front of the stage and Popsy met us there. The plan was for Dick to take the pictures but Popsy would take some too, making sure that Benny would see him do that. I couldn’t believe how well it worked.

When Benny came on stage with his ensemble the crowd went wild, the strobe lights went on and Dick and Popsy did their thing. When the night was over we couldn’t wait to get back to the studio and get the film developed and print the pictures. They were very good ...even some of the ones that Popsy took.

Benny was very happy with the results, Popsy was vindicated and me?...I was just thrilled to be part of it all...especially since Benny & his 10 musicians sat at our table between sets!

7 Comments:

Blogger Marie Smith said...

It must have been such an exciting life, getting to know the people behind the famous names as you did. Such great memories! Thank you for sharing them.

6:16 PM  
Blogger Arkansas Patti said...

Wow, what an exciting and memorable time. Dick saved Popsy's bacon and you got to rub elbows with the greats.

12:47 PM  
Blogger possum said...

How exciting that must have been...
Did Popsy ever get the hang of it all?

5:53 AM  
OpenID schmidleysscribblins.com said...

You and Dick had wonderful lives both together and individually. What a joy. Thank you for sharing your memories.

12:18 PM  
Blogger Beatrice P. Boyd said...

What an exciting night and to be able to see and hear Benny Goodman and then to be the first to view the photos of that event!

2:50 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

What great and unselfish teamwork.

4:02 AM  
Blogger troutbirder said...

Very interest people and stories. I love reading your memories...:)

9:05 AM  

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