A massive crowd packed the Savoy Ballroom, with thousands more turned away outside on the evening of May 11, 1937 as Chick Webb and the Benny Goodman band fought it out in a legendary “battle of the bands”. Police lined the bandstand, reserves in readiness, as the Goodman band stormed on, and aptly propelled by Krupa, reached a peak level of performance, but it was only the beginning. Though one might have thought it impossible to outplay the Goodman band of ’37, Chick Webb proved otherwise that evening as his band came on, super-charged, blasting out one exciting arrangement after another. The huge crowd reached a frenzy level as the little dynamo put his band through its paces, driving them to unexcelled heights and practically blowing the roof right off the old Savoy. Krupa later wrote, “That night when we battled Chick at the Savoy – he just cut me to ribbons — made me feel awfully small…that man was dynamic; he could reach the most amazing heights. When he really let go, you had a feeling that the entire atmosphere in the place was being charged. When he felt like it, he could cut down any of us.”

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