Bandleader Artie Shaw at the Garden of Allah hotel

Bandleader Artie Shaw at the Garden of Allah hotel

Artie Shaw was a widely regarded as one of jazz’s finest clarinetists. He led one of America’s most popular big bands of the late 1930s and early ’40s. Their signature song, a 1938 version of Cole Porter’s “Begin the Beguine.” He was living at the Garden of Allah during WWII while waiting to ship out. He met the daughter of composer Jerome Kern and married her and then lived at the Garden of Allah after the war. He was back at the Garden of Allah at the height of his popularity as a band leader and during part of his marriage to Ava Gardner, and then back again in 1954 finishing a tour with the Grammercy Five. He once said of the Garden: “It was like your own home. The bungalows were all around the pool, so you felt like you were in your own place. … It was one of the few places that was so absurd that people could be themselves. And there were never any producers – the common enemy – hanging around, just hip actors and good writers. It was a colony of expatriates in the middle of Hollywood.”

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One Response to Bandleader Artie Shaw at the Garden of Allah hotel

  1. Jean Hunter says:

    Love his description of life at the Garden as he experienced it.

    Goodman may have been hailed the King of Swing, but nobody could or can touch Artie Shaw in my book.

    Here’s his signature tune, Begin the Beguine. Cut a rug, anybody?

    More on Artie and the tune he grew to hate: