The birth of this band is the result of some rather unpredictable events and circumstances. It all started in 1990. I was on the road with Buddy Morrow's Tommy Dorsey Orchestra playing baritone sax. We were doing a cruise on the SS Norway as part of the Big Band Cruise series. Buddy's agent, Wayne Hutchison of Swing Band Booking, was aboard the cruise and one day asked to speak to me. I couldn't imagine what he wanted to talk to me about.
We met for lunch and he asked me, "What do you think about putting together a Tribute to Benny Goodman band?". I believe I laughed in his face at that point because I've never considered myself to be a clarinet player--just a sax player who happened to double clarinet. I asked him where he got the idea that I could do something like this and he said, "Buddy Morrow says you can do it." I thanked him and Buddy for their faith in me but said I would need to think about that one for a while.
Two years went by and I had NOT been thinking about starting a band and I was once again on the road with Buddy Morrow playing one of the tenor chairs at this time. Some time in the middle of August I got a call from Wayne asking me when I was planning to get off the Dorsey band. I replied that I was going home around the 1st of September. He said, "Good. I have you booked into Busch Gardens in Tampa on October 1 with your Tribute to Benny Goodman Band."