BOARD GAME OF THE MONTH: BENNY GOODMAN SWINGS INTO A GAME OF MUSICAL INFORMATION

GAME OF THE MONTH


Each Month, I will try to highlight a particularly neat game, and provide as many photos, and as much info, as I can. It's pretty difficult to maintain a website when life keeps threatening to intervene, but if you keep checking back here, I think you'll find some interesting games every once in a while...


THIS MONTH:

BENNY GOODMAN SWINGS INTO A GAME OF MUSICAL INFORMATION

BENNY GOODMAN SWINGS INTO A GAME OF MUSICAL INFORMATION... Yes, that's actually the title of this super cool game from the 1940's. Made by Toy Creations, the game included a large (7" x 7") Xylophone, and had lots of questions and answers about... you guessed it... Music.

Sample questions included: Who composed the New World Symphony (Anton Dvorak) or had you "Untwist" song titles, like: "I am sorry but the apartment occupied by the lady is now vacant"... (untwists as: Annie Doesn't Live Here Any More). The 40 questions also included Musical Notes (and numbers) for the player to strike on the Xylophone, and the players had to guess the song from the notes or "chorus" ("Just a song at twilight, when the lights are low, And the flick'ring shadows, softly come and go" is the chorus of Love's Old Sweet Song).

The game included 40 questions on two sets of Orange and Tan cards, a small pad of score sheets, directions, the Xylophone and wooden striker, and one other item missing from my copy, which appears to be a booklet of hints or something. As with many games of this time, one person doesn't really get to play. A player is selected to be "The Music Professor", and the other players are "Students". "The Professor calls the Students to order, and announces that they are to be tested on their musical knowledge". It's interesting to note that as the Professor calls on each student, they must "Obediently step forward" and select a card from either stack. Take about harsh rules for a game. The Professor reads or plays 6 questions to each student, and the player with the highest "test results" wins. The game came with a card advertising other Toy Creations games, such as UNCLE JIM'S QUESTION BEE, KATE SMITH'S OWN GAME AMERICA, KLIX, and THE FASCINATING GAME OF HANDS.

Benny Goodman, who played the Clarinet, and was a leading figure of the "Swing" era, has virtually nothing to do with the game, other than his picture appearing on the cover. There are slight variations in the two copies I have examined, but not enough to cause a change in price. Games with Xylophones do appear (noteable examples are DOUGH RE MI by Lowell 1960, and THE MONKEES by Transogram 1967), but this is an early example, and quite a gem.

Although the game is definitely dated (I could only answer a few questions, but then again I'm not 80 years old), the graphics are superb, and the components are of the highest quality. It's a very rare game, and well worth adding to your collection, if you can find it. Value: $150 - $250

For further information, or to order, contact me through my "Questions?" link, or E-Mail me at Desis2@Juno.com


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