In this study of the big band era, the author goes behind the scenes and talks to over 60 Americans who played with the most famous big bands - and lived to tell the tale. This was no mean feat: these musicians relate their experiences of life on the road - demand was so great that many were on tour for 365 days of the year, and the pressure to party every night was enormous. Swing music's huge popularity brought the performers wild adulation and, for many, resorting to drugs and alcohol was the only way to keep up. This book lets them tell their own stories of this era. Some black musicians remember only the bitterness of segregation, then being brutally enforced; others have golden memories of the good times on stage with Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman and Glenn Miller; all talk frankly about what it meant to be part of an enduring legend.