Benjamin David "Benny" Goodman (May 30, 1909 - June 13, 1986) was an American jazz and swing musician, clarinetist and bandleader, known as the "King of Swing".
In the mid-1930s, Benny Goodman led one of the most popular musical groups in America. His concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City on January 16, 1938, is described by critic Bruce Eder as "the single most important jazz or popular music concert in history: jazz's 'coming out' party to the world of 'respectable' music."
Goodman's bands launched the careers of many major names in jazz. During an era of segregation he also led one of the first well-known integrated jazz groups. Goodman continued to perform to nearly the end of his life, while exploring an interest in classical music.
Goodman was born in Chicago, the ninth of twelve children of poor Jewish immigrants from the lands ruled by the Russian Empire. His father, David Goodman (1873-1926), came to America in 1892 from Warsaw in the partitioned Poland,...
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