May 30, 1909, his parents were David Goodman and Dora Rezinsky. Benny was the 9th out of 12 children. Benny was born into a poverty-stricken family. His parents were Jewish and they left Russia to migrate to the US in search of a better life. Benny grew up in the ghettos where most of the time money was scarce.
June 13, 1986 in New York, New York, USA
Also Known As:
The "King of Swing", the most prominent figure of the Swing Era, bandleader, solo clarinetist, founder of the Benny Goodman Trio in 1935.
Type of Compositions:
Early in his career he played jazz in dance bands. At 16 he joined Ben Pollack's orchestra, he played with them for 4 years. Then he went on to perform with different bands on other venues such as radio shows and recording studios. In the 1920's a type of music called "swing" was borne from the big band style. As Benny's name became known he formed his own swing band and by 1935 their performances at the Palomar Ballroom in Los Angeles attracted hordes of fans, thus earning him the title "King of Swing".
When Benny was a young boy, his father took him and his two brothers to the synagogue to play in the band. By playing there the boys were able to help with the family expenses. After that it was evident that Benny was a prodigy and his father arranged that he receive further training from the Hull House and then under the tutelage of Franz Schoepp. Benny was also influenced by other jazz musicians like Louis Armstrong and the comedian/clarinetist Ted Lewis.
His hits include "Ain't Cha Glad?", "Riffin' the Scotch", "Ol' Pappy", "I Ain't Lazy, I'm Just Dreamin'", "Moon Glow", "Bugle Call Rag," "It's Been So Long," "Goody-Goody," "The Glory of Love," "These Foolish Things Remind Me of You," "You Turned the Tables on Me," "This Year's Kisses," "Don't Be That Way," "I Let a Song Go out of My Heart," "Sing, Sing, Sing (With a Swing)," "And the Angels Sing," "Darn That Dream," There'll Be Some Changes Made," "Somebody Else Is Taking My Place" and "Taking a Chance on Love".
Benny's self-discipline had a lot to do with his success. He started playing the clarinet at age 10. When he was young he would spend hours everyday practicing with his instrument. Benny would later play alongside many great jazz artists including Bix Beiderbecke, Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. He remained active throughout his career, going on tours, organizing bands and doing recordings until the time of his death in 1986.
More Goodman Facts:
Benny's band appeared on a show called “Let’s Dance” which was instrumental in attracting listeners to see and hear them play live. Aside from the Palomar Ballroom, Benny also performed at the Congress Hotel in Chicago, Paramount Theatre in New York and Carnegie Hall. He also hosted a radio show called The Camel Caravan, briefly appeared on Broadway and made several films. Benny's music broke many barriers, especially when Lionel Hampton (vibraphone) and Teddy Wilson (piano) joined his band.