Facts about Benny Goodman

Benny Goodman died at 77 years old
Born: May 30, 1909
Died: June 13, 1986
Best known as: Clarinetist nicknamed "The King of Swing"

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Benny Goodman Biography

Benny Goodman was a jazz clarinetist and band leader famous for the songs “Sing, Sing, Sing” and “One O’Clock Jump.” A prodigy on the clarinet, Benny Goodman joined the professional musician’s union when he was just 13 years old and made his first recording as a soloist four years later. In the 1920s he played in orchestras, on the radio and for stage shows, and made several recordings as a sideman (including for Bessie Smith and Billie Holiday). In the early 1930s Benny Goodman formed his own orchestra, and the Swing Era began. He became a world-famous bandleader, appeared regularly on the radio and in the movies and is often credited with introducing jazz to mainstream audiences. (He also had a simmering and long-running feud with competing clarinetist and bandleader Artie Shaw.) By the end of his career, Goodman had recorded well over 100 hit songs, including “Let’s Dance,” “Blue Moon, and “Six Appeal.”


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