Benny Goodman; the King of Swing
Benny Goodman was a man of many talents; musical and in personality. He came to be known as “The King of Swing”. The definition of music is an art of sound in time that expresses ideas and emotions in significant forms through the elements of rhythm, melody, harmony, and color and Benny Goodman did that exquisitely with his clarinet. Goodman changed the face of the music world during the late “Roaring 20s” and early 1930s.
Benjamin David Goodman was born in Chicago on May 30, 1909. Benjamin or “Benny” was the ninth child of eleven raised by his mother and father, David and Dora Goodman. He picked up the clarinet at the age of ten and took lessons in Chicago. Goodman started the Benny Goodman Trio in 1935 and a short seven months later it became the Benny Goodman Quartet. He performed in numerous venues, such as Carnegie Hall in 1938, the Palomar Ballroom in Los Angeles, and the Paramount Theatre. He had influences such as jazz clarinetists Johnny Dodds, Leon Roppolo, and Jimmy Noone. Benny Goodman came to be known as The King of Swing by touring across America to show the world his style of music.
Benny started playing the clarinet at the age of ten. In 1919, Goodman started lessons at the Kehelah Jacob Synagogue in Chicago. After receiving lessons for about a year he joined a boys club band at the Jane Addam’s Hull House. There Benny took lessons from the highly exclaimed director James Sylvester. Goodman was also trained by clarinetist Franz Schoepp for two years. Benny practiced every day and soon was playing his first professional performance in 1921, at the Central Park Theater in Chicago, Illinois imitating Ted Lewis, another well acclaimed clarinetist. Goodman went to Harrison High School and played with the “Austin High School Gang” who tried to sound like New Orleans Rhythm Kings. He soon joined Ben Pollack’s band in 1926, at the age of sixteen, performing some of his first recordings. Then his musical career took...