On This Day

Benny Goodman

Clarinetist and Bandleader Benny Goodman

Profession: Clarinetist and Bandleader

United States of America

Why Famous: Goodman, also known as the "King of Swing", was an early jazz clarinetist and band leader.

Through the 1930s, his band was one of the most popular in America; and their Carnegie Hall concert in 1938 has been described as "jazz's 'coming out' party to the world of 'respectable' music."

Notably, Goodman's band was integrated despite the era being one of racial segregation.

Born: May 30, 1909
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, USA

Generation: Greatest Generation
Chinese Zodiac: Rooster
Star Sign: Gemini

Died: June 13, 1986 (aged 77)

Historical Events

  • 1936-01-24 Benny Goodman and orchestra record "Stompin' at the Savoy" on Victor Records
  • 1938-01-16 1st jazz concert held at Carnegie Hall, performed by Benny Goodman and his band
  • 1939-10-24 Benny Goodman records "Let's Dance"
  • 1944-01-18 The Metropolitan Opera House in New York City hosts a jazz concert for the first time - performers include Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Lionel Hampton, Mildred Bailey, Red Norvo, Roy Eldridge, Jack Teagarden, and Benny Goodman, via remote hook-up.
  • 1973-08-18 Drummer Gene Krupa plays for the final time with the Benny Goodman Quartet

Biographies and Sources

Famous Americans