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Goodman in 1942
|Birth name||Benjamin David Goodman|
|Born||May 30, 1909|
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
|Died||June 13, 1986 (aged 77)|
New York City
Benjamin David Goodman (May 30, 1909 – June 13, 1986), best known as Benny Goodman, was an American jazz clarinetist and bandleader known as the "King of Swing".
In the mid-1930s, Goodman led one of the most popular musical groups in the United States. His
Goodman's bands launched the careers of many major jazz artists. During an era of racial segregation, he led one of the first well-known integrated jazz groups. Goodman performed nearly to the end of his life while exploring an interest in
Goodman was born in Chicago, the ninth of twelve children of poor Jewish emigrants from the
The streets are inexpressibly dirty, the number of schools inadequate, sanitary legislation unenforced, the street lighting bad, the paving miserable and altogether lacking in the alleys and smaller streets, and the stables foul beyond description. Hundreds of houses are unconnected with the street sewer."
Money was a constant problem in the family. Goodman's father earned at most $20 per week. On Sundays, his father took the children to free band concerts in Douglas Park, which was the first time Goodman experienced live professional performances. To give his children some skills and an appreciation for music, his father enrolled ten-year-old Goodman and two of his brothers in music lessons at the Kehelah Jacob Synagogue, which charged his father only 25¢ per lesson, including the use of the synagogue's instruments.
Goodman, in a 1975 interview
The following year Goodman joined the boys club band at Jane Addams's
He also received two years of instruction from the classically trained clarinetist Franz Schoepp. His early influences were
Goodman made his professional debut in 1921 at the Central Park Theater on Chicago's West Side. He entered
When Goodman was 16, he joined one of Chicago's top bands, the
Goodman made his first record under his own name for