Benny Goodman

Benny Goodman

Benny Goodman – Biography

The son of Jewish immigrants, Benny Goodman was born in 1909 and grew up in Chicago. Music was a way for the young Goodman to escape his poverty-stricken life. He became an accomplished clarinetist, took influence from Chicago-via-New-Orleans Dixieland performers (such as King Oliver, Louis Armstrong and Bix Beiderbecke) and became a bandleader by the 1930s. Goodman’s jazz orchestra was responsible for starting the “Swing era,” culminating in his landmark concert at Carnegie Hall in 1938, which “legitimized” jazz music throughout the world.

After bebop became the dominant style of jazz in the 1940s, Goodman’s career began to wind down, although he continued to perform for the remainder of his career. Nevertheless, he’ll always be remembered as one of the most influential jazz musicians of all time, who was at the height of his powers when the genre was at its most popular. Keep reading below for Benny Goodman album reviews and accolades.


  • The Famous 1938 Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert (1938) A+


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