Goodman, Benny, 1909-1986

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Benny Goodman was born in Chicago, May 30, 1909. He received his first musical training at a local synagogue, and later studied clarinet with Franz Schoepp. Goodman made his debut at the age of twelve, and left home to become a full-time professional clarinetist when he was sixteen.

After a decade of performing as a free-lancer and as a member of Ben Pollak's band, Goodman established his first big band in 1934, and soon it achieved unprecedented success. He won great acclaim both for his dazzling clarinet solos and for the brilliance of his band. In an era of segregation, Goodman was a pioneer in hiring without regard to race; his ensemble included outstanding black musicians (such as Teddy Wilson) as well as leading white performers (such as Gene Krupa). Goodman also employed talented arrangers, including Fletcher Henderson, Eddie Sauter, and many others. At his peak, in the late 1930s, Goodman may have been the most popular musician in the world. His Carnegie Hall concert on January 16, 1938 is regarded as a key moment in jazz history.

Goodman did not restrict himself to big band music; he also won renown for his work with a series of small combos that included Wilson, Krupa, Lionel Hampton, Charlie Christian, and other prominent jazz musicians. He even pursued a classical career, performing clarinet concertos with numerous orchestras and playing chamber music with ensembles such as the Budapest String Quartet. He commissioned major works from Bela Bart'k, Aaron Copland, Paul Hindemith, and other composers.Although the swing era eventually passed, Goodman retained a large and loyal following, even as bop, rock, and other musical styles came into vogue. He and his band performed widely, not only in the United States, but also in Latin America, Europe, the Soviet Union, and East Asia. Over the course of his long career, Goodman made innumerable recordings and appeared frequently on radio, television, and film. His life and music have been the subject of many biographies, discographies, and other studies.

Benny Goodman died in New York on June 13, 1986. Years after his passing, he remains the unchallenged 'King of Swing.'

From the guide to the The Benny Goodman Papers, 1910-1992, inclusive, (Irving S. Gilmore Music Library, Yale University)

Clarinettist and bandleader.

From the description of Check signed : New York, N.Y., 1955 May 6. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270914758

American clarinetist, bandleader, and King of Swing.

From the description of The Benny Goodman papers, 1933-1982 (inclusive). (Yale University). WorldCat record id: 702190423

From the description of The Benny Goodman papers, 1933-1982 (inclusive). (Yale University). WorldCat record id: 122555549

Musician; interviewee d. 1986.

From the description of Reminiscences of Benny Goodman : oral history, 1959. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 122597897

Benny Goodman was an American jazz clarinettist, composer, and band leader. As his life is well documented, only a brief summary is provided here.

Benjamin David Goodman was born in Chicago on May 30, 1909. He began playing professionally at age 12, and by 1926 he joined Ben Pollack's orchestra. In 1929 he moved to New York and free lanced with various bands such as those of Red Nichols, Ben Selvin, Ted Lewis, Johnny Green, Paul Whiteman, and played in Broadway shows such as Gershwin's Strike Up The Band and Girl Crazy .

He formed his own band in Spring 1934, and started out with arrangements by Dean Kincaide, Will Hudson and Benny Carter. In November 1934, Goodman started a series of weekly broadcasts on the "Let's Dance" program, using additional arrangements by Fletcher Henderson. Through radio's effectiveness in dissemination and by touring throughout the United States, Goodman became known as "The King of Swing," one of the most widely-known and significant figures in popular music towards the end of the 1930s.

In 1939, Goodman disbanded his ensemble in order to undergo an operation to relieve sciatica. When he reassembled his band the following year, he acquired the services of arranger Eddie Sauter. The war years are considered the apogee of Goodman and his band's career.

Goodman was also active in classical music. In 1935, he performed and recorded the Mozart clarinet quintet. In 1938 he comissioned Bela Bartok to write Contrasts, which he premiered and recorded the following year with Joseph Szigeti and the composer. Goodman continued to comission works from contemporary composers, and increased the number of his appearances in classical venues towards the end of his career.

Benny Goodman continued to concertize and record up to the end of his life. He died in New York City on June 13, 1986, age 77.

From the guide to the Benny Goodman collection: musical arrangements performed by Goodman, ca. 1930-, (The New York Public Library. Music Division.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Goodman, Benny, 1909-1986. Benny Goodman collection [microform] : musical arrangements performed by Goodman. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Goodman, Benny, 1909-1986. I gotta right to sing the blues [Multimédia multisupport]. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Goodman, Benny, 1909-1986. I'll never fall in love again [Multimédia multisupport] / Benny Goodman, clar. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf National Jazz Hall of Fame. Papers of the National Jazz Hall of Fame, 1983-1988. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Southern Folklife Collection Artist Name File, 1940-2005 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
creatorOf Goodman, Benny, 1909-1986. Spinning wheel [Multimédia multisupport] / Benny Goodman, clar. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn Plaut, Frederick, 1907-1985. The Frederick and Rose Plaut papers, 1907-1986 (inclusive). Yale University, Music Library
creatorOf Goodman, Benny, 1909-1986. Doctor Heckle and Mister Jazz [Multimédia multisupport]. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn New York Times Company records. Arthur Hays Sulzberger papers, 1823-1999 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Manne, Shelly. Shelly Manne collection, 1940-1980 Library of Congress
referencedIn Neat Stuff Collectables. Jazz Playbill Collection, 1923-1952. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Library and Archives
referencedIn Wescher, Paul, b. 1894. Paul and Mary Wescher papers, 1920-1976 (bulk 1949-1976). Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Edward Beach Collection, 1940-1975, (bulk 1950-1975) Library of Congress. Music Division
referencedIn Hindemith, Paul, 1895-1963. The Paul Hindemith collection, 1901-1993 (inclusive). Yale University, Music Library
referencedIn Duke Ellington recordings collection Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library, Harvard College Library
creatorOf NCSA Jazz Ensemble. NCSA Jazz Ensemble [sound recording]. University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Semans Library
creatorOf Goodman, Benny, 1909-1986. Watch what happens [Multimédia multisupport] / Benny Goodman, clar. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn Anderson, Richard N. Richard N. Anderson photographs [manuscript], 1937-1972. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Johnny Green additional papers, 1923-1989. Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn Rome, Harold, 1908-1993. The Harold Rome papers, 1873-1988 (inclusive). Yale University, Music Library
referencedIn Margaret Carson papers, 1935-2007, 1970s-1990s The New York Public Library. Music Division.
creatorOf Goodman, Benny, 1909-1986. I got rhythm [Multimédia multisupport] / Benny Goodman, clar. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Goodman, Benny, 1909-1986. Windy [Multimédia multisupport] / Benny Goodman, clar. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn Hindemith, Paul, 1895-1963. The Paul Hindemith collection, 1901-1993 (inclusive). Yale University, Music Library
referencedIn Rome, Harold, 1908-1993. The Harold Rome papers, 1873-1988 (inclusive). Yale University, Music Library
creatorOf Goodman, Benny, 1909-1986. Check signed : New York, N.Y., 1955 May 6. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn The Paul Hindemith Collection, 1901-1993, inclusive Irving S. Gilmore Music Library, Yale University
referencedIn Carson, Margaret 1911-2007. Margaret Carson papers 1935-2007 1970s-1990s New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Scrapbook on popular musicians [1938-1940]. Museum of Performance & Design
creatorOf Goodman, Benny, 1909-1986. Aquarius [Multimédia multisupport] / Benny Goodman, clar. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn The Harold Rome Papers, 1873-1988 (inclusive) Irving S. Gilmore Music Library, Yale University
referencedIn John Eldon Thayer collection of motion picture memorabilia, 1916-1979. Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University.
creatorOf Shaw Festival Collection (University of Guelph). The king of Swing Lives On : A Tribute to Benny Goodman, 1987 - house program. University of Guelph
referencedIn Alix Jeffry additional papers, 1935-1993. Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn General Records of the Department of the Treasury. 1775 - 2005. General Records Relating to Bond Sales Promotion
creatorOf Goodman, Benny, 1909-1986. You brought a new kind of love to me [Multimédia multisupport] / Benny Goodman, clar. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Clayton, Buck, 1911-1991. Why I was born [Multimédia multisupport] / Teddy Wilson, p ; Bick Clayton, trp ; Benny Goodman, clar... [et al.]. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf The Benny Goodman Papers, 1910-1992, inclusive Irving S. Gilmore Music Library, Yale University
creatorOf Goodman, Benny, 1909-1986. [Benny Goodman collection : musical arrangements performed by Goodman]. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Goodman, Benny, 1909-1986. Windy [Multimédia multisupport] / Benny Goodman, clar. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Boys, Richard Charles, 1912-. Correspondence, 1949-1954. University of Michigan
referencedIn Ambassador Auditorium Collection, 1974-1995 Archive of Recorded Sound, Stanford University Libraries
creatorOf Sanders, Greg, 1957-. Benny : a Goodman clegy : for solo clarinet / Greg Sanders. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Goodman, Benny, 1909-1986. You made me so very happy [Multimédia multisupport] / Benny Goodman, clar. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Goodman, Benny, 1909-1986. The Benny Goodman papers, 1933-1982 (inclusive). Yale University, Music Library
creatorOf Goodman, Benny, 1909-1986. Get happy [Multimédia multisupport] / Benny Goodman, clar. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn Aaron Copland Collection, 1841-1991, (bulk 1911-1990) Library of Congress. Music Division
creatorOf NCSA Jazz Ensemble. Jazz Ensemble [sound recording]. University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Semans Library
creatorOf Goodman, Benny, 1909-1986. Aquarius [Multimédia multisupport] / Benny Goodman, clar. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Goodman, Benny, 1909-1986. Doctor Heckle and Mister Jazz [Multimédia multisupport]. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn Plaut, Frederick, 1907-1985. The Frederick and Rose Plaut papers, 1907-1986 (inclusive). Yale University, Music Library
creatorOf Jones, Jo, 1911-1985. Sailin' / Teddy Wilson, p ; Jo Jones, trp ; Benny Goodman, clar... [et al.]. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn Phoebe Jacobs Jazz collection, 1951-2002 Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
creatorOf Goodman, Benny, 1909-1986. You made me so very happy [Multimédia multisupport] / Benny Goodman, clar. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Goodman, Benny, 1909-1986. I gotta right to sing the blues [Multimédia multisupport]. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn The Daily Worker and The Daily World Photographs Collection, 1920-2001 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive
creatorOf Shertzer, Hymie. Papers, 1928-1981. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center
creatorOf Goodman, Benny, 1909-1986. Undercurrent [Multimédia multisupport] / Benny Goodman, clar. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Clayton, Buck, 1911-1991. Why I was born / Teddy Wilson, p ; Bick Clayton, trp ; Benny Goodman, clar... [et al.]. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn The Mel Powell Papers, 1942-1991, inclusive Irving S. Gilmore Music Library, Yale University
referencedIn People of Indianapolis, 1983 Indiana University, Bloomington. Center for the Study of History and Memory
creatorOf Michaux, Henri, 1899-1984. Les emanglons [Multimédia multisupport]. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn The Leonard Burkat Papers, 1943-1981 (inclusive) Irving S. Gilmore Music Library, Yale University
referencedIn Paramount Theatre stage manager's records, 1936-1956 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
referencedIn Little Orchestra Society concert recordings collection [sound recording], 1947-1957 The New York Public Library. Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound.
creatorOf Goodman, Benny, 1909-1986. Undercurrent [Multimédia multisupport] / Benny Goodman, clar. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Howard, Cy. Westinghouse presents-- "Music U.S.A." / written by Cy Howard. Bowling Green State University, BGSU Libraries
referencedIn Bellson, Louis. Louis Bellson collection, 1943-1996 (bulk ca. 1950-ca. 1970). Library of Congress
creatorOf Michaux, Henri, 1899-1984. Les emanglons [Multimédia multisupport]. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn Earle, Eugene. Eugene Earle collection, 1939-1980s. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
referencedIn Photographs: Index. Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn Nicolas Slonimsky Collection, 1873-1997, (bulk 1920-1990) Library of Congress. Music Division
creatorOf Goodman, Benny, 1909-1986. Love theme from Romeo and Juliet [Multimédia multisupport] / Benny Goodman, clar. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Goodman, Benny, 1909-1986. From both sides now [Multimédia multisupport] / Benny Goodman, clar. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn Dorle Soria papers, 1930-1991 The New York Public Library. Music Division.
creatorOf Cesana, Otto, 1899-1980. [Collection of nine issues of Musical digest containing articles on African American music, musicians, and jazz]. Pennsylvania State University Libraries
referencedIn Bernstein, Leonard, 1918-1990. Leonard Bernstein collection : Part II, circa 1900-1994 (bulk 1933-1990). Library of Congress
creatorOf Goodman, Benny, 1909-1986. Spinning wheel [Multimédia multisupport] / Benny Goodman, clar. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Goodman, Benny, 1909-1986. Watch what happens [Multimédia multisupport] / Benny Goodman, clar. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn Jenney, Jack, 1910-1945. Papers, 1930-1945. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center
creatorOf Goodman, Benny, 1909-1986. You brought a new kind of love to me [Multimédia multisupport] / Benny Goodman, clar. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn Jacobs, Phoebe,. Phoebe Jacobs Jazz collection, 1951-2002. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Goodman, Benny, 1909-1986. Good morning sunshine [Multimédia multisupport] / Benny Goodman, clar. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Goodman, Benny, 1909-1986. Reminiscences of Benny Goodman : oral history, 1959. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Zero and Kate Mostel papers, 1915-1986 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
creatorOf Benny Goodman collection: musical arrangements performed by Goodman, ca. 1930- The New York Public Library. Music Division.
referencedIn Morton, Hugh M. Hugh Morton photographs and films: People and events, late 1920s-early 2000s (bulk 1940s-1990s) (Series 2). University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
referencedIn Witman, Arthur, 1902-1991. 35mm negative collection, 1936-1969. University of Missouri - St Louis, University Libraries, Thomas Jefferson, St. Louis Mercantile Library, (former branch Ward E. Barnes)
creatorOf Goodman, Benny, 1909-1986. Love theme from Romeo and Juliet [Multimédia multisupport] / Benny Goodman, clar. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Goodman, Benny, 1909-1986. Somebody stole my gal [Multimédia multisupport] / Benny Goodman, clar. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Goodman, Benny, 1909-1986. [Benny Goodman collection [microform] : musical arrangements performed by Goodman]. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Goodman, Benny, 1909-1986. I'll never fall in love again [Multimédia multisupport] / Benny Goodman, clar. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn Grover Sales Collection, 1940-2004 Archive of Recorded Sound
creatorOf NCSA Jazz Ensemble. NCSA Jazz Ensemble [sound recording]. University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Semans Library
creatorOf Goodman, Benny, 1909-1986. Up up and away [Multimédia multisupport] / Benny Goodman, clar. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Goodman, Benny, 1909-1986. The Benny Goodman papers, 1933-1982 (inclusive). Yale University, Music Library
referencedIn Burkat, Leonard, 1919-. The Leonard Burkat papers, 1943-1981 (inclusive). Yale University, Music Library
creatorOf Goodman, Benny, 1909-1986. From both sides now [Multimédia multisupport] / Benny Goodman, clar. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn The Bell Telephone Hour collection of sound recordings [sound recording], 1940-1968 The New York Public Library. Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound.
referencedIn Beach, Ed. Edward Beach collection, 1940-1975 (bulk 1950-1975). Library of Congress
creatorOf Goodman, Benny, 1909-1986. Dinah / Benny Goodman, clar. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Goodman, Benny, 1909-1986. Up up and away [Multimédia multisupport] / Benny Goodman, clar. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Hindemith, Paul, 1895-1963. [Concerto, clarinet, orchestra. Draft] : autograph manuscript, 1947 9 Aug. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Armed Forces Radio Service. Command performance [sound recording]. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn The Radio Entertainers and Announcers Collection, 1937-1945 (Bulk 1942-1943) © 2011 New-York Historical Society
referencedIn Leonard Bernstein Collection, circa 1900-1994, (bulk 1933-1990) Library of Congress. Music Division
referencedIn Bracco, Francis Paul. Paramount Theatre stage manager's records, 1936-1956. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Vera Zorina papers, 1910-2001 (inclusive), 1933-2001 (bulk). Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn Burkat, Leonard, 1919-1992. The Leonard Burkat papers, 1943-1981 (inclusive). Yale University, Music Library
referencedIn Hugh Morton Photographs and Films,  , late 1920s-2006, (bulk 1940s-1990s) University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. North Carolina Collection.
referencedIn The Frederick and Rose Plaut Papers, 1907-1986 (inclusive) Irving S. Gilmore Music Library, Yale University
creatorOf Goodman, Benny, 1909-1986. Good morning sunshine [Multimédia multisupport] / Benny Goodman, clar. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
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associatedWith Simon, Paul, 1941- person
associatedWith Siravo, George person
associatedWith Slonimsky, Nicolas, 1894-1995 person
associatedWith Smith, Liz. person
associatedWith Smith, William French, 1917- person
associatedWith Soria, Dorle person
associatedWith South, Harry person
associatedWith Spencer, Herbert person
associatedWith Stacy, Jess, 1904- person
associatedWith Stegmeyer, Bill person
associatedWith Stegmeyer, Bill, 1916-1968. person
associatedWith Stein, Ralph person
associatedWith Stewart, James, 1908- person
associatedWith Stewart, Slam. person
associatedWith Stravinsky, Igor, 1882-1971 person
associatedWith Szathmary, Irving person
associatedWith Templeton, Alec person
associatedWith Templeton, Alec, 1910-1963. person
associatedWith Thant, U, 1909-1974 person
associatedWith Thayer, John Eldon, 1899-1980 person
associatedWith Thompson, Johnny person
associatedWith Thompson, Johnny. person
associatedWith Thompson, Sir Charles person
associatedWith Thornhill, Claude person
associatedWith Tilton, Martha. person
associatedWith Todd, Tommy person
associatedWith Todd, Tommy. person
associatedWith Todd, Tommy, 1923- person
associatedWith Tully, Alice, 1902-1993 person
associatedWith Tunick, Jonathan person
associatedWith Valentine, Jerry person
associatedWith Van Eps, Fred person
associatedWith Van Lake, Turk person
associatedWith Villepigue, Paul person
associatedWith Vreeland, Diana. person
associatedWith Walton, William, 1902- person
associatedWith Ward, Helen, 1916- person
associatedWith Wasserman, Lew. person
associatedWith Wayne, Chuck person
associatedWith Weicker, Lowell, 1931- person
associatedWith Wescher, Paul, b. 1894. person
associatedWith White, Johnny person
associatedWith White, Kevin H. person
associatedWith Wilbur, Bob person
associatedWith Wilcox, Larry person
associatedWith Wilder, Alec person
associatedWith Wilder, Alec. person
associatedWith Wilkinson, Ralph person
associatedWith Williams, George person
associatedWith Williams, George, 1917- person
associatedWith Williams, Mary Lou person
associatedWith Williams, Mary Lou, 1910- person
associatedWith Williams, Mary Lou, 1910-1981. person
associatedWith Willson, Meredith, 1902- person
associatedWith Wilson, Gerald person
associatedWith Wilson, Teddy, 1912- person
associatedWith Winterhalter, Hugo person
associatedWith Witman, Arthur, 1902-1991. person
associatedWith Woode, Henri person
associatedWith Woode, Henri, 1909- person
associatedWith Woode, Henri, 1909-1994. person
associatedWith Wootten, Red person
associatedWith Wuorinen, Charles. person
correspondedWith Zorina, Vera. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
New York City NY US
Chicago IL US
New York City NY US
Chicago IL US
Subject
Clarinet with jazz ensemble--Scores and parts
Music--United States-20th century
Musicians--Interviews
Dance orchestra music--Scores and parts
Clarinet with dance orchestra--Scores and parts
Jazz
Popular music
Big band music--Scores and parts
Music--20th century
Music
Big bands
Swing (music)
Occupation
Performer
Composers
Bandleaders
Clarinetists
Function

Person

Birth 1909-05-30

Death 1986-06-13

Male

Americans

English

Information

Permalink: http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6m43krt

Ark ID: w6m43krt

SNAC ID: 84883848