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Benny Goodman


JAZZ is a cultural musical tradition that originated in the early 20th century among the Afro American communities living in the Southern United States. It developed from the confluence of the European and African traditions and over the years, it has incorporated classic tunes from the 19th to the 20th century, it has deeply incorporated African popular music.

Benny Goodman

From early childhood, Benny Goodman's deep interest in JAZZ classic music was well developed; this came up mainly because of the birth and growth place of Benny. He grew up in the JAZZ love town of Chicago at a time when the Afro-American cultural music was well at the verge of development and growth. By then, great JAZZ music pioneers such as the legendary 'Jellyroll' Morton were already making marked progress in the artistic field of JAZZ. This artists were unknowingly impacting positively on the kids who were paying attention to this development, little was it known that the same youngsters were bound to write there own history in the name of JAZZ in a few years time.

At about the tender age of 9, Benny Goodman was doing Ted Wiliams imitations in a bid to get himself little pocket money, and about a year later, he picked up a clarinet for the first time. As was predictable, his star didn't take too long to shine as he was a talented JAZZ singer, four years later, he happened to be in a band that featured the renowned Bix Beiderbecke. This was a great advantage to him as it gave a real markable boost to his popularity. At the age of 16, he was now better recognized as a comer in the whole over West Coast this gave him a golden chance to be able to join a California based band led by Ben Pollack who also happened to hail from the town full of JAZZ talent. This was one of the notable break troughs to his talent, because this is where he started doing his first recordings in 1926.

In 1928, he made his first vocalition record under his own name and n year later at the age of 20, he came out on his own to become a typical musical freelancer, and he played studio dates and led pit orchestra which made him a seasoned professional. In 1934, he gathered a group of youth who were also enthusiastic in JAZZ and auditioned for a job by Billy Rose who needed a band for his new theatre restaurant. On merit, he got the NBC's Lets Dance job, in the next year, his band was among the three bands which featured on lets Dance where they played a number of songs.

His portion of the radio program didn't give him a good number of audience from the greater East Coast because of the varying difference in time zones, however little was it known to him that the save disadvantage, was on the other hand a great advantage as he gathered a huge audience from the West Coast. His band remained in the radio play to the middle of the year when unrest by employees led to the forceful cancellation of the contract. This was a heavy blow to the band as from the since they were not well received by the audience, by the end of the year the band was badly disillusioned and Mr. Goodman had little interest in it as it was nearly broke, as a matter of fact he was ready to quit.

In August the same year the band made a remarkable performance in one of its many unsuccessful shows, the show was in Palomar ballroom in Los Angeles, here the audience mostly youthful came out in their numbers to witness the band's long awaited performance. The audience which had been listening to the Lets Dance show which was on air in their radios this time wanted to see the band in real time action. As was thought the performance would involve a lot of dancing but hardly was this seen, the kids in Los Angeles firstly wanted to listen to the band, they crowded around Benny and his crew and listened, to them it was a very new kind of music with new audience. This meeting was a clash as it made headlines in newspapers and news in general.

When the band headed back to the east, they were really a renowned lot, joined by Tedd Wilson, they played at a Hotel in Chicago as the Benny Goodman trio, in the New York, and Hampton worked tirelessly and made it the Benny Goodman Quartet making sensational performances in Pennsylvania. The band was not to stop just then, it made even bigger and more sensational its performances such that it became grueling enjoyment for both the performers and the audience. This was well witnessed at the Paramount Theatre where due to the bands great performance, queues began to form at breakfast time down to the last show of that day, it was a tough and grueling experience for the kids who waited for hours and hours just to dance in the aisles. This was the height of Benny Goodman and his JAZZ band.


In his late 20s, Benny Goodman could be termed as to have successfully reached the height of his career and his pinnacle of success. This can be so majorly because of his God given talent in the art of music. His growth background gave him an upper hand and so led to his quick realization and development of his career. As can be seen, he was born at a time when the musical cultural art of JAZZ was bursting up, he was also born in a neighborhood where JAZZ was a love, this gave him a jumpstart which we all see he well utilizes. Thousands of youths, the world all over has derived great influence through listening to him. He is well remembered for universalizing JAZZ music and the big band format.

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