Benny Goodman was the first celebrated bandleader of the Swing Era, dubbed "The King of Swing," his popular emergence marking the beginning of the era.
Mr. Goodman was born in Chicago on May of 1909, (Yes a hundred years ago). He died at the age of 77.
What did he play? The clarinet.
Remembered songs include: Stompin' at the Savoy, It's Only a Paper Moon, My Old Flame, and Sing, Sing, Sing.
Benny survived the jazz era of the forties and moved on to be bop and then to classical. He had played the clarinet for thirty years when he re-learned it with a different method of fingering and mouthing.
A 1956 film called The Benny Goodman Story starred Steve Allen as Goodman and Donna Reed as his wife.