On this day, in 1909, Benny Goodman (1909-1986) was born. Popularizing the jazz art form, he was known as the "King of Swing" and, in the 1930s, led one of the most popular music groups in the United States. An accomplished clarinet player, he was also a band leader. He and his bands launched the careers of many jazz greats and, during a time of racial segregation, he led one of the first well-known integrated jazz groups.
Some facts about Benny Goodman:
His band was the first to play jazz in Carnegie Hall.
In later years, he became interested in classical music and enlarged the classical clarinet repertoire by commissioning pieces by Bela Bartok, Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein.
He was presented with a Kennedy Center Award and is also a member of the All-Time Jazz Hall of Fame. He also won a Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award.
He died of a heart attack in New York City at the age of 77. He is buried in Stamford, Connecticut.
Here is "Sing, Sing, Sing":
Here is "I Got a Heartful of Music":
Goodman in his later years: