Benny Goodman Research Paper

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Benny Goodman, also known as the King of Swing, is one of the most influential musicians to jazz music as a whole. Benny Goodman was born is Chicago to a Jewish family in 1909, right at the turn of the century, which would later prove to be a perfect time for this great musician to be raised. He was one of nine kids in a poor household, and it wasn’t until he turned 10 years old that he started to play the clarinet. His father had enrolled him in music lessons at the local Synagogue, and from then on Benny Goodman fell in love with the world of music. As Benny grew older, the news of a talented young clarinet player spread across Chicago’s music industry. Benny was soon picked up and trained by the famous New Orleans jazz musicians Johnny Dodds,…show more content…
In 1934 Benny and his band auditioned for a spot on NBC’s new show Let’s Dance, and sure enough they got the job. People loved his music but due to him performing so late, people across the country could not tune in to see Benny perform. Benny’s big break happened when his band had reached the end of its mediocre tour in the Palomar Dance Hall in Los Angeles. Benny got to perform at an earlier time and thousands of people had heard his music and fell in love. Every single person listening began to jump and dance around wildly. Benny Goodman had ushered America into the next era of Jazz, the Swing Era. Benny’s music had brought in a younger audience to jazz music, and his popularity was flowing through the roof. His performance at Palomar had made national headlines, and Benny Goodman had become famous. His tour was over and the band headed back east, where they were welcomed as superstars. Benny and his band began performing at all the most popular spots in New York and even Pennsylvania. Thousands of people began flocking to his performances to watch and dance while Benny played the clarinet. People were waiting in lines for hours and hours to watch him…show more content…
With other songs such as Don’t Be That Way, Avalon, Flying Home, Memories of You, and many more, Benny Goodman picked America off their feet and gave people something to smile and dance about. Benny Goodman was responsible for bringing economically torn Americans back to live and giving people something to look forward to at the end of their day, listening to his music. Millions of Benny’s recordings have been sold and still continue to be bought to this day. His success in this industry was remarkable, and he had become the face of jazz music during his time. Apart from Benny’s contribution to jazz, he was an instrumental figure in civil rights and racial segregation. He was the first person to put a band together with black and white people. Due to the harsh Jim Crow laws, blacks and whites were not allowed to perform together, but Benny Goodman helped to separate this barrier by refusing to perform if his black band members couldn’t stay, perform, or eat in the same places as the white band members. This whole movement happened about 10 years before Jackie Robinson had broke the color barrier in professional sports, so it served as a big stepping stone toward racial equality. Some of these amicable characteristics of Benny Goodman set him apart from the other great musicians of this time. Benny defined what it meant to be a well-rounded individual, and this

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