One of the most important and groundbreaking musicians of the 20th
century, Benny Goodman was known as "The King of Swing."
Goodman was born in Chicago on May 30, 1909 and made his professional
music debut at age 11. He formed his first band at age 25.
In December of 1934, the Goodman Orchestra was one of three bands
hired for NBCs new three-hour music program Lets
Dance. The shows late timeslot meant that Goodmans
band was still relatively unknown when the show left the air in
May 1935. It wasnt until the band played in Californiawhere
Lets Dance aired three hours earlierthat Goodmans
high-octane swing became popular.
The bands popularity grew through regular appearances on
radio. From 1936 to 1939, Goodman headlined CBS Camel Caravan.
During this time, the band was also heard on late-night "remote"
broadcasts from New Yorks Hotel Pennsylvania and Chicagos
For all of Goodmans musical innovations, perhaps the most
important one came when he integrated his band in 1935 with the
addition of pianist Teddy Wilson.
Benny Goodman died on June 13, 1986.
Benny Goodman was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1988.
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