Friday, May 30, 2014

Benny Goodman, the King of Swing

It is the birthday of jazz clarinetist and bandleader Benny Goodman (1909), who grew in prominence in the 1930s, and by 1936 was known as the King of Swing throughout the country. Music historians mark his January 16, 1938 performance at Carnegie Hall as the point when jazz became accepted by mainstream audiences. It was the first time jazz had been presented in the famous classical music venue. At first the audience reaction was lukewarm but by the end it was decidedly enthusiastic. The 2,760-seat hall was filled to capacity. Patrons had paid $2.75 for the best tickets. In 1938, that was expensive for a concert ticket. Here is a video that includes footage, archive photos and, a recording of "Sing, Sing, Sing" from that performance.

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