Benny Goodman

goodman1

May 30, 1909 – June 13, 1986

The undeniable “King of Swing,” Benny Goodman was one of the most important and successful musicians and bandleaders of the Big Band jazz era. Throughout the 1920’s and early ’30’s, Goodman played clarinet in bands and as a session musician alongside titanic contemporaries like Bix Beiderbecke, Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller. Taking the arrangements of a successful but stalled-out African-American bandleader/arranger named Fletcher Henderson, Goodman was able to bring a broad popularity to what would become Swing music. Once he realized how much the crowds at his band’s shows favored Henderson’s lively arrangements, he started playing them more and developing new songs in the same vibe. The rest was jazz history.  Goodman’s bands gave the world classics such as “Stompin’ At The Savoy,” “One O’Clock Jump” and the immortal “Sing, Sing, Sing.” His stable of artists included legends like Gene Krupa, Harry James and Peggy Lee and was renowned for its unapologetic racial integration. In the post-Swing era, Goodman adapted. He worked in Bebop and Cool Jazz, even Classical at times.  He never stopped and continued playing well into his later years and right up until his death from a heart attack in New York City in 1986.

Burial

Long Ridge Union Cemetery – Stamford, CT

Specific Location

About  a third of the way down the cemetery, three rows from the back (east).

longridge_goodman

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One Response to “Benny Goodman”

  1. A Ferguson Library librarian accompanied an interested patron to see Benny Goodman’s gravesite a few years ago. Ferguson’s librarians are known for going the extra mile!

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