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Jazz drummer Louie Bellson is 63 and graying at the temples, but retains the youthful enthusiasm of a teenager. He was a teenager, 17 in fact, when he joined Benny Goodman’s swinging big band in 1941. He keeps his own big bands on call now, saying it is i
Jazz drummer Louie Bellson is 63 and graying at the temples, but retains the youthful enthusiasm of a teenager. He was a teenager, 17 in fact, when he joined Benny Goodman’s swinging big band in 1941. He keeps his own big bands on call now, saying it is important to carry on the musical tradition. He is seen here aboard the SS Norway on November 23, 1987. (UPI Photo/Ken Franckling/Files)
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Benjamin David “Benny” Goodman (May 30, 1909 – June 13, 1986) was an American jazz and swing musician, clarinetist and bandleader; widely known as the "King of Swing".

In the mid-1930s, Benny Goodman led one of the most popular musical groups in America. His January 16, 1938 concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City is described by critic Bruce Eder as "the single most important jazz or popular music concert in history: jazz's 'coming out' party to the world of 'respectable' music."

Goodman's bands launched the careers of many major names in jazz, and during an era of segregation, he also led one of the first racially-integrated musical groups. Goodman continued to perform to nearly the end of his life, including exploring his interest in classical music.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Benny Goodman."
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