This Month in Music History – May 30, 1909: Jazz Legend Benny Goodman born in Chicago, Ill

The exact date of the birth of Rock & Roll has long been debated and will long be debated. However, we here at LBJBR have a date in mind a date that puts up a pretty good argument in its favor. This month of May – May 30 1909 – music history would etch its beginnings. On that date in town of Chicago, Il Benny Goodman was born.

It could be easily argued that Benny Goodman was the first “Rock God.” In his prime, 1930-1950, Goodman was dubbed “The King of Swing,” swing being a minor variant of Jazz. With the power of a hyper-sonic brass orchestra behind him, the clarinet playing Goodman would blow the roof off of any place he and his band would play and they did it without the need of plugging in or amplifying.

However, it should be noted that Goodman could do more than just play. Wikipedia notes Goodman’s legacy –

n the mid-1930s, Goodman led one of the most popular musical groups in the United States. His concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City on January 16, 1938 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.”[2]
Goodman’s bands started the careers of many jazz musicians. During an era of racial segregation, he led one of the first integrated jazz groups. He performed nearly to the end of his life while exploring an interest in classical music.

Goodman was obsessed with his sound. He practiced daily and expected the same from his band members. Though, as mentioned above, Goodman one of the pioneers in integrating black musicians into his bands.


,however, was adored by teenage girls,