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Benny Goodman - King Of Swing And So Much More


Eighty years ago this month, legendary clarinetist and bandleader Benny Goodman, the King of Swing, made history with a sold-out performance at Carnegie Hall.  On January 16, 1938 the Benny Goodman Orchestra became the first swing/jazz band ever to perform in America's citadel of high culture, previously reserved exclusively for classical music concerts.

In celebration of this historic event, CapRadio presented a weeklong celebration of Benny Goodman, Jan. 16-19, designed to inform and inspire with historical remembrances, interviews, vignettes and plenty of Goodman music sprinkled throughout CapRadio’s news and music programming.

Highlights included an interview with Benny Goodman's daughter and Sacramento resident Rachel Edelson on Insight with Beth Ruyak, an exclusive "mini-concert" given by clarinetist Ken Peplowski and pianist Ehud Asherie at the CapRadio studios, and a series of short features hosted by journalist John McDonough, surveying Goodman's wide-ranging and important contributions to music and society.

Peps And SJO

Benny Goodman Week culminated on Friday, January 19th at the Harris Center in Folsom with a sold-out concert featuring Goodman band veteran Ken Peplowski and the Sacramento Jazz Orchestra commemorating Goodman's groundbreaking Carnegie Hall concert.  Earlier that morning, Peplowski hosted a special matinee for students where he discussed and demonstrated elements of swing with a small group also featuring Asherie on piano and Chuck Redd on the vibraphone.

Both concerts were co-presented by CapRadio and the Harris Center for the Arts.  


Stories related to: Celebrating Benny Goodman


Benny Goodman Week In Review

January 26, 2018

With the 80th anniversary of his famous Carnegie Hall concert as the focal point, clarinetist/bandleader and cultural icon Benny Goodman took the spotlight on CapRadio Jan. 16-19.


More Than The Swing King: Benny Goodman Broke Through Hollywood's Color Barrier

January 19, 2018

In the 1930's, Hollywood was segregated as was most of American society. That made the appearance of Benny Goodman's integrated quartet remarkable in the film Hollywood Hotel. Journalist John McDonough describes just what a watershed moment that was.


More That The Swing King: Benny Goodman Expanded The Classical Clarinet Repertoire

January 18, 2018

Like many jazz musicians, the King of Swing was classically trained. He performed and recorded works by Mozart and other major classical composers. He also expanded the classical clarinet repertoire by commissioning new works.

Insight With Beth Ruyak

Clarinetist Ken Peplowski Recounts His Time Working For Benny Goodman And Performs In-Studio

January 18, 2018 | Paul Conley

Clarinet virtuoso Ken Peplowski headlines with the Sacramento Jazz Orchestra at a special concert honoring Benny Goodman.


More Than The Swing King: Benny Goodman Championed Charlie Christian And His Electric Guitar

January 17, 2018

Electric guitar is pervasive in popular music today. But in the 1930's it was a novelty. Then came the Benny Goodman jazz sextet, featuring Charlie Christian. Journalist John McDonough explains how their 1939 Carnegie Hall concert changed the game.

Insight With Beth Ruyak

Remembering Her Father, Benny Goodman

January 16, 2018 | Jen Picard

Remembering Benny Goodman and his legacy 80 years after a groundbreaking concert at Carnegie Hall.


More Than The Swing King: Benny Goodman Claimed A Home For Jazz In The Concert Hall

January 16, 2018

In the first of a 4-part series, journalist John McDonough describes how Benny Goodman's historic Carnegie Hall concert of 1938 signified that jazz, America's music, is deserving of its rightful place in America's premiere concert halls.