Impact Of Benny Goodman And The Swing Era

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In the mid 1930s, Benny Goodman sparked the beginning of the Swing Era of jazz music shortly after leading his first band, which was monumental to the development of jazz. This marked a transition from the early Jazz Age, which resulted from combining aspects of ragtime and blues music over the previous two decades. Through Goodman’s live performances at various gigs and NBC’s radio show Let’s Dance, he gained increased recognition as a jazz performer and band leader. Following his pivotal Palomar Ballroom gig in Los Angeles, Goodman’s music inspired teenagers to create dances to accompany his new jazz style. As a result, his music grew to gain national acclaim and popularity among many different types of people. Goodman greatly influenced…show more content…
In the 1930s, Goodman gradually gained recognition at recording sessions and radio shows in New York City, where he later formed his first band and began performing weekly on NBC’s radio show Let’s Dance (Collier 89). Around this time, Goodman had his first number one hit “Moonglow,” clearly marking his progression as a bandleader (Collier 96). This exposure allowed Goodman to achieve greater national fame that provided the foundation for the beginning of the Swing Era. With a national audience building from his radio performances, Goodman’s upbeat, hot jazz swing style was gaining traction, leading up to a pivotal performance on his band’s tour in Los Angeles that marked the transition to a new era in jazz. At Palomar Ballroom, Goodman and his band performed their new swing music, which combined elements of jazz and popular American dance music (Firestone 204). The gig is generally accepted as the start of the Swing Era, as Goodman’s style of swing music gained overwhelming positive feedback from the audience. Since the performance was broadcasted on national radio, Goodman’s jazz music dominated headlines and catapulted jazz into the forefront of American popular music. As dancers craved the upbeat swing music, bands copied Goodman’s style, which led to the proliferation of swing music and the birth of the Swing Era (“Benny Goodman:…show more content…
Beginning with Goodman’s monumental performance at Palomar Ballroom in Los Angeles, the Swing Era gained immense popularity that helped the jazz genre rise to the forefront of popular music in America in the 1930s to 1950s. Furthermore, Goodman’s performance at Carnegie Hall brought the jazz genre to new peaks as it gained acclaim high-class music. The highly popular music form, along with its newfound recognition as a sophisticated music genre at Carnegie Hall, inspired the next generation of jazz musicians and brought many opportunities for jazz musicians to launch their music careers. In addition, Goodman crossed racial barriers in jazz by making his mixed jazz bands mainstream, which normalized mixed jazz groups and brought together previously segregated musicians. Goodman significantly impacted jazz by popularizing the Swing Era, which launched the careers of future generations of jazz musicians, and by unifying musicians of different ethnic backgrounds through jazz
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