WRTI Spotlight
2:31 pm
Sun June 7, 2009

Benny Goodman's Centennial: Celebrate with WRTI


Tune in or listen online on Sunday June 7th from 7 to 8 pm when we honor the memory of "The King of Swing."

May 30th marked the 100th anniversary of the birth of Benny Goodman, born Benjamin David Goodman in Chicago in 1909. Mr. Goodman holds an iconic place in American culture - not only as a jazz legend, but also as a cultural ambassador and humanitarian.

WRTI pays homage to the great clarinetist and bandleader whose interest in music spanned both jazz and classical genres.

Benny Goodman: Centennial Celebration

Sunday, June 7

7 to 8 pm

Clarinetist Benny Goodman was a seminal figure in American music, and May 30th marked what would have been his 100th birthday. Goodman was one of the big band greats, but he was equally comfortable playing works of the great classical masters. He even commissioned composers such as Bela Bartok, Leonard Bernstein, and Aaron Copland to write music for his instrument.

WRTI will honor the memory of "The King of Swing" with a one-hour special, hosted by the pre-eminent Goodman bio-discographer D. Russell Connor. The program illuminates Goodman's life as a bandleader, and also explores his role as a cultural ambassador and humanitarian. Russell Connor was interviewed at his home outside Philadelphia, resulting in a fascinating portrait of Mr. Goodman. The program includes Connor's personal recollections and rare recordings, and presents Benny Goodman as an American treasure who was much more than a clarinetist and bandleader.

More Information:

Watch and Listen: Benny Goodman and His Swing Band in 1937 Playing "Medley"

Benny Goodman's Official Website