Benny Goodman

Not in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Eligible since: 1960 (The 1961 Induction Ceremony)

Previously Considered? No  what's this?

Essential Albums (?)WikipediaAmazon MP3Amazon CD
The Famous 1938 Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert (1950)

Essential Songs (?)WikipediaAmazon MP3YouTube
Sing, Sing, Sing (With A Swing) (1937)

Benny Goodman @ Wikipedia

Benny Goodman Videos

Will Benny Goodman be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?
"Musical excellence is the essential qualification for induction."


8 comments so far (post your own)

He has been eligible since 1960!!! He predates rock n roll!!

Posted by The Great Depression on Saturday, 11.15.08 @ 13:40pm

He is still a good man though

Or is he?

Posted by Joker on Saturday, 11.15.08 @ 13:58pm

early influence??? i think.

Posted by akeem on Thursday, 01.8.09 @ 04:35am

An important early influence for sure . . . way, way, way overdue for one of the greatest (if not THE greatest) clarinetists in the history of popular music. And a hell of an important composer and bandleader to boot . . .

Posted by Michael on Tuesday, 03.16.10 @ 23:23pm

Benny Goodman is a no-brainer for sure, as are most of the giants of the big band/swing era (Glenn Miller, Count Basie, the Dorsey Brothers, Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway).

Posted by Zach on Saturday, 03.17.12 @ 22:31pm

As big of a Benny Goodman fan as I am, I was sorely disappointed to find this statement which he made in an interview for American Heritage Magazine around 1980/1981. He responded to the interviewer's question of whether he was keeping up with then current popular music. Goodman had this to say:

"I don't really stay that much in touch with it. All I'll say is that I can't imagine someone forty years from now reminiscing fondly about having heard Blondie, or even the Rolling Stones, or-what was the name of that group the other day - Clash. What could they say about it? "Remember the volume, the flickering lights? Remember when we got high?" I kind of doubt it."

While it was probably too early at the time to evaluate the longevity and impact of Blondie and The Clash, I think it's safe to say that both have stood the test of time. Furthermore, each generation will always look back on its music and recall the good and the bad. For Goodman to say that no one would recall Blondie, The Clash, or even The Rolling Stones in a positive light is foolish. It was a very ignorant comment to make, that's for sure.

That being said, I consider Goodman to be one of the finest clarinetists and big band leaders. He was a major force in racial racial de-segregation in music. Goodman hired the likes of Lionel Hampton, Charlie Christian, Teddy Wilson, and Gene Krupa to play in his band and also collaborated with Louis Armstrong and George Benson. I will always enjoy his music, even though he was dead wrong about the lasting impact of rock 'n' roll. Then again, a lot of jazz figures held equally narrow-minded views on rock music.

Posted by Zach on Wednesday, 05.30.12 @ 23:50pm

Then again, a lot of jazz figures held equally narrow-minded views on rock music.

Posted by Zach on Wednesday, 05.30.12 @ 23:50pm
Cannot help but acknowledge what you say, especially in light of a favorite of mine, Steve Allen.

Yes, I know Allen was primarily a comedian, but he also wrote songs & was a major jazz fan. I remember when Tony Bennett showed up w/the Red Hot Chili Peppers at the MTV awards in 1992. That was an unspoken turning point for a lot of the older vocalists. If you look beyong this, Sinatra teamed w/Bono in 93, Tom Jones had a comeback around 94, and even Mel Torme played a festival w/the Ramones around 95/96 or so. The apex was when Pat Boone did his "metal" album in 97!

I can still recall how awesome I thought this was. Nobody was making fun of them, & in return, they were cool w/the rock crowd. In fact, I cannot recall who brought it up, but someone did mention it, & clearly stated that if you don't knock the music of now, they won't come down on you (that's roughly speaking what was inferred).

Regrettably, I recall Steve Allen still taking potshots about all of rock, only in muted form. He would say stuff to the effect that Elvis was the only artist of any quality to come out of rock, & pretty much dismiss everything else. I've always wished that the lightbulb would've gone on regarding rock in his case. At the end he had a chance to come back, if he wished, yet he never got over making fun of the music. The artists he knew were literally saying you could have a respectable comeback, if you respected the "kids" per'se, but Allen never seemed inclined to do so. I'll always regret that, as he would've been a riot to see in a setting like that.

Posted by Cheesecrop on Thursday, 05.31.12 @ 06:40am

Although Goodman was wrong about the lasting appeal of groups like The Rolling Stones, I would have to join him in saying that I am not too fond of their overall catalogue. It's no surprise that I just can't tolerate must of the 1960s/1970s classic rock staples. I'll admit to enjoying a few of the Rolling Stones' singles, but none of their albums I've listened to were keepers. Ditto for the Clash, whose fascinating melting pot of musical styles is often spoiled by unnecessary politically-charged lyrics. Blondie's about the only one out of that trio that has any representation in my library. I am far too interested in other styles of music to just narrow my interests down to classic rawk.

Posted by Zach on Tuesday, 09.30.14 @ 17:18pm

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