who is the king of swing
On the evening of Jan. 16, 1938, Goodman took the first jazz band to the stage of Carnegie Hall.
“Because he was risking some very bad reviews, since the music critics at the time were not jazz people,” Schaap says. “You didn’t have a jazz critic at a publication. You had a music critic who probably was on the record saying jazz was junk.”
Pianist and arranger Mary Lou Williams suggested to Hammond that he see guitarist Charlie Christian.  Hammond had seen Christian perform in Oklahoma City in 1939 and recommended him to Goodman, but Goodman was uninterested in electric guitar and was put off by Christian’s taste in gaudy clothing. During a break at a concert in Beverly Hills, Hammond inserted Christian into the band. Goodman started playing “Rose Room” on the assumption that Christian didn’t know it, but his performance impressed everyone.  Christian was a member of the Benny Goodman Sextet from 1939 to 1941, and during these two years he turned the electric guitar into a popular jazz instrument. 
In November 1935 Goodman accepted an invitation to play in Chicago at the Joseph Urban Room at the Congress Hotel. His stay there extended to six months, and his popularity was cemented by nationwide radio broadcasts over NBC affiliate stations. While in Chicago, the band recorded If I Could Be with You, Stompin’ at the Savoy, and Goody, Goody.  Goodman also played three concerts produced by Chicago socialite and jazz aficionado Helen Oakley. These “Rhythm Club” concerts at the Congress Hotel included sets in which Goodman and Krupa sat in with Fletcher Henderson’s band, perhaps the first racially integrated big band appearing before a paying audience in the United States.  Goodman and Krupa played in a trio with Teddy Wilson on piano. Both combinations were well received, and Wilson remained.
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Making Jazz the Music of America
Because America and the entertainment world were so segregated, it would be easy to be dismissive of the era. However, without the important groundbreaking work that Benny Goodman was doing to shatter the walls of racism, we would not have the better world (a lot more work to do!) we live in now.
Writing about Benny Goodman in the past tense somehow feels incongruous. Goodman, who died Friday at age 77, had always seemed to be a permanent, ineradicable presence: playing magnificently, leading a vastly influential orchestra, or recording, with the likes of Teddy Wilson, Lionel Hampton and later Count Basie, Cootie Williams, Charlie Christian and Georgie Auld, what were arguably the most durable small group sessions aside from Louis Armstrong’s Hot Fives.
Another special memory for me is the Moscow opening. No real American jazz orchestra had played in the Soviet Union since the birth of swing, and one night in the spring of 1962, with Premier Nikita Khrushchev and his wife in attendance, Goodman presented a concert by an orchestra specially assembled for the tour. I had flown over for the occasion.