Here's a clip from 1942 showing Goodman and his band playing for all those young hipsters jitterbugging in the rain. Your grandparents weren't always old. They were just as young and sexy as you think you are. They could really dance, unlike you with that controlled spasm you call dancing. Check out Grandmere Mimi sliding in the rain for a photographer.
Another movie clip with Goodman in the unlikely role of square professor playing with Lionel Hampton.
Here's a brief clip from 1937 showing Goodman and his band playing part of their signature tune "Sing Sing Sing" with solos by Harry James, Goodman, and Gene Krupa, who looks high as a kite (and probably was).
For all you hardcore fans, here's the whole "Sing Sing Sing," all 9 minutes of it.
Not bad for a poor Jewish kid from Chicago whose father worked in a lard factory.
It was Goodman more than anyone else who made American popular music and cleared the road for rock. He was the first to put jazz before a broad white American audience. Jazz before was associated with black folk and the urban underground. Mainstream popular music on most radio shows in the early 1930s was schmalz; waltzes and polkas, with "hay rides" for the rural folk. Goodman put a big heaping helping of hot spicy sex and underworld glamor into popular music that had an immediate appeal to white kids, introducing them to something that black kids had enjoyed for over 20 years. Goodman was one of the first to desegregate pop music, integrating his band and giving black musicians top billing, most famously Lionel Hampton and Charlie Christian. He avoided Southern segregation laws by simply not touring in the South. He was successful enough that he could afford to ignore that whole region of the country.
He began his career at age 16, and toward the end of his life, he was touring the world with Louis Armstrong and playing music written for him by the likes of Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein.
Happy 100 Benny, and thanks for everything!