1996 32c Big Band Leaders: Benny Goodman

# 3099 - 1996 32c Big Band Leaders: Benny Goodman

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US #3099
1996 Benny Goodman

  • Part of set featuring four legendary Big Bank Leaders
  • 7th pane in the Legends of Music series
  • Stamps were issued on same day as Songwriters stamps in same series

Stamp Category:  Commemorative
Set:  Big Band Leaders, American Music series
Value:  32¢, First-Class mail rate
First Day of Issue:  September 11, 1996
First Day City:  New York, New York
Quantity Issued:  23,025,000
Printed by:  Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd.
Printing Method:  Lithographed
Format:  Panes of 20 (4 across, 5 down) from plates of 120 (12 across, 10 down)
Perforations:  11.1 x 11

Why the stamp was issued:  The five stamps in the Big Band Leaders set honor talented individuals who contributed to the sound of Big Band music.  They include Count Basie, Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, Glenn Miller, and Benny Goodman.

About the stamp design:  The portraits of the four big band leaders were made by Bill Nelson, who works in colored pencils on recycled charcoal paper.  He had previously designed album covers for big band recordings compiled by Time-Life Records.

First Day City:  The set of five Big Band Leaders stamps was dedicated at Shubert Alley in New York City.  The Songwriters stamps from the same series were issued at the same time.  It kicked off the US Postal Service’s American Music Stamp Festival 1996.  Family members of the men featured on the stamps were present at the ceremony.

Unusual fact about the Big Band Leaders stamps:  Benny Goodman was not originally slated to be one of the big band leaders honored on these stamps.  The USPS originally planned to issue the stamps in 1995, and since Goodman died in 1986, he wouldn’t have been eligible to be on the stamps.  At the time the Postal Service had a strict rule that someone had to have been dead for 10 years before they could be pictured on a stamp.  Because of his importance in big band history, the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee decided to wait until 1996 to issue the stamps so Goodman could be a part of the set.

About the Legends of American Music Series:  The Legends of American Music Series debuted on January 8, 1993, and ran until September 21, 1999.  More than 90 artists are represented from all styles of music:  rock ‘n’ roll, rhythm and blues, country and western, jazz and pop, opera and classical, gospel and folk.  In addition to individual singers and Broadway musicals, subjects include band leaders, classical composers, Hollywood songwriters and composers, conductors, lyricists, and more.  The Legends of American Music Series was a huge advancement for diversity because it honored many Black and female artists.

History the stamp represents:  The success of the Benny Goodman Orchestra in 1935 led to the formation of other big bands led by such talented individuals as Count Basie, Tommy and jimmy Dorsey, and Glenn Miller.

Benny Goodman:  Bandleader Benjamin David Goodman was born on May 30, 1909, in Chicago, Illinois.  The ninth of twelve children, Goodman came from a family of poor Jewish immigrants.  When he was a child, his father would take the family to free concerts in Douglas Park to help give them appreciation for live music.  When Goodman was 10, his father enrolled he and some of his siblings in music lessons.  Goodman then joined the band at the Hull House and had his first professional performance in 1921 at the Central Park Theater in Chicago.  He then got his first union card at the age of 13 and began performing on Lake Michigan tour boats and in dance halls.  Goodman did his first recordings in 1926.
Goodman eventually moved to New York City where he first found work as a session musician for radio and Broadway musicals, playing clarinet and saxophone.  During this time, Goodman played with Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, and Joe Venuti.  In 1928, he and Miller wrote “Room 1411.”  He first appeared on the charts with “He’s Not Worth Your Tears.”
Goodman signed to Columbia in 1934 and had a series of top ten hits including “Ain’t Cha Glad,” “I Ain’t Lazy, I’m Just Dreamin’,” “Ol’ Pappy,” and “Riffin the Scotch.”  Goodman was then invited to play at the Billy Rose Music Hall, which led him to form his own orchestra.  They recorded the number one hit “Moonglow.” Goodman then spent six months performing on the radio show Let’s Dance, and had six more top ten hits.

In August 1935, Goodman and his band had a three-week engagement at the Palomar Ballroom in Los Angeles.  They played songs by Fletcher Henderson and Spud Murphy that got the crowds excited, leading to enthusiastic dancing.  These performances are often considered to be the start of the Swing Era.
Goodman returned to Chicago and put on a series of successful and popular performances that earned him the nicknames “Rajah of Rhythm” and “King of Swing.”  He then went to Hollywood to record another successful radio show.  Then in January 1938, Goodman’s band played a sold-out concert at New York City’s Carnegie Hall.  It’s considered one of the most significant jazz concerts in history, as it marked the time that mainstream audiences finally accepted jazz.
Until it disbanded in 1944, Goodman’s band was among the most popular of swing bands, and served as a springboard for the careers of trumpeter Harry James, drummer Gene Krupa, vibraphonist Lionel Hampton, and pianist Teddy Wilson.  Orchestrations by Fletcher Henderson were especially noteworthy.  Goodman was the first bandleader to feature interracial musical groups.  His band appeared in a number of films throughout the 1930s and 40s including: The Big Broadcast of 1937, Hollywood Hotel, Syncopation, The Powers Girl, Stage Door Canteen, The Gang’s All Here, Sweet and Low-Down, Make Mine Music, and A Song Is Born.  Goodman was also the first jazz musician to achieve recognition as a soloist with symphony orchestras.
In the 1940s, Goodman explored bebop and found significant critical success.  In the late 1940s, Goodman studied with clarinetist Reginald Kell and changed his playing technique, essentially re-learning to play the instrument he had played for 30 years from scratch.  Goodman collaborated and commissioned works with classical composers such as Igor Stravinsky, Paul Hindemith, and Aaron Copland.
Goodman started a new band in 1953, and later led the first jazz band to tour the Soviet Union in 1962.  Goodman continued to perform and record music until his death on June 13, 1986.  Goodman received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and was inducted into the Jazz Hall of Fame.

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US #3099
1996 Benny Goodman

  • Part of set featuring four legendary Big Bank Leaders
  • 7th pane in the Legends of Music series
  • Stamps were issued on same day as Songwriters stamps in same series

Stamp Category:  Commemorative
Set:  Big Band Leaders, American Music series
Value:  32¢, First-Class mail rate
First Day of Issue:  September 11, 1996
First Day City:  New York, New York
Quantity Issued:  23,025,000
Printed by:  Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd.
Printing Method:  Lithographed
Format:  Panes of 20 (4 across, 5 down) from plates of 120 (12 across, 10 down)
Perforations:  11.1 x 11

Why the stamp was issued:  The five stamps in the Big Band Leaders set honor talented individuals who contributed to the sound of Big Band music.  They include Count Basie, Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, Glenn Miller, and Benny Goodman.

About the stamp design:  The portraits of the four big band leaders were made by Bill Nelson, who works in colored pencils on recycled charcoal paper.  He had previously designed album covers for big band recordings compiled by Time-Life Records.

First Day City:  The set of five Big Band Leaders stamps was dedicated at Shubert Alley in New York City.  The Songwriters stamps from the same series were issued at the same time.  It kicked off the US Postal Service’s American Music Stamp Festival 1996.  Family members of the men featured on the stamps were present at the ceremony.

Unusual fact about the Big Band Leaders stamps:  Benny Goodman was not originally slated to be one of the big band leaders honored on these stamps.  The USPS originally planned to issue the stamps in 1995, and since Goodman died in 1986, he wouldn’t have been eligible to be on the stamps.  At the time the Postal Service had a strict rule that someone had to have been dead for 10 years before they could be pictured on a stamp.  Because of his importance in big band history, the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee decided to wait until 1996 to issue the stamps so Goodman could be a part of the set.

About the Legends of American Music Series:  The Legends of American Music Series debuted on January 8, 1993, and ran until September 21, 1999.  More than 90 artists are represented from all styles of music:  rock ‘n’ roll, rhythm and blues, country and western, jazz and pop, opera and classical, gospel and folk.  In addition to individual singers and Broadway musicals, subjects include band leaders, classical composers, Hollywood songwriters and composers, conductors, lyricists, and more.  The Legends of American Music Series was a huge advancement for diversity because it honored many Black and female artists.

History the stamp represents:  The success of the Benny Goodman Orchestra in 1935 led to the formation of other big bands led by such talented individuals as Count Basie, Tommy and jimmy Dorsey, and Glenn Miller.

Benny Goodman:  Bandleader Benjamin David Goodman was born on May 30, 1909, in Chicago, Illinois.  The ninth of twelve children, Goodman came from a family of poor Jewish immigrants.  When he was a child, his father would take the family to free concerts in Douglas Park to help give them appreciation for live music.  When Goodman was 10, his father enrolled he and some of his siblings in music lessons.  Goodman then joined the band at the Hull House and had his first professional performance in 1921 at the Central Park Theater in Chicago.  He then got his first union card at the age of 13 and began performing on Lake Michigan tour boats and in dance halls.  Goodman did his first recordings in 1926.
Goodman eventually moved to New York City where he first found work as a session musician for radio and Broadway musicals, playing clarinet and saxophone.  During this time, Goodman played with Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, and Joe Venuti.  In 1928, he and Miller wrote “Room 1411.”  He first appeared on the charts with “He’s Not Worth Your Tears.”
Goodman signed to Columbia in 1934 and had a series of top ten hits including “Ain’t Cha Glad,” “I Ain’t Lazy, I’m Just Dreamin’,” “Ol’ Pappy,” and “Riffin the Scotch.”  Goodman was then invited to play at the Billy Rose Music Hall, which led him to form his own orchestra.  They recorded the number one hit “Moonglow.” Goodman then spent six months performing on the radio show Let’s Dance, and had six more top ten hits.

In August 1935, Goodman and his band had a three-week engagement at the Palomar Ballroom in Los Angeles.  They played songs by Fletcher Henderson and Spud Murphy that got the crowds excited, leading to enthusiastic dancing.  These performances are often considered to be the start of the Swing Era.
Goodman returned to Chicago and put on a series of successful and popular performances that earned him the nicknames “Rajah of Rhythm” and “King of Swing.”  He then went to Hollywood to record another successful radio show.  Then in January 1938, Goodman’s band played a sold-out concert at New York City’s Carnegie Hall.  It’s considered one of the most significant jazz concerts in history, as it marked the time that mainstream audiences finally accepted jazz.
Until it disbanded in 1944, Goodman’s band was among the most popular of swing bands, and served as a springboard for the careers of trumpeter Harry James, drummer Gene Krupa, vibraphonist Lionel Hampton, and pianist Teddy Wilson.  Orchestrations by Fletcher Henderson were especially noteworthy.  Goodman was the first bandleader to feature interracial musical groups.  His band appeared in a number of films throughout the 1930s and 40s including: The Big Broadcast of 1937, Hollywood Hotel, Syncopation, The Powers Girl, Stage Door Canteen, The Gang’s All Here, Sweet and Low-Down, Make Mine Music, and A Song Is Born.  Goodman was also the first jazz musician to achieve recognition as a soloist with symphony orchestras.
In the 1940s, Goodman explored bebop and found significant critical success.  In the late 1940s, Goodman studied with clarinetist Reginald Kell and changed his playing technique, essentially re-learning to play the instrument he had played for 30 years from scratch.  Goodman collaborated and commissioned works with classical composers such as Igor Stravinsky, Paul Hindemith, and Aaron Copland.
Goodman started a new band in 1953, and later led the first jazz band to tour the Soviet Union in 1962.  Goodman continued to perform and record music until his death on June 13, 1986.  Goodman received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and was inducted into the Jazz Hall of Fame.