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Playing with local bands, Goodman became a member of the American Federation of Musicians at the age of 14.

He then abandoned his education to pursue his musical ambitions.

Two years later, Goodman moved to Los Angeles to join Ben Pollack's band.

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As a bandleader, Goodman was known for being a demanding boss who sought technical perfection from his performers.

Many of his players left to start their own groups, including Gene Krupa and Harry James.

At the age of 10, Goodman went to study music at Kehelah Jacob Synagogue.

He studied the clarinet with Franz Schoepp who was a member of the Chicago Symphony.

Other legendary acts on the same bill included Count Basie and Duke Ellington and their bands.

He also released one of his most trademark songs, "Sing, Sing, Sing (with a Swing)," that same year, which was later inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Goodman eventually broke up his big band and performed with small groups over the years. He went on to tour the Soviet Union in 1962 as part of the U. He died of heart failure on June 13, 1986, in New York City—just days after his final performance.

With musician-comedian Victor Borge, he hosted a radio show for a time. Not long before his death, he had received a Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award as well as honorary degrees from Brandeis University and Bard College.

The couple eventually had two daughters together, Rachel and Benjie.

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