By the mid-1940s however big bands lost a lot of their popularity. When a friend once asked him why he reportedly said "Well if they knew about it everyone would come to me with their hand out.
In the mid-1930s Benny Goodman led one of the most popular musical groups in America. "
Goodman's bands launched the careers of many major names in jazz and during an era of segregation he also led one of the first well-known racially integrated jazz groups. His January 16 1938 concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City is described by critic Bruce Eder as "the single most important jazz or popular music concert in history: jazz's 'coming out' party to the world of 'respectable' music.