Born of poor Jewish immigrant parents in Chicago in 1909, Beny Goodman joined the local synagogue band at the age of ten with two of his brothers. As he was the smallest of the three he was given a clarinet. Within a decade he was a musical legend, constantly in demand for radio shows and guest appearances with America's leading jazz orchestras. In 1934 he formed his own band, and by the mid-1930s, Benny Goodman was hailed as the undisputed 'King of Swing'. James Lincoln Collier brilliantly recreates the colourful popular music world of the 1920s and 1930s, when the music industry was just expanding, radio was the great source of musical entertainment, and swing bands were first finding national audiences. He also offers perceptive insights into the character and music of a man whose magic transformed the Depression years into the Swing Era.