The time has come for Ben Goodman to give Benny Goodman a listen


I asked Kansas sophomore Buck (hybrid defensive end/outside linebacker) Ben Goodman during summer camp if he had ever listened to big band leader/clarinet player Benny Goodman, to whom my father used to tap his foot and snap his fingers while wearing the sort of grin Ben wore after starring in Saturday’s 31-19 victory against West Virginia. He said he had not and named Jay-Z as favorite recording artist.

After Goodman’s big day at the office — a great catch to start a 54-yard interception return, six tackles, two for a loss, one sack and a blocked field with his right hand while showing a strong vertical leap — I again asked him if he had had a chance to check out Benny Goodman.

“I haven’t listened to him, but every time I try to look up an article on me, he’s the first person to pop up,” Goodman said. “I always said if I scored a touchdown, I was going to take a personal foul and go to the band and lead it.”

Goodman was having a great time talking after the death of KU's 27-game Big 12 losing streak, the start, he hopes, of a Big 12 winning streak.

“This is the most fun I’ve ever had playing football,” he said. “I love my teammates. I love my coaches and I love the atmosphere and our fans.”

And he would love Benny Goodman’s music if he just would give it a listen. Now that Ben has gone from the bad-hands club — he said he repeatedly dropped the football in a pre-game catch with Andrew Turzilli ­ — to the good-hands club, he really does need to check out the ultra-quick hands of drummer Gene Krupa, Lionel Hampton on vibraphone, Teddy Wilson on piano, all in their primes playing in Benny Goodman’s big band.


Phil Leister 7 years, 11 months ago

Keegan, how much dirt do you have on your bosses at the LJW? I mean, surely you know something, or else there's no way you'd still get paid to publish this stuff.

Tom Keegan 7 years, 11 months ago

You never know Keith. Jazz will never die. Its popularity will ebb and flow with the generations, but some young generation will gain exposure to it and embrace it. One in a million chance it will be Ben Goodman who leads the charge, but it would be zero in a million if he never listened. If Ben listens watches this video from start to finish with an open mind, the hypnotic hold of jazz just might rearrange his play list. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Phil Jackson are huge jazz fans.

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