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.In 1931, Goodman had his first taste of chart success on his own with the song "He's Not Worth Your Tears" with Scrappy Lambert on vocals.
He stayed with the band for several years, eventually becoming one of its leading soloists. He then left the band and moved to New York City the following year.
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.
In 1935, Goodman went on the road with his orchestra, which at the time included trumpeters Ziggy Elman and Harry James, pianists Jess Stacey and Teddy Wilson, and drummer Gene Krupa among others.
(Lionel Hampton was added later.) One date on the tour made history: August 21, 1935.
That night, the orchestra wowed the audience at the Palomar Ballroom in Los Angeles—an event that many cite as the beginning of the swing era.