Thousands of bands were active during the Swing Era, ranging in quality from mediocre to excellent, from forgetable to memorable. Important quality factors in survivability were (1) a leader who was outstanding in both musicianship and business acument, (2) one who could develop a distinctive style and (3) one who could attract the best musicians available. Steve Stone has selected three such top-tier bands as the focus of the Emerald City Jazz Kings 2007-08 season. The first and most obvious trend setter had to be Benny Goodman, who started it all at The Palomar Ballroom in Hollywood in August, 1935. After his sudden success there, "swing" took on a new meaning; within a year, many other aspiring bands followed. Goodman set the style and made the clarinet a popular instrument with his brilliant playing. His was the dominant band in the land for several years, and it continued to be an important factor throughout the swing decade.