Photo Gallery
Quotes About Ted Goddard
Ted Goddard Joins Arlington Academy
A Lesson I’ve Learned

Theodore R. "Ted" Goddard (1917-1988)

My father, also named Ted Goddard, was a professional musician for more than five decades. From the 1930s until his death in the summer of 1988, he played saxophones (alto, tenor, and baritone) and clarinet with many top-name orchestra leaders, jazz musicians, and entertainers. Here are some of his life’s circumstances and career highlights.

 1943          mid 1930s          1970s          1980s

Theodore Richard “Ted” Goddard was born in Everett, Massachusetts on August 22, 1917 to Alfred James Goddard (1874-1960) and Elva Elizabeth Grove (1879-1981) at their family home on Harley Avenue. The tenth of eleven children, his siblings included Edith (1901-99), Louise (1902-83), Ellsworth (1904-60), Alden (1906-85), Doris (1908-74), Elva (1910-2008), the twins Mabel (1912-2006) and Marie (1912-89), Ruth (1915-95), and Alfred (1922-86).

Ted was exposed to music since childhood. His grandfather, Alfred J. Goddard Sr., was a symphonic trombonist and a violinist with the Royal Orchestra (Queen Victoria's band) in England. His uncle George W. Goddard performed with both the Boston Philharmonic and John Philip Sousa. Encouraged to pursue music, and fascinated with musical sounds, Ted wanted to 'blow a horn' and learn jazz. He began studying the alto saxophone with Mr. Fields in Hampstead, NH, then advanced to tutoring at the New England Conservatory of Music and private saxophone lessons with Andrew Jacobson in Boston. Motivated to practice every day after school, often for eight to ten hours a day, he studied and applied music theory, learned solfeggio, developed sight-reading and aural-perception skills, and began to improvise by imitating music heard on records and radio broadcasts. By age fifteen, he had won membership in the "Young Musicians Orchestra" of Boston's Metropolitan Theatre.

Growing up during the Jazz Age, Ted was inspired by early-jazz and swing musicians, notably Louis Armstrong, Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster, Lester Young, et al., and the bands of Fletcher Henderson, Duke Ellington, and Count Basie. While still in high school, sometimes alongside younger buddies Paul Gonsalves and Jimmy Mosher, he began playing local dance jobs with Boston bandleaders Al Donahue and Mal Hallett earning as much as $2.00 a night. Red Norvo heard Ted play and offered the young saxophonist a job with his big band. Ted’s mother, however, insisted that he complete the education program at Medford (MA) High School before going out on the road; after graduation, job offers were waiting.

Coming of age in the swing era, Ted worked with several prominent big-band leaders from the mid 1930s through the early 1950s: Tommy Reynolds (1938), Red Norvo (1938-40), Claude Thornhill (1940-42), Benny Goodman (1942), Richard Himber (1942), Jerry Wald (1943), Teddy Powell (1943), Hal McIntyre (1943-44), and Boyd Raeburn (1944) among them. Besides fellow band mates Dizzy Gillespie, Barry Galbraith, Allen Hanlon, Irving Fazola, Conrad Gozzo, Rusty Dedrick, Irv Cottler, Danny Hurd, Eddie Safranski and many others, Ted also played in small groups with Roy Eldridge, Frankie Newton, Clark Terry, Vic Dickenson, and Charlie Ventura. During the 1940s, gigs in New York City provided nightly opportunities to attend Harlem jam sessions where he heard and shared the bandstand with swing veterans and emerging beboppers; at an all-night session in New Jersey, he jammed with alto saxophonist and bebop architect Charlie Parker. After two years in the U.S. Army band (1944-46), Ted regrouped with the Thornhill Orchestra (1946-47), and then played behind Vaughn Monroe (1947-51) with whom he toured more than 60,000 miles throughout the United States and Canada. Besides leading his own musical groups since the 1950s, Ted worked with several bands including New Hampshire's Ted Herbert Orchestra, Mel and Jean Sibulkin, and Boston's Sabby Lewis Orchestra and Sextet.

Although his career brought many musical highs, one of Ted’s greatest thrills was backing singer Billie Holiday at Boston’s High Hat jazz club in the early 1950s. He also appears playing a tenor-sax solo with McIntyre’s band in the movie Hey, Rookie (1944), Columbia Pictures’ wartime musical starring Ann Miller, Joe Besser, and Larry Parks (special thanks to Mark Cantor of Celluloid Improvisations and his efforts to document jazz in film). Metronome magazine's jazz poll voted him into the top ten of nationally known saxophonists, and in May of 1985 Boston Globe writer Ernie Santosuosso named Ted to his roster of outstanding "all-star born-in-Massachusetts jazz band" musicians.

Ted Goddard was a lifetime member of the American Federation of Musicians including Local 349 in Manchester, NH, Local 9-535 in Boston, and Local 721 in Tampa, FL.

Photo Gallery: (click on thumbnail to enlarge)

early jazz, Ted (left) on alto sax & clarinet (mid 1930s)

the swing era, Ted (right) on tenor sax (late 1930s)

Ted's earliest PR photo (c. 1935)

Ted in uniform, DeSoto Hotel in Savannah, GA (1937)

L to R: Ted, Bob Jenny, Irving Fazola, Rusty Dedrick & Claude Thornhill backstage, Glen Island Casino (1941)

Season's Greetings from Claude Thornhill's Orchestra at the Glen Island Casino. Ted (far right) on clarinet (1942)

Ted with Jerry Wald's Orchestra, Barry Galbraith on guitar (1943)

Ted (left) on alto with Claude Thornhill's Orchestra at NYC's Strand Theatre (1947)

Claude's full orchestra on stage at NYC's Strand Theatre (1947)

Ted (right) on tenor sax with Frankie Newton's band (10/1947)

Ted on baritone sax, Marty Schwartz on trumpet (1972)

Ted playing the baritone sax (1972)

About Ted Goddard . . .

    It is interesting to note that a whole succession of tenor players in [Hal] McIntyre's band--men like Ted Goddard and Johnny Hayes--had all thoroughly mastered [Ben] Webster's personal style, both in up-tempo jazz and ballad solos. . . . The McIntyre soloists' contributions--Hayes's and Goddard's Webster-ish excursions and McIntyre's own beautiful alto work, much indebted to Johnny Hodges--should not be overlooked.

    ̶  Gunther Schuller, "The Swing Era: The Development of Jazz 1930-1945"

    . . . Of the original orchestra, [Claude] Thornhill found most of his key men out of work when Red Norvo's band folded: lead trumpeter Conrad Gozzo; the Beriganian soloist Rusty Dedrick; Ted Goddard, an ace on both hot tenor and Benny Carter-inspired alto; as well as singer Lillian Lane.

     ̶  Will Friedwald, "Best of the Big Bands: Claude Thornhill" program notes (Columbia 46152)

    Downbeat raved about the entire Thornhill reed section ["Claude Thornhill, Band of the Year," Downbeat Magazine review from the Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City, 21 October 1946] saying it was 'stuffed with talent.' It included Ted Goddard who reminded DB of Benny Carter. He passed through the bands of Glenn Miller, Red Norvo, Boyd Raeburn, and Hal McIntyre. . . . I always enjoyed Ted's alto, but he reminded me more of Willie Smith.

̶  Buddy Hughes, vocalist with the Claude Thornhill Orchestra

    . . . the ingenious altoing of Ted Goddard.

      ̶  George T. Simon, "Thornhill: Best Potential Popularity Bet," Metronome Magazine, May 1941

    The impact of his playing served as one of the great saxophone lessons of my life. I remember his great tone and how it changed my consciousness of what a saxophone could sound like. . . . His sound on baritone was just as wonderful as the tenor and alto. I also thought he was one of the great jazz singers. His vocal expression mirrored so nicely his saxophone expression in the best tradition of jazz instrumentalists who also sing. He was a sweet man and a wonderful musical force in my life that I shall never forget.

̶  Larry Monroe, saxophonist, Berklee College of Music

    My fondest memories of Ted are driving, although we enjoyed many, many, many great times playing together. I think some of the greatest insights into his personality and his warmth came from sitting with him and talking one on one, with Ted telling us some of his experiences in the Big-Band Era. Passing on those experiences to us is a great legacy. . . . Ted's love of playing was evident to everybody and some of the jewels that he produced were greatly appreciated by musicians. Ted, I'm going to miss those long drives!

̶  Dr. Martin Schwartz, oral surgeon and jazz trumpeter

    I've just listened to your dad on bari with Ted Herbert. He sounds great! Totally relaxed, melodic, swinging, and great ideas. . . . He was a beautiful player--now I know what Bill Pierce and Billy Thompson were talking about!

̶  Allan Chase, saxophonist, Berklee College of Music

    Ted Goddard was a great jazz artist. His modern, lyrical, swinging playing was reminiscent of Pres, the great Lester Young, but with Ted's own original approach. We really dug Ted's playing. I remember a session at our house where Ted came to play and brought Barry Galbraith!

̶  Bob Ingalls, guitarist

    Talked to Red Norvo recently. He expressed regret that your dad and I had not recorded with his band (because of the union ban on recording). Your dad, of course we all know, was a giant!

̶  Rusty Dedrick, arranger and trumpeter with the Claude Thornhill Orchestra

Ted Goddard: Selected Discography 

Evans, Gil. The Real Birth of the Cool: Featuring Claude Thornhill and his Orchestra. Program notes by J.G. Calvados. The Jazz Factory, JFCD22803.

Fazola, Irving. The Rarest Recordings of Irving Fazola (1936-1945). Swing Time Records, CD9905.

McIntyre, Hal. The Greatest Recordings of the Big Band Era. Program notes by George T. Simon. The Franklin Mint Record Society, 35/36.

________. Hal McIntyre and his Orchestra: 1943-46. Program notes by Danny Hurd. Hindsight Records, HSR-172.

Monroe, Vaughn. The Greatest Recordings of the Big Band Era. Program notes by George T. Simon. The Franklin Mint Record Society, 5/6.

________. This is Vaughn Monroe. RCA Victor, VPM-6073.

Powell, Teddy. Teddy Powell and his Orchestra (1942-43). First Time Records, FTR-1509.

Raeburn, Boyd. Boyd Raeburn and his Orchestra: Out of This World. Sounds of Swing, LP-115.

________. Boyd Raeburn: Rare 1944-46 Broadcast Performances. Program notes by Jack McKinney. International Association of Jazz Record Collectors, IAJRC 48.

________. The Greatest Recordings of the Big Band Era. Program notes by George T. Simon. The Franklin Mint Record Society, 5/6.

Thornhill, Claude. Best of the Big Bands: Claude Thornhill. Program notes by Will Friedwald. Columbia Records, CK 46152.

________. Buster's Last Stand. Program notes by Alastair Robertson. HEP Records, UK, HEP CD 1074.

________. Claude Thornhill and his Orchestra: 1941 & 1947. Program notes by Roberta Stein and George H. Buck, Jr. Circle Records, CCD-19.

________. Claude Thornhill and his Orchestra: The 1946-47 Performances Vol. 1. Program notes by Loren Schoenberg. HEP Records, UK, HEP CD 72.

________. Claude Thornhill and his Orchestra: 1946-47 Performances Vol. 2. Program notes by Alastair Robertson. HEP Records, UK, HEP CD 74.

________. Claude Thornhill and his Orchestra Play for Dancing. Design Records, DLP-106.

________. Claude Thornhill and his Orchestra: The Rare Columbia Recordings. Program notes by Eric Berman and Gary Theroux. Sony Music, COL-CD-7549.

________. Claude Thornhill at Glen Island Casino 1941. Program notes by Bill Borden. Monmouth-Evergreen Records, MES 7024.

________. Claude Thornhill: Autumn Nocturne, Volume 2. Program notes by Ian Crosbie. HEP Records, UK, HEP CD 1060.

________. Claude Thornhill In Disco Order: Volume 2. AJAZ LP-210.

________. Claude Thornhill In Disco Order: Volume 3. AJAZ LP-218.

________. Claude Thornhill In Disco Order: Volume 4. AJAZ LP-226.

________. Claude Thornhill In Disco Order: Volume 5. AJAZ LP-234.

________. Claude Thornhill: Snowfall, Volume 1. Program notes by Ian Crosbie. HEP Records, UK, HEP CD 1058.

________. Dance to the Sound of Claude Thornhill and his Orchestra. Program notes by Burt Korall. Decca, DL 8878.

________. The Memorable Claude Thornhill. Program notes by Irving Townsend. Columbia Records, KG 32906.

________. One Night Stand with Claude Thornhill. Program notes by Bill O'Donnell. Joyce Music Publications, JOYCE LP-1015.

________. Sleepy Serenade. Design Records, DLP-50.

Catalog numbers listed in dark red are current issues from HEP Records. Special thanks to Alastair Robertson.

Swingster Ted Goddard Joins Arlington Academy of Music Staff
Arlington Advocate, Arlington MA, Thursday, August 28, 1947

            Ted Goddard, a “name” in music to the radio and record audience of this country, has been appointed to the faculty of the Arlington Academy of Music. To the swing enthusiasts and the name band followers Ted needs no introduction, having been featured sax and clarinet soloist with such famous orchestras as Claude Thornhill, Jerry Wald, Teddy Powell, Hal McIntyre and Boyd Raeburn.
            At the age of fifteen Ted competed with 500 other young amateurs and won an engagement at the Metropolitan Theatre for two weeks. This gave Ted his big break and he went on to play with Tommy Reynolds and Red Norvo. Since then he has appeared throughout the country with many of the greatest dance bands, has recorded for Okay, Columbia and Muzak records and appeared as soloist for many radio shows, including the Coca Cola broadcasts. During his last trip to the coast Ted appeared in the moving picture “Hey Rookie” with Ann Miller.
            Dean Ward of the Academy proudly announces the curriculum as including a faculty of twenty-eight, with instruction on all instruments and in theoretical subjects. Included are programs for juniors, adults, amateurs and professionals.

A Lesson I’ve Learned: Jazz Star Sees Need for Tolerance
The New Hampshire Sunday News, Manchester NH, February 23, 1958
by Esther Guilfoy, ed. T.J. Goddard

             An important lesson Theodore R. (Ted) Goddard learned during two decades as saxophonist and clarinetist with “name” jazz bands was “to take people as they are regardless of nationality. We should get away from narrow-mindedness (I’m one thing; you’re another),” he asserted. “People are great if you give them a chance to be. People are people the world over and they’re wonderful.”
            In all parts of the country, Mr. Goddard played with such musical and jazz “greats” as Vaughn Monroe, Tommy Reynolds, Red Norvo, Claude Thornhill, Hal McIntyre, Roy Eldridge and Boyd Raeburn. Frequently he was of one persuasion and his fellow musicians, another. It was, however, when he was the only white man in Frankie Newton’s colored band that he became convinced of the need for both sides to break down the wall separating them.
            As a boy, he recalls, he loved jazz. His grandfather and uncle were violinists with the Boston Symphony and when he was five, his family sought to have him learn violin. “I hated the violin and hated to practice,” he laughed. “I wanted a horn to blow. I was too small for a trombone and my uncle looked down on jazz.”
            Following several years of persuasion he induced his mother to get him a saxophone for Christmas. From that time on, he blew the horn every spare minute. The family had to “drag him downstairs to eat,” for he started practicing at 2:30 when he returned home from high school and was still going strong at 10:00 PM.
            At 14 (he looked older) he was playing professionally at $2 dances. “We probably sounded horrible but we thought it was great at the time,” he smiled. At 15 he won a contest at the Metropolitan Theatre in Boston and when he graduated from Medford High in 1936, he hopped into the “name” bands. He also had his own jazz combo that appeared at jazz sessions at the Boston Opera House, Symphony Hall and Jordan Hall. He was rated ninth in the entire country in the Metronome Magazine’s music poll.
            While he misses the “bands’ wonderful music,” [and] the making of records and movies, he has no desire to return to the road. 

            “People only look on the glamour side,” he commented. “Actually, you check into a hotel at 2 or 3 in the morning, get up at 8 AM and ride all day for 15, 16 or 18 hours. The seats get pretty hard and I can’t sleep sitting up. When I was with Vaughn Monroe, there were nine or ten months that I didn’t see my family as we toured more than 60,000 miles through the United States and Canada.”
            Nevertheless, the love for jazz that used to lure him as a boy into Boston to hear Isham Jones and Duke Ellington still persists. He was one of the prime movers in the formation of the New Hampshire Jazz Society and he plays in the New Hampshire Jazz Society Quartet that recently appeared at the Dartmouth Winter Carnival.
            People who favor jazz are folk who “really enjoy living,” he believes. “In jazz, when you hear the greats, your heart and whole being is singing while they are playing.”
            The thing he likes best about jazz is its “inventiveness.” “When a jazz man stands up to play, he never knows what is coming out of the horn,” he asserted. “It’s exciting. You sometimes surprise yourself.” At 40, however, he realizes that a man is “old” to the bands, which can usually hire youngsters for a third of his salary.
            He is now general agent for the Massachusetts Protective Association and Paul Revere Life Insurance Company. He and his wife, a Savannah, Georgia native, live at 75 Jones Street. Their children are Betty, 19, who is with Eastern Airlines in New York; Phyllis, a Central High senior who plans to enter the University of New Hampshire; and Teddy, 5.