Benny Krueger (June 17, 1899 April 29, 1967) was an American jazz saxophonist and bandleader.
Krueger had the distinction of being, in all probability, the first jazz saxophonist on record. In 1917, the Original Dixieland Jazz Band cut their first sides for the Victor Talking Machine Company, which are traditionally considered to be the first ever recordings of jazz. One of Victor’s managers insisted, against the ODJB members’ wishes, that a saxophonist be included on their early recordings. Krueger was chosen by Victor as the saxophonist, and he recorded with the ODJB from 1917 to 1923.
In the middle of the 1920s, Krueger had left the ODJB to lead his own band, and did some recording under his own name, as well as under several pseudonyms. In the 1930s he worked in radio and served as musical director and orchestra conductor for Rudy Vallee and Bob Crosby. He was also a songwriter; among his better-known songs are “Sunday” (covered by Pat Boone, Lester Young and Louis Jordan) and “I Don’t Know Why”.
Bennie Krueger and his Orchestra, Paul Small vocal – Sheltered By The Stars (1932)