He was educated at Clipstone Street Junior Mixed School and St. Marylebone Grammar School.
He also chaired a radio comedy panel game broadcast regularly on Radio 2 and the BBC World Service for 20 years; Jazz Score. Many jazz artists appeared on this show, stopping the contest to tell their own anecdotes about their career and other jazz musicians. (Although often some of the names would mean little to the general listener).
In 1958, he appeared in the UK pop charts as a member of Lord Rockingham's XI, who were the house band on ITV's rock 'n' roll show 'Oh Boy!' The novelty jazz/rock opus 'Hoots Mon', complete with spoken interjections in a broad mock-Scots accent, made No 1 for three weeks in November and December. Benny would later joke that, because he wore dark glasses whilst playing, to counteract the strong studio lights, he would get fan mail addressed to 'the blind sax-player'.
He first worked for the BBC in 1955 and worked regularly for it from then on. In the 1960s he often appeared (with, among others, Alan Brien, Dee Wells and Robert Pitman) on Three After Six, Associated Rediffusion's early evening television discussion programme on current affairs,. In the 1980s he contributed occasionally to Stop The Week, Robert Robinson's Saturday discussion programme on Radio 4. Green also wrote and/or narrated many radio documentaries about stage and film musical stars and Hollywood, his other main interest apart from jazz and sport. He also wrote for magazines, including Punch, and regularly for newspapers. He was a big fan of writer P. G. Wodehouse, about whom he wrote a literary biography (1981).
Benny Green married Antoinette Kanal in 1962, and had three sons and one daughter. His son, Dominic Green, is a guitarist and has published a book about his father; Benny Green Words and Music (2003).
Away from jazz he is notable for publishing the Wisden Anthologies, a summary of the famous cricketing annual, between 1979 and 1983. The four volumes covered the highlights from Wisden Cricketers' Almanack from its inception in 1864 until 1982 and stand as a major milestone in cricketing literature.
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