On a weekend when so many legendary entertainment world celebrities were in town for the Kennedy Center Honors, it was learned that esteemed clarinetist Benny Goodman, an honoree from 1982, is planning a major Washington performance at the Kennedy Center in February. The 76-year-old Goodman said he will be in front of a big band, which is something he hasn't done on stage in 10 or 15 years. Goodman recorded a PBS-TV show with a big band in October and said it felt good performing the way he had for so many years.

"I got a big kick out of the band," he said. "I didn't know it would be possible to put together a group of young people and play the way I play." Goodman will be sharing the Feb. 15 Kennedy Center appearance with jazz guitarist Charlie Byrd. Goodman, who has also finished a classical record, said his music has always sold, but he doesn't have good things to say about the newer music.

The trouble with today's music business, he said, is "a bunch of lawyers and CPA guys are running it looking for a jackpot. They aren't interested in music . . . They don't look for talent; wouldn't know it if they heard it. They sit waiting for some miracle to happen, like Bruce Springsteen." Five Years After Lennon's Death

There were no official ceremonies planned yesterday to mark the day five years ago when former Beatle John Lennon was gunned down and killed in front of his Dakota apartment building on Central Park. His widow, Yoko Ono, and the couple's 10-year-old son Sean, planned to spend the day in seclusion, and his son from his first marriage, Julian Lennon, said he wouldn't do anything and would not think about it.

Former Beatle Paul McCartney said in a rare television interview yesterday that he is still mourning Lennon. Appearing on Independent Television's "Good Morning Britain," McCartney said he still can't believe Lennon's dead and especially misses him musically. McCartney and Lennon were responsible for the bulk of the Beatle tunes. "He was definitely the best collaborator I have ever worked with . . . He was great, he was smart, and we started off together." The First Candidate Out

The Kamber Group, well known for its liberal and labor political ties, has sent out an announcement that it has signed the first official 1988 presidential aspirant. In a coy release issued last week, the firm would reveal only that the candidate had high name recognition, favorable ratings, had vowed to visit every community and "will not accept campaign contributions from anyone."

That last promise should have aroused suspicion along with the candidate's saying he does not expect his weight problem to become an issue in the campaign. Among the reporters telephoning the Kamber Group last week attempting to find out who the candidate was, one speculated unkindly the "weight problem" must mean Sen. Ted Kennedy. Obviously, that reporter hasn't seen the svelte, new Kennedy look. Anyway, at a press conference today, the candidate will be announced -- it's Santa Claus. It's that time of year. End Notes

Major Moves: Capitol Hill veteran Ernest A. Lotito, who was press secretary to former senators Joseph Tydings and Walter Mondale and former commerce secretary Juanita M. Kreps, has formed his own public relations and governmental relations firm called Tiber-Potomac . . . Washington lawyer/agent Barbara S. Blaine, wife of playwright/author Larry L. King, has become the head of the Washington legislative department of Bryan, Cave, McPheeters and McRoberts, a St. Louis law firm . . .

Editors of the American, French and British editions of Elle magazine have named the world's 10 most elegant women: Princess Caroline of Monaco, television interviewer Barbara Walters, Texas socialite Lynn Wyatt, model-actress Lauren Hutton, jewelery designer Paloma Picasso, restaurateur Tina Chow, singer Sade, model Ines de la Fressange, French actress Anouk Aimee and fashion designer Carolina Herrera. Not on the list -- Princess Diana, Nancy Reagan or Jacqueline Onassis. Of Onassis, the editors said the book editor takes her "working girl" image too seriously, to the detriment of her fashion e'lan . . .

Marcel Marceau is listed in serious condition at a Moscow hospital after undergoing intestinal surgery on Saturday. The French mime was on a concert tour of the Soviet Union when he collapsed in pain Friday . . .