Friday, 9 November 2018

All the cats join in - swing classics from the likes of Cab Calloway, Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman and Lionel Hampton

That video of Cab Calloway and his Orchestra performing "Jumpin' Jive" (the dancers trying to destroy their own bodies were the incomparably wonderful Nicholas Brothers) comes from...

...the 1943 film, Stormy Weather.  I haven't seen it yet, but I recently watched the 1942 film, Orchestra Wives, starring Glenn Miller, and featuring members of his orchestra along with some proper actors (e.g. Cesar Romero, George Montgomery, Ann Rutherford and sultry Lynn Bari). Actually, it's not a bad little movie. Here, Glenn and the boys - most notably lead vocalist and tenor saxophonist Tex Beneke - give us "I've Got a Gal in Kalamazoo":

Here, Glenn Miller and the lads perform "Doin' the Jive", a lively 1937 release:

Glenn Miller had died in a plane crash by the time Tex Beneke and the Glenn Miller Orchestra cut an excellent version of Lionel Hampton's delightful "Hey Ba-Ba-Re-Bop" in 1946:

1946 also saw the release of the terrific "All the Cats Join In" by Benny Goodman, my favourite Swing Era band leader:

Back to 1939, and Jimmie Lunceford's swinging "Tain't What You Do". Here, The London Swing Dance Society perform the Shim Sham, the dance usually associated with the number:

We stay in 1939 for Artie Shaw's jumpin' "Diga Diga Doo":

1937 now, and Lionel Hampton's "Whoa Babe":

I started this post with Cab Calloway's "Jumpin' Jive" and I'll end it with the 1939 version by my favourite singing group from that time - The Andrews Sisters:

1 comment:

  1. Big bands are not really my thang but admire the energy, and love The Andrew Sisters, always have.
    Your post started me to thinking on the enormous wealth of music from the deep south long before this era.
    Songs like "Carry Me Back to Old Virginny " which would be screeched down in a contemporary auditorium should ever anyone other than Ray Charles dare to perform it.
    The sort of music covered by the said Ray Charles on The Genius Hits The Road album, which I still have somewhere.
    We all hope and pray for Mr.Gronmark's return.