Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sing Sing Sing

The summer before my senior year of high school I got my bottom wisdom teeth out. Now, it could have been a lot worse (when I got my upper wisdom teeth out six years ago, I had both dry socket and bone fragments), but I was still in a lot of pain. So, in a parallel of what happened when I had the chicken pox in elementary school, I spent a lot of time in the wee small hours of the morning, not asleep in my bed, but watching television in the family room.

On the second night of being unable to sleep, I ended up catching The Benny Goodman Story on American Movie Classics. I loved it. I had been so tired and uncomfortable, and the movie, in particular the music in the movie, completely distracted me, and I completely fell in love with 1940s big band music. When I was finally feeling better, I took myself to the mall to buy some Benny Goodman tapes.

After that it was a downward spiral into the works of Glenn Miller, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Harry James, and Django Reinhardt. I watched films like Swing Kids for the music and the dancing. Then of course, there was the whole big band revival in the mid 1990s, where bands like the Squirrel Nut Zippers, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Royal Crown Revue, and the Cherry Poppin' Daddies embraced that whole big band vibe, and swing dancing became the thing to do.

I recently got XM Radio, and by far one of my favorite channels is "40s on 4". (Although this channel is temporarily on hiatus due to holiday music; I was NOT happy to discover that yesterday.) I still love current popular music, but there is something about the music of the 1940s that just makes you feel happy to be alive (not surprisingly, as there was a war on when it was being written.) It sets your toe tapping and makes you want to get to your feet, and who couldn't benefit from a bit of that?

(If you click on the links in this entry, it will take you to song clips by the artists so that you can enjoy a little swing too!)


  1. how funny - on my recent flight to DC, i really enjoyed discovering 40s on 4! And it got me through takeoff, which is no small feat, either.

  2. OMG, I LIIIIIVED for Swing Kids! For one thing, I was a huuge Christian Bale fan -- I'd seen all of his films up until he'd made about 22 of them? For another, swing is so much fun. I definitely took both east coast and west coast swing dancing lessons and had a little 40's inspired outfit and everything!



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...