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Thursday, May 13, 2021

Playlist of the Week: swing into spring

As the sun comes out and the temperature warms up, positive vibes fill the air. Vintage swing music fits perfectly into the upbeat feeling of the spring. This week’s playlist will get you swinging, jumping, jiving and ready to take on the world.

1) “Jumpin’ at the Woodside”- Count Basie


One of Basie’s signature tunes, “Jumpin’ at the Woodside” perfectly encapsulates the lively big-band swing sound of the early 1940s.

 

2) “Swinging on a Star”- Frank Sinatra


Originally performed by Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra’s 1964 rendition of “Swinging on a Star” shines above countless other versions of the song. Sinatra’s timeless voice perfectly matches the power and energy of his accompanying band.

 

3) “Good Rockin’ Tonight”- Roy Brown


Some consider Roy Brown to be the grandfather of rock n’ roll. His swing, gospel and R&B-fusion inspired the likes of B.B. King, Little Richard, and Elvis Presley, who later covered Brown’s song, “Good Rockin’ Tonight.”

 

4) “Basin Street Blues”- Jack Teagarden


Written in 1928 by Spencer Williams, Basin Street Blues is a Dixieland and blues classic, showing a more mellow side to the swing era. Jack Teagarden’s soothing voice and trombone talent will send you on a daydream to New Orleans.

 

5) “Swing 42”- Django Reinhardt


Django Reinhardt’s “Swing 42” has become a jazz standard, showing off Reinhardt’s unmatched jazz guitar skills.

 

6) “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On”- Big Maybelle


If you weren’t shakin’ already, you will be while listening to Big Maybelle’s 1955 recording of “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On.” The song is contagiously catchy and is bound to get stuck in your head.

 

7) “Tain’t What You Do (It’s the Way That You Do It)”- Ella Fitzgerald and Chick Webb


Ella Fitzgerald’s voice is a staple of the swing era.  With the addition of Chick Webb’s drumming, “Tain’t What You Do” is endlessly energetic and fun to listen and groove to.

 

8) “Four of a King”- Stan Kenton


Stan Kenton and his big band played every note with precision and intention. That sharpness shows in “Four of a King,” which is brilliant example of big band swing at its finest.

 

 

9) “Shortnin’ Bread”- The Andrews Sisters


The Andrews Sisters are an American classic, with origins in singing to Allied forces during World War II. “Shortnin’ Bread” exemplifies their old-fashioned American charm.

 

10) “Free for All”- Artie Shaw


Artie Shaw’s big band is another late 1930s swing powerhouse, with a sound that largely defined the era. “Free for All” is full of Shaw’s swing and jazz energy that he was known for.

 

11) “Jump, Jive, An’ Wail”- Louis Prima


One of Louis Prima’s signature songs, “Jump, Jive, An’ Wail” was a keystone of swing in the 1950s. The song is filled with a lighthearted and fun sound that Prima carried into all of his music.

 

12) “On the Sunny Side of the Street”- Harry Connick Jr.


A later, 1960s entry to the world, Harry Connick Jr.’s rendition of “On the Sunny Side of the Street” appeared in an early album he released when he was only 20 years old. The song is a great showcase of his talent as a pianist.

 

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