The 1930s & 1940s were among the most exciting years in the history of popular music. I wasn't born til 1951 but I grew up with my parents' recordings of Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington & Tommy Dorsey. In the 1950s amplification ushered in smaller groups playing rockabilly and rock & roll and I can remember watching the older kids jitterbugging to Elvis, Chuck Berry and Little Richard on American Bandstand with the envy of one too young to master the moves. In the 1990s I finally learned to swing on the dance floor. The Swing Revival encouraged record companies to release hundreds of digitally remastered recordings on CD; check out some of my favorites below. Critics say that modern swing music is played in a jump blues style & performed to an audience of dancers. That's fine with me... one of the best things about Swing music is dancing to it!
This month's featured selection
Swingin' at the Savoy - the memoir of a jazz dancer by Norma Miller & Evette Jensen
Former Savoy Ballroom dancer Norma Miller, along with present day master of lindy hop, Frankie Manning, was a member of Whiteys Lindy Hoppers in the 1930s and 1940s. In this wonderful hardcover book she shares fascinating anecdotes about her life as a swing dancer which included encounters with many of the greatest jazz legends in music history. If you've ever wanted to know what it was "really like" to be win dance contests and tour as a professional dancer during the swing era, this book is for you!
Save on 25% on Swingin' at the Savoy now.
Classic Big Band MusicReally Swingin' - Frankie Manning's Big Band Favorites
One of the original and greatest dancers of the Swing era picks out his favorite original songs, all for dancing. Features Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Erskine Hawkins and more. Sixteen tracks. A must for all lindy hoppers! It even lists the beats per minute! This is also my favorite swing music collection :-)
Save 23% on Frankie Manning's Big Band Favorites now.
In the Digital Mood - The Glenn Miller Orchestra
An absolute classic: Glenn Miller's original arrangements translated by today's Glenn Miller Orchestra and digitally recorded for an incredibly rich sound. Eleven of the most exciting songs of the Big Band Era including In The Mood, Pennsylvania 6-5000, Tuxedo Junction, A String Of Pearls, Little Brown Jug, Moonlight Serenade and 5 others. It's impossible not to get up and dance to this stuff!
Save 23% on In the Digital Mood now.
16 Most Requested Songs - Benny Goodman
Benny Goodman, the first great clarinetist in the history of jazz, perfected a style of playing that is still the dominant influence on the instrument. And his band's music still swings! This collection of classics includes Don't Be That Way, Let's Dance, live versions of Sing Sing Sing and Stompin' At the Savoy and 11 more.
Save on 16 Most Requested Songs now.
Swing Kids - the soundtrack
This combination of classic recordings... of Benny Goodman, for one... and modern recordings of Big Band classics will really get you in the mood to get up and swing. Includes Sing Sing Sing, Flat Foot Floogee, It Don't Mean a Thing, Swingtime in the Rockies, 13 more. The movie's pretty cool too.
Save 23% on Swing Kids soundtrack now.
Swingin' in the 90's and beyond
Swingin' Live - George Gee and his Make-Believe Ballroom Orchestra Recorded live at Irving Plaza in NYC. This is the real deal: real big band sound with real jazz musicians playing real Basie-inspired swing music. (The Make-Believe Ballroom was a radio show in the late 30's that played recorded music.) We recently were lucky enough to see these guys in person and they are awesome!
Save 5% on Swingin' Live
All Aboard - Indigo Swing
This CD gets a lot of play at swing clubs and for good reason. Indigo Swing is a new band from San Francisco with a classic and classy Big Band sound. They play a combination of covers (Hot In Harlem, Violent Love) and original songs (Blue Suit Boogie, I'm Glad I'm Not Dead) and their music is very danceable!
Save 10% on All Aboard now.
Red Light - Indigo Swing
The latest album from one of the most respected swing bands in the US. Whether your dancing style is slow and sexy lindy hop, lightning ECS or salsa flavored swing, there are great sounds for you here. This band just keeps getting better & better!
Save 16% on Red Light
High Altitude Swing - Big Time Operator
San Diego's premier jump, jive, and swing band excels at playing complex, hard-swinging arrangements while adding equally modern musical interpretation. This CD includes orginal songs and classics like It Don't Mean a Thing, Minnie the Moocher and Sing Sing Sing. High energy stuff!
Save 23% on High Altitude Swing now.
Meet Me Uptown - Mighty Blue Kings
Great Jump Blues for swingin' or just plain old bouncin' around the room with an authentic 40's feel. The vocals, horns, and rhythm all do their parts, keeping the music moving and colorful. First released in 1996, this is the first CD from this great Chicago swing band and still their best, IMO.
Save 23% on Meet Me Uptown now.
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
Maybe you saw these guys in the movie "Swingers" playing their swingin' music with a rock and roll attitude. Great fun, great to dance to.
Save 30% on Big Bad Voodoo Daddy now.
The Dirty Boogie - Brian Setzer Orchestra
Yeah, it's got Louis Prima's Jump, Jive, An' Wail* of GAP commercial fame but there's a lot more great swingin' music on this CD.
Save 30% on The Dirty Boogie now.
*click on the link for the lyrics
Zoot Suit Riot: The Swingin' Hits of the Cherry Poppin' Daddies
This band is just plain fun. Say the Daddies... "We believe that this music will get your feet working and your heart pumpin." Yup, no doubt about it!
Save 30% on Zoot Suit Riot now.
Swingin' VideoSwinging at the Savoy
An intimate look into the life of Frankie Manning, a living legend of the Swing Era. Along with his recollections, see an abundance of inspiring dance clips and many images from Frankie's personal scrapbooks. Manning, who turned eighty-two in 1996, was one of the lead dancers in a performance group based at the Savoy in Harlem, Whitey's Lindy Hoppers.
Buy Swinging at the Savoy now.
Two friends are forced to choose either harsh punishment for their individuality and love for banned swing music or safety through compliance with the hated Nazis. The story's timeless and the music and dancing are marvelous and true to the period.
Save 15% Swing Kids now.
Hauling his sentimental friend out of his post breakup funk, a club-hopping swinger takes him on a hilarious odyssey through the dating game of the '90s, hitting the Vegas strip, fashionable martini lounges and other modern hunting grounds of the opposite sex. Includes a great swing club scene featuring Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and a lot of retro-dressed and nimble dancers.
Save 15% Swingers now.
Dance Instruction on VideoSwing Craze
A two-tape set.for only $8.99! The first tape gives you the history of swing dancing. The second is a well-paced, step-by-step instructional video for beginners.
Order Swing Craze now
MusicHound® Swing! The Essential Album Guide
Here's a whole book of expert recording reviews and recommendations on more than 300 acts from the early days of swing to current entertainers. 400 pages packed with biographical essays and details on artistic influences, musical development, trademark qualities and 100 photos and more. And swing music fans will love the giant list of labels, Web sites, radio stations, clubs, movies, magazines and books — all related to the swing movement. And a free CD of classic swing is included!
Save 20% on MusicHound Swing! now.
Swing! The New Retro Renaissance by V. Vale
A comprehensive guide to the new swing movement includes interviews with swing personalities like Royal Crown Revue, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Lavay Smith, Big Six, Flyin' Lindy Hoppers & Sam Butera. It's lavishly illustrated and packed with photos, informative directories, and lists of recommended recordings, books and films.
Fashions of a Decade : The 1930s
Fashions of a Decade : The 1940s
Interview with Frankie Manning
Create your own Swingin' StyleHaving a hard time finding swing-friendly clothing in your neighborhood?
You can buy zoot suits, vintage dresses & dancing shoes online!
Swingkitti's Place on EBay - vintage clothing and more :-)
Antique and Vintage Dress Gallery
Baldoria.com Custom Silk Clothing
Ballyhoo: 1930's - 70's Premium Vintage Clothing
Barbara's Backroom Vintage Clothing
Beckersurf.com Hawaiian/Rockabilly shirts & more
Cat's Pajamas Vintage Clothing
Davenport & Co. Vintage Clothing
El Pachuco Zoot Suits
Five and Dime Vintage
Funk and Junk Vintage Clothing
Jabot's Vintage Clothing
Jan's Jewels and more
Kitty Girl Vintage Clothing
Lest We Forget Vintage Clothing and Textiles
Miller Classic Hats
Nancy's Nifty Nook Antique Clothing
Rusty Zipper Vintage Clothing
Seigel's Zoot Suit Store
Strawberrynet - cosmetics superstore with free shipping worldwide
T-Shirt King - 1000s of styles including retro
Tumblin' Dice Creations - retro style shirts
WildTies.com - unique neckties
Give your Hair some Swingin' StyleBeauty Shoppe Archives including 30's and 40's hairstyles
Marci's Retro Style hair styling from a bygone era
Regional Swing Music & Swing Dancing Links
Arizona Lindy Hop Society
Brevard County Swing Page
Colorado State University Swing Kids
Eugene Swing Dancing Club (OR)
Flyin' Lindy Hoppers - Ventura, CA
Gotham West Coast Swing Club
Great Lakes Swing Dancing Club (MI)
Hep Cat Swing - Chicago
Ithaca Swing Dance Network
Kansas City Swing Dancing Club
Nashville Swing Dancing Club
New England Swing Dance Server
New York Swing Dance Society
Northern California Lindy Society
Pike's Peak Jazz and Swing Society
San Diego Lindy Hop Society
Savoy Swing Club - Seattle, WA
Swing Dance Long Island
Swing Dancing - Do the Lindy Hop in Austin, TX
Swing Kids - Brigham Young University
Swing Kids - University of Washington
Swing Town - Atlanta Swing Happenings
Strictly Swing New Mexico
Toronto Swing Dancing Society
Tuscon West Coast Swing Dancing Club
World Swing Dance Council
visit my cats'website
Website design © Copyright 1998-2008 Catresea Ann Canivan aka Swingkitti
I found these musical graphics in various clip art collections on the web and believe them to be in the public domain. If you are or know the creator of any of them, let me know and I'll happily give credit where credit is due :-)