The History of Swing Music and DancingEssay Preview: The History of Swing Music and DancingReport this essayThe period of the 1930s and 1940s is known as the Swing Era. Big bands like Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Artie Shaw, and others became household names and music icons (“Jazz History- Swing”). Swing music was a trendy style of jazz, while swing dancing was very popular and performed in many dance halls. As they became more widespread, both became a vital part of America.
The 1930s brought a style of music that was possibly the most fashionable and accessible in jazz history. Swing music was an extension of the New Orleans-style jazz almost single-handedly invented by Louis Armstrong, a man that was considered to be one of the greatest of all jazz musicians. Another brilliant musician was Satchmo, who was renowned for playing slightly ahead of the beat and inspired others to do the same (Kallen). Benny Goodmans bands and combos introduced swing to nationwide audiences through ballrooms, recordings, and the radio in 1934. He was the first white bandleader to include African American and white musicians performing together in public. In 1936, he presented two brilliant African American soloists, pianist Teddy Wilson and vibraphonist Lionel Hampton. Up until then, racial discrimination and segregation had suppressed the growth of African American jazz musicians, and carefree swing music began to be the most popular music in America (“The World Book Encyclopedia volume J”). Before the 1930s, bands in New York, Chicago, and the Southwest started to replace the traditional small group New Orleans style of jazz with larger and more powerful groups comprising of 12 to 16 musicians. A reason for this change was the lack of technology. Without a microphone or other amplification, bands had to devise another way to be heard in large ballrooms and dance halls. By increasing the number of musicians, the volume rose and arrangers became a key to the success of big bands. Bandleaders like Duke Ellington became famous as composers and arrangers, while other leaders hired arrangers or commissioned music for their groups. The New York big band style focused on the commercial tunes from Tin Pan Alley and other original compositions, finally blending the music of soloists like Louis Armstrong, Bix Beiderdecke, Coleman Hawkins, and Benny Goodman. Bands in Kansas City and the West were known for blues-oriented works concentrating on a steady swing from the rhythm section. A crucial part of success to these groups were the soloists, who added creativity and excitement to the music. The horn sections behind the soloists often improvised, but they eventually formalized their parts. However, the popularity of big bands decreased when World War II was coming to an end. By the 1940s, bebop was being created, and clubs like Mintons Playhouse and Monroes Uptown House offered a place for the next generation of jazz musicians including Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, and Bud Powell (“Jazz History- Swing”). . The 1930s established a style of music known as swing, which quickly rose in popularity and became an essential part of the culture.
Swing dancing began around the 1930s. In March of 1926, the Savoy Ballroom opened its doors and turned out to be an immediate success. Inspired by the presence of great dancers and African American bands, music at the Savoy was mostly swing. In 1927, a style of dancing was termed as the “Lindy Hop,” and in the mid-1930s, a bouncy six beat variant was named the “Jitterbug” by bandleader Cab Calloway (“Swing History Origins of Swing Dance”). In the Lindy Hop, a man and a woman would demonstrate their ability to spin, reeling in and unwinding each other at a fast tempo while dancing to the music of the Swing Era. The dance became famous for its athletic airborne lifts and daring moves. The man would throw his partner in the air and catch her
During the early 1930s, J.F. Morgan’s ‘Jungle Fever’ featured the Swing Singers as a side act.
The Singers were an African American group who worked together in a jazz and blues style, but did not come up with a name or nickname for their dance. The Singers, who often used the name “Jungle Fever,” had no name for themselves until they became independent.
The Singers went from small, single song clubs as a jazz band to larger, multi-level clubs which were larger clubs (like their “Rockniest Club”), but the small and mid-sized clubs created the most consistent flow of rhythm and vibes. The Singers got up close and personal with the music of a jazz-rock rock band, but they also had the experience at a smaller club, where the music, while very fast paced, was much smoother. (Photo: A&B’s).
Most Swing-Related Music was played in the nightclubs, but on the nights where the dance music was most used, there were many different clubs that ran through the area. Most swing music started its life at a small, dance club, but in the mid-40s by the mid-50s the Swing Clubs began to gather more and more of its own energy into the clubs. In the 50s, as Swing Club, the larger clubs were more and more involved with the club.
There was no definite age to perform Swing dance moves, and the dances could be either in tune or overcast.
The Swing Club, called a “Rockniest Club,” was a small and mid-sized jazz club with large portions of the area. This was where the dance songs began to be played.
The Swing Club was located at 3140 S. E. 6th St., Chicago. To access the dance club, walk about 200 feet up one side of the room, enter the ballroom and come out outside. As soon as you are inside, you enter the dance club, open the door and step into the room with your hands pressed across your torso. Open two large doors to the room with your hands and then stand into the ballroom. The dancer or entertainer takes your hand as you sit on a bench with the other end of your arm pointing in the direction of the ballroom’s marquee. The dancer must stand at the top of the ballroom and sit in a circle around the ballroom’s top floor window. (Photo: A&B’s)
One of the Swing Club’s greatest strength was that it served a number of different purposes, ranging from the celebration of jazz music to the gathering of music collectors and entertainers for the club. During the 1980s, the Swing Clubs used the name Swing Club from the Swing Dance club label on their club cards.
The Swing Club is