The Swing and Big Band musical era is typically characterized by upbeat, happy songs that make your feet want to dance. Although many of these songs belong to the first half of the 20th century, their ability to uplift your spirit and lighten your mood remains just as powerful today. The talented composers, arrangers and musicians of that time have created unforgettable compositions that are timeless and cherished by music lovers across multiple continents. You can tune into a popular ballroom music radio station in the USA to enjoy these timeless musical treasures. There are some reputed music stations that have preserved these incredible performances from the golden age of Swing music in collections of thousands of recordings derived from multiple sources. Their sole aim is to provide the listeners with a delightful experience generally associated with the music of those times.
Just a few of the great performers and orchestra leaders who made their mark by contributing towards Swing music in the US include some of the following:
Duke Ellington (1899-1974)
One of America's greatest composers, Edward "Duke" Ellington was one of the most memorable orchestra leaders of the Big Bands for a period of some fifty years. His contribution toward Swing, especially early Jazz, is unmatched. Ellington's association with music began at the age of seven with classical piano. He used to play quite well- enough to motivate his middle class parents allow him to pursue a career in it. However, Ellington soon drifted away from classical piano by the age of seventeen due to his inclination towards Ragtime and Jazz. In the 1930s, he shifted his professional career by turning towards concerts instead of night clubs and dance halls. Some of Ellington's most memorable songs include "Solitude", "In a Sentimental Mood" and "Mood Indigo", apart from hundreds of operas, ballets, religious music and film scores.
Benny Goodman (1909-1986)
Benjamin "Benny" Goodman was primarily known as a clarinettist. However, his contributions towards Swing music in the US as an orchestra leader are more than notable. In fact, it gave him the title "King of Swing". Goodman was responsible for bringing Swing into the mainstream music of America. Goodman's Palomar Ballroom performance in Los Angeles in 1935 officially marked the inception of the Swing era. His own small Jazz band, the Benny Goodman Trio, was famous among the smaller Jazz groups. As the perfectionist he was, Goodman was quite a tough boss as a bandleader. You can learn more about Goodman's influence on American popular music and his legacy as a Swing musician by watching the biopic, The Benny Goodman Story (1955).
Billie Holiday (1915-1959)
One of the eminent vocalists of all time, Billie Holiday was known for her superb improvisational skills. Her musical career started with her father, who was in Fletcher Henderson's band as a guitar and Banjo player. As a teenager, Holiday signed a recording contract with Columbia Records in 1933, even without benefit of formal musical training. With the nickname "Lady day", Holiday gained huge recognition in the 1940s. She was prominent even after the World War II and her interpretation of the Jimmy Davis tune "Lover Man" became a memorable hit. Unfortunate battles with alcohol and drug abuse resulting from abusive personal relationships only quickened her ability to bring meaning and depth to the songs she sang.
Although most of the pioneers of the Swing and Big Band era have long since passed, passion for this music style remains strong amongst music lovers across the globe (especially in Europe and parts of South America) and of course throughout the USA. You can readily find this music played on one of the well-acclaimed Swing music radio stations to listen and dance to this incredible music. No matter where- Swing and Big Band music from the Golden Age of popular music will surely rejuvenate your mind as readily as it will uplift your spirit and motivate your feet to dance!
Nadel Paris is an EDM artist and a music producer. Nadel also writes about music genre, other related topics and shares her experience she has over the years. You can listen to her songs on itunes, spotify or on amazon.
Nadel loves to share her knowledge and valuable information regarding Swing Music with the sole aim to create awareness and appreciation for this music form in younger generations.