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Joe Williams and Count Basie's Orchestra


Swing era music (1930s and 1940s) is best for lindy hop and for swing era solo dances. 1920s solo dances and partner dances (like charleston and black bottom, and the earliest lindy hop) suit Jazz Era (1920s) recordings. Frankie Manning was a big fan of big bands ofthe Modern Era (1950s and 60s) as well.

That's a lot of music - at least 30 years worth. Where to start?

Most dancers find contemporary bands reproducing historic music most accessible, so this album is a great first purchase:

Or you might go straight to the original music with this collection of classic swing era big band music:

glenn crytzer

Contemporary Bands (2000s)

There are many bands playing great jazz today, recreating historic styles, or composing their own songs. These bands are all very popular with dancers today:

count basie

Modern Era Swing (1950s and 60s)

Though rock and roll was sweeping the world, jazz was still healthy in the 50s and 60s. Big Bands like Basie's and Ellington's were still playing to packed theatres, and smaller combos were exploring newer, groovier styles.

Cab Calloway

Swing Era: 1940s

Swinging jazz was the popular music of the 30s and 40s. Young lindy hoppers of Harlem like the Whitey's Lindy Hoppers, would go out to dance to big bands in ballrooms every night. But dancers would also be dancing to smaller bands in bars and at house parties.

Billie Holiday

Swing Era: 1930s

Good lindy hopping music in the 1930s begins with big bands, but doesn't forget about the smaller groups too.

Jelly Roll Morton

Jazz Era: 1920s

Lindy hop and swing music have their roots in the late 1920s, and many 1920s dances are popular with swing dancers around the world today. The 1920s saw the rise of big bands, yet the most exciting music of the era was played by small bands.

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