My Baby Loves the Music of the 30s

They have a new expression along old Harlem way, That tells you when a party is ten times more than gay: To say that things are jumpin' leaves not a single doubt, That everthing is in full swing when you hear someone shout. Here 'tis: The joint is jumpin',

Blackbird’s been a bit fussy the past few days. The remedy? Dancing to the musical hits of the 1930s.

She’s always liked two things: being close to Mom (or Dad) and movement. Well, it turns out she likes music as well, and is a sucker for the 30s. I was playing 1930s compilation (link opens in iTunes) I’d purchased and dancing around like an idiot with Blackbird in my arms and not only did she quiet down, but she even cracked a few non-directed smiles before slipping into that almost-asleep-but-I-won’t-let-them-take-me-without-a-fight state where she looks like a sleepy cross-eyed drunk.

If there’s anything I’ve taken from this experience, it’s the following three things:

1) It’s surprising how many of these songs are part of our cultural lexicon. With one exception (the woeful ‘Ten Cents a Dance’), I knew every track.

2) I’m going to be very fit in about a month with all this dancing.

3) Once you get past the modern, irony-tinged, throwback quality of the music, you realize that most of these performances are excellent. These people could get the job done. I realize that this revelation is not novel.

Check out the track list after the jump.


Cheek to Cheek – Fred Astaire
Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? – Bing Crosby
A-Tisket, A-Tasket (1938 Single) – Ella Fitzgerald
Happy Days Are Here Again – Guy Lombardo
Over the Rainbow (From “The Wizard of Oz”) – Judy Garland
This Land Is Your Land – Woody Guthrie
Minnie the Moocher (Theme Song) – Cab Calloway
When the Saints Go Marching In – Louis Armstrong
It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing) – Duke Ellington and His Orchestra
Puttin’ On the Ritz – Benny Goodman
Jumpin’ at the Woodside (1938 Version) – Count Basie & Quincy Jones & His Orchestra
Strange Fruit (1939 Single Version) – Billie Holiday
As Time Goes By – Rudy Vallee
Ten Cents a Dance – Ruth Etting
Georgia On My Mind – Mildred Bailey
I Got Rhythm – Ethel Waters
Blue Yodel No. 9 (Standin’ on the Corner) – Jimmie Rodgers
I’m in the Mood for Love (Single) – Louis Armstrong
One O’Clock Jump (1937 Version) – Buck Clayton, Count Basie & His Orchestra, Herschel Evans & Lester Young
Night and Day – (From “The Gay Divorce”) – Fred Astaire & Leo Reisman & His Orchestra
The Joint Is Jumpin’ – Fats Waller
Star Dust – Tommy Dorsey & Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra
Heart and Soul – Helen Ward, Larry Clinton & His Orchestra
Auld Lang Syne – Guy Lombardo
Your Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby (From “Hard to Get”) – Dick Powell

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