Lindy Hop DJ Corner: Why DJs Should Play Count Basie
HELLO AGAIN, MICHAEL GAMBLE HERE
Thanks to the FMF for continuing to have me do this fun and specialized series. In the nearly 15 years I’ve been “on the circuit”, I have done a lot of so-called “DJ Training” workshops, and while there is some useful stuff to say now and then about the craft, to me it has always boiled down to the very simple idea of playing great classic swing music. This series is a great outlet for me to share some of my favorites, and this post is no exception.
WHY COUNT BASIE?
First and foremost, it’s Frankie’s love for Basie that got this ball rolling, but of course the Count has always been a favorite among dancers, and paying him tribute needs little justification. In the late 30’s he took his Kansas City based sound to New York, where it quickly became a favorite among Lindy Hoppers, especially at the Savoy Ballroom.
BUT *WHICH* COUNT BASIE ORCHESTRA?
In the 1950’s the group survived the passing of the big band era by allowing itself to change. Instrumentation changed as well as the band’s emphasis, moving away from the highly riff-based, dance-friendly earlier sound to the more sophisticated, contemporary approach which became a great forum for some of that era’s greatest arrangers to experiment with the unexplored possibilities of big band music. In this post, I will focus almost exclusively on the earlier “Old Testament” dance band recordings that would’ve likely been played at venues such as the Savoy. Because of Frankie’s well known love for and appreciation of some of the band’s later work, Shiny Stockings has been included, with love.
GET THIS MUSIC AND PLAY IT
Swingin’ the Blues
Jive at Five
Rockin’ the Blues
Easy Does It
Gone With What Wind
Feeding’ the Bean
Listen My Children (And You Shall Hear)
Pennies From Heaven
Love Jumped Out
St Louis Boogie
Exactly Like You
Jumping’ at the Woodside
Spotify playlist: https://open.spotify.com/user/wmgamble/playlist/6SoIknFjSnPIPyB6tuuYRT
Michael Gamble is a DJ, Musician, and dancer from Ashville, NC, and one of the organizers of Lindy Focus.