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Lindy Hop DJ Corner: Why DJs Should Play Count Basie


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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

  1. Swingin’ the Blues

  2. Boogie Woogie

  3. Sweets

  4. Rock-A-Bye Basie

  5. Every Tub

  6. Jive at Five

  7. Rockin’ the Blues

  8. Easy Does It

  9. Gone With What Wind

  10. Beaver Junction

  11. Feeding’ the Bean

  12. Shoutin’ Blues

  13. Listen My Children (And You Shall Hear)

  14. 9:20 Special

  15. Lafayette

  16. Taps Miller

  17. Pennies From Heaven

  18. Love Jumped Out

  19. Doggin’ Around

  20. Georgianna

  21. Broadway

  22. Topsy

  23. Panassie Stomp

  24. St Louis Boogie

  25. Tickle Toe

  26. Blow Top

  27. Exactly Like You

  28. Jumping’ at the Woodside

  29. Shiny Stockings

Michael Gamble is a DJ, Musician, and dancer from Ashville, NC, and one of the organizers of Lindy Focus.


Michael Gamble
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