J is for Jump-n-Jive

Remember when swing dancing was popular? I ask because I love to dance, although I would never manage the swing steps.

I wasn’t around in the ‘4os and ’50s, but Brian Setzer and the Stray Cats band did a great job bringing back rockabilly and swing in the ’80s and ’90s, and for that reason he is one cool cat.

File:Stray cats - live in gijon 1.jpg

Jump-n-Jive anyone?

New music from an old era when dance and fashion weren’t just fun, but cool.  Style was everything.  Swing dancing was an art — the twirling, the jumping, all high energy, all happening while the dancers exuded cool.  

So, when the Brian Setzer Orchestra played at the Greek Theater in L.A. a few years back, we were so there.  Two hours went by in a flash. I don’t think one spectator sat for the duration of the concert.

Maybe this was part of the act, but it looked as though the musicians were having as much fun as the spectators.  A jump-n-jive kind of night. And not just the music but the fashion — the ’50s colorful style and pompadour hair cuts. 

So, as we’re approaching the A-Z half-point mark, (our eyes are a little blurry, aren’t they?), I’ll keep it short and leave you with a tune from the Brian Setzer Orchestra.

Baby, baby it looks like it’s gonna hail
Baby, baby it’ looks like it’s gonna hail
You better come inside
Let me teach you how to jive and wail
You gotta jump, jive, and then you wail


Photos credit: Swing dancing at Hoovers, by Patrick M. Len; Stray Cats live under a GFDL license — from Wikimedia Commons.


22 responses to “J is for Jump-n-Jive

  1. I can just imagine the energy and athleticism it took to do this type of dance, just amazing in any era.

  2. Love it. I used to swing dance to country music years and years ago. Miss the movement and the rush of the heart more than anything. :)

  3. I really want to learn how to swing dance. It looks so fun!

  4. Oh, this takes me back to when swing got re-popularized during my high school years. I think I wore out my Brian Setzer and Cherry Poppin’ Daddies tapes. ;)

  5. Oh, that looks like so much fun! I’m game! Let’s dance!

  6. Wish I could do that kind of dancing. Brilliant

    Rosalind Adam is Writing in the Rain

  7. I would love to learn to dance like that!

  8. My knees never could handle dances this lively, but I love to watch the pros do it. We have a local group that puts on a great show.

  9. I LOVE big band music! Love those old-school dances and everything, too!

  10. That sounds like with was such a great, stylish time. I can’t imagine ever trying to make those kinds of moves. I couldn’t even hoola hoop or do a cartwheel. :) But I do like the Stray Cats as well.

    Thanks for saying approaching the half way mark in this challenge. That sounds so much better than 10 days in. :)

  11. I learned to jive when I was a teenager but never managed the happy abandon of the Jump’n’Jive, sadly.

    Pauleen at Tropical Territory
    A to Z 2013

  12. My husband I took a swing dance class through community ed last year – a ton of fun! Never did learn to “roll over the log” though. Too advanced! Check out Big Bad Voodoo Daddy if you haven’t before – coolio!
    Jess / Blogging on the Brink

  13. Loved this J. I am amazed at the videos of this dance – the athleticism and the rhythms make you want to get up and dance. Thanks for stopping by y blog – looking forward to more of yours!

  14. What an awesome blog! (color me impressed)
    We have a regional group here named the “Hoo-Doo Cats.” They play this kind of music. Wow! What a lively time they give us.
    Happy A to Z!

  15. I played trombone in high school and the best part of it was getting to be in the jazz band and playing this song myself for a few concerts we did. Greanted, when I saw the Brian Setzer orchestra do it themselves many years later they were a heck of a lot better at it than I and my fellow classmates were, but still.

I welcome your thoughts.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s