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Good songs to swing dance to?


Hi all, just started swing dancing lessons, the music is 6/4 (not the usual rock 4/8 or 6/8), was wondering if anyone knows any popular songs that have this rhythm for me to practise to? I have quite a large collection of songs going back to the 50′s but unfortunately none from the swing era.

Actually, all swing music is either in 4/4 or in 8/8, but the basic footwork for East Coast swing is in 6-counts. If you’re familiar with music this can be unsettling because your footwork doesn’t fit the phrasing of the music. I offer you this as a solution: until you move on to Lindy Hop (which is an 8-count swing dance), don’t think in phrases, think in every 2-counts. Your basic foot work will count 1 through 6, but if you think of each slow (or triple step) as two counts each, and your rock step, as two counts, it will make more sense. (1,2, 1,2, 1,2, etc)

I hope that wasn’t too technical, and I didn’t loose you.

Anyways, back to your original post . . . music.

Your choice of "Good" swing dance songs really depends on whether you are a bigger fan of Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, Louis Prima, or Benny Goodman.

I’ll assume that you’re probably into "Neo-Swing", which is modern pop swing like Cherry Poppin’ Daddies.

Here’s a list of some neo-swing bands and songs:

(band name – song name)
Bellvue Cadillac – Call of the Wild
Bellvue Cadillac – Pay Pay Pay
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy – Go Daddy-O
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy – Jumpin’ Jack
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy – Mr. Pinstripe Suit
Brian Setzer Orchestra – Americano
Brian Setzer Orchestra – Pennsylvania 6-5000
Cherry Poppin’ Daddies – Brown Derby Jump
Cherry Poppin’ Daddies – No Mercy For Swine
Colin James – C’mon With the C’mon
Ditty Bops – Sister Kate
Double Down – All In
Flying Neutrinos – Mr. Zoot Suit
Gas House Gorillas – Find a Little Boogie
Gas House Gorillas – Quiet Whiskey
Jive Aces – Planet Jive
Martini Max – Gangster Man
Phat Cat Swinger – Phat Cat Swinger
Phat Cat Swinger – Volcano Joe
Royal Crown Revue – Barflies at the Beach
Royal Crown Revue – Hey! Pachuco
Royal Crown Revue – Something’s Got to Give
Royal Crown Revue – Zip Gun Bop
Squirrel Nut Zippers – Good Enough for Grandad
Squirrel Nut Zippers – Hell
Squirrel Nut Zippers – Put a Lid on It
Stray Cats – Fishnet Stockings
Stray Cats – Rock This Town
Zoot Suit Revue – Money Cash

Now if you like "Jump, Jive n’ Wail", it’s originally a jump blues song that originated in the late 40′s and 50′s. If you’re into how that song sounds, you should listen to these jump blues and early rock n’ roll songs:

Big Six – We the Boys Will Rock Ya!
Bill Haley and His Comets – Burn That Candle
Bill Haley and His Comets – Rock this Joint
Bill Haley and His Comets – See Ya Later Alligator
Bill Haley and His Comets – Shake Rattle and Roll
Bull Moose Jackson – Big Ten Inch
Bull Moose Jackson – Why Don’t You Haul Off and Love Me
Clarence "Frogman" Henry – Ain’t Got No Home
Dion – Runaround Sue
Flattop Tom and His Jump Cats – Cats Meow
George Whitesell – Hide and Seek
Indigo Swing – Another Day in LA
Indigo Swing – Blue Suit Boogie
Julie Lee – Last Call for Alcohol
Jump Jones – Sittin’ On It All The Time
Louis Jordan – Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens
Louis Jordan – Caldonia
Louis Jordan – Saturday Night Fish Fry
Louis Prima – 5 Months, 2 Weeks, 2 Days
Louis Prima – Closer to the Bone
Louis Prima – Just a Gigolo
Louis Prima – Whistle Stop
Mighty Blue Kinds – Green Grass Grows All Around
Mighty Blue Kinds – Ragg Mopp
Rob Rio – Fat Girl Boogie
Steve Lucky and the Rhumba Bums – Jumptown
Stompy Jones (aka Swing Session) – Boogie Woogie on a Saturday Night
Stompy Jones (aka Swing Session) – Juke Box Judy
Stompy Jones (aka Swing Session) – Mondine
Stompy Jones (aka Swing Session) – Saxawoogie
Stompy Jones (aka Swing Session) – Well Well My Love
Wynonie Harris – Bloodshot Eyes
Wynonie Harris – Wasn’t That Good?

Now, you might not be interested in Big Band music, but that’s where all of swing comes from. Most of the music does not come off as "high energy" like Neo-Swing for two reasons: 1) Recording technology wasn’t great back then, and 2) It’s hard to capture the energy of a big band on a recording, even today; however, the best dances I’ve ever been too have been with a full 20 piece big band! (Additionally, Christina’s Candyman song samples the melody from the Andrews Sisters’ song "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy".)

Regardless, you should check out these required songs from the Big Band Era:

Andrews Sisters – Bounce Me Brother with a Solid Four
Andrews Sisters – Hold Tight
Anita O’Day & Gene Krupa – Drum Boogie
Artie Shaw – Carioca
Artie Shaw – Man From Mars
Artie Shaw – Traffic Jam
Benny Goodman – Life Goes to a Party
Benny Goodman – Sing, Sing, Sing
Benny Goodman – Swingtime in the Rockies
Bill Elliot Swing Orchestra – Bill’s Bounce (live)
Bill Elliot Swing Orchestra – Camp Hollywood Special
Bill Elliot Swing Orchestra – Traffic Jam
Campus 5 – Diga Diga Doo
Campus 5 – Doin’ at the Doing
Count Basie – Jumpin’ at the Woodside
Count Basie – Shorty George
Count Basie – Swingin’ The Blues
Duke Ellington – Rockin’ in Rhythm
Ella Fitzgerald – Oh’ Lady Be Good
Ella Fitzgerald – Too Darn Hot
Fletcher Henderson – Christopher Columbus
Glenn Miller – American Patrol
Glenn Miller – Bugle Call Rag
Glenn Miller – Jeep Jockey Jump
Lionel Hampton – Flying Home
Louis Armstrong – C Jam Blues
Solomon Douglas Swingtet – Indiana
Tommy Dorsey – One O’clock Jump
Tommy Dorsey – Well, Git It!

Anyways, I hope that helps!

If you are unfamilar with Lindy Hop and want a little inspiration about swing dancing, check out this video (It’s from a professional Lindy Hop competition):

Happy Dancing.



4 Responses to “Good songs to swing dance to?”

  1. Rachel F Says:

    It Don’t Mean A Thing If It Ain’ Got That Swing, Sing Sing Sing those two are very good and fun to dance to
    References :

  2. hexadecadiene Says:

    How about: Everybody’s Jumpin’ by The Dave Brubeck Quartet
    References :

  3. Crazy C Says:

    Bjork-Its oh so quiet
    References :

  4. Christine S Says:

    Actually, all swing music is either in 4/4 or in 8/8, but the basic footwork for East Coast swing is in 6-counts. If you’re familiar with music this can be unsettling because your footwork doesn’t fit the phrasing of the music. I offer you this as a solution: until you move on to Lindy Hop (which is an 8-count swing dance), don’t think in phrases, think in every 2-counts. Your basic foot work will count 1 through 6, but if you think of each slow (or triple step) as two counts each, and your rock step, as two counts, it will make more sense. (1,2, 1,2, 1,2, etc)

    I hope that wasn’t too technical, and I didn’t loose you.

    Anyways, back to your original post . . . music.

    Your choice of "Good" swing dance songs really depends on whether you are a bigger fan of Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, Louis Prima, or Benny Goodman.

    I’ll assume that you’re probably into "Neo-Swing", which is modern pop swing like Cherry Poppin’ Daddies.

    Here’s a list of some neo-swing bands and songs:

    (band name – song name)
    Bellvue Cadillac – Call of the Wild
    Bellvue Cadillac – Pay Pay Pay
    Big Bad Voodoo Daddy – Go Daddy-O
    Big Bad Voodoo Daddy – Jumpin’ Jack
    Big Bad Voodoo Daddy – Mr. Pinstripe Suit
    Brian Setzer Orchestra – Americano
    Brian Setzer Orchestra – Pennsylvania 6-5000
    Cherry Poppin’ Daddies – Brown Derby Jump
    Cherry Poppin’ Daddies – No Mercy For Swine
    Colin James – C’mon With the C’mon
    Ditty Bops – Sister Kate
    Double Down – All In
    Flying Neutrinos – Mr. Zoot Suit
    Gas House Gorillas – Find a Little Boogie
    Gas House Gorillas – Quiet Whiskey
    Jive Aces – Planet Jive
    Martini Max – Gangster Man
    Phat Cat Swinger – Phat Cat Swinger
    Phat Cat Swinger – Volcano Joe
    Royal Crown Revue – Barflies at the Beach
    Royal Crown Revue – Hey! Pachuco
    Royal Crown Revue – Something’s Got to Give
    Royal Crown Revue – Zip Gun Bop
    Squirrel Nut Zippers – Good Enough for Grandad
    Squirrel Nut Zippers – Hell
    Squirrel Nut Zippers – Put a Lid on It
    Stray Cats – Fishnet Stockings
    Stray Cats – Rock This Town
    Zoot Suit Revue – Money Cash

    Now if you like "Jump, Jive n’ Wail", it’s originally a jump blues song that originated in the late 40′s and 50′s. If you’re into how that song sounds, you should listen to these jump blues and early rock n’ roll songs:

    Big Six – We the Boys Will Rock Ya!
    Bill Haley and His Comets – Burn That Candle
    Bill Haley and His Comets – Rock this Joint
    Bill Haley and His Comets – See Ya Later Alligator
    Bill Haley and His Comets – Shake Rattle and Roll
    Bull Moose Jackson – Big Ten Inch
    Bull Moose Jackson – Why Don’t You Haul Off and Love Me
    Clarence "Frogman" Henry – Ain’t Got No Home
    Dion – Runaround Sue
    Flattop Tom and His Jump Cats – Cats Meow
    George Whitesell – Hide and Seek
    Indigo Swing – Another Day in LA
    Indigo Swing – Blue Suit Boogie
    Julie Lee – Last Call for Alcohol
    Jump Jones – Sittin’ On It All The Time
    Louis Jordan – Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens
    Louis Jordan – Caldonia
    Louis Jordan – Saturday Night Fish Fry
    Louis Prima – 5 Months, 2 Weeks, 2 Days
    Louis Prima – Closer to the Bone
    Louis Prima – Just a Gigolo
    Louis Prima – Whistle Stop
    Mighty Blue Kinds – Green Grass Grows All Around
    Mighty Blue Kinds – Ragg Mopp
    Rob Rio – Fat Girl Boogie
    Steve Lucky and the Rhumba Bums – Jumptown
    Stompy Jones (aka Swing Session) – Boogie Woogie on a Saturday Night
    Stompy Jones (aka Swing Session) – Juke Box Judy
    Stompy Jones (aka Swing Session) – Mondine
    Stompy Jones (aka Swing Session) – Saxawoogie
    Stompy Jones (aka Swing Session) – Well Well My Love
    Wynonie Harris – Bloodshot Eyes
    Wynonie Harris – Wasn’t That Good?

    Now, you might not be interested in Big Band music, but that’s where all of swing comes from. Most of the music does not come off as "high energy" like Neo-Swing for two reasons: 1) Recording technology wasn’t great back then, and 2) It’s hard to capture the energy of a big band on a recording, even today; however, the best dances I’ve ever been too have been with a full 20 piece big band! (Additionally, Christina’s Candyman song samples the melody from the Andrews Sisters’ song "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy".)

    Regardless, you should check out these required songs from the Big Band Era:

    Andrews Sisters – Bounce Me Brother with a Solid Four
    Andrews Sisters – Hold Tight
    Anita O’Day & Gene Krupa – Drum Boogie
    Artie Shaw – Carioca
    Artie Shaw – Man From Mars
    Artie Shaw – Traffic Jam
    Benny Goodman – Life Goes to a Party
    Benny Goodman – Sing, Sing, Sing
    Benny Goodman – Swingtime in the Rockies
    Bill Elliot Swing Orchestra – Bill’s Bounce (live)
    Bill Elliot Swing Orchestra – Camp Hollywood Special
    Bill Elliot Swing Orchestra – Traffic Jam
    Campus 5 – Diga Diga Doo
    Campus 5 – Doin’ at the Doing
    Count Basie – Jumpin’ at the Woodside
    Count Basie – Shorty George
    Count Basie – Swingin’ The Blues
    Duke Ellington – Rockin’ in Rhythm
    Ella Fitzgerald – Oh’ Lady Be Good
    Ella Fitzgerald – Too Darn Hot
    Fletcher Henderson – Christopher Columbus
    Glenn Miller – American Patrol
    Glenn Miller – Bugle Call Rag
    Glenn Miller – Jeep Jockey Jump
    Lionel Hampton – Flying Home
    Louis Armstrong – C Jam Blues
    Solomon Douglas Swingtet – Indiana
    Tommy Dorsey – One O’clock Jump
    Tommy Dorsey – Well, Git It!

    Anyways, I hope that helps!

    If you are unfamilar with Lindy Hop and want a little inspiration about swing dancing, check out this video (It’s from a professional Lindy Hop competition):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myJj0mNNe1Y

    Happy Dancing.
    References :
    I’m a swing dancer.

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