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Afterglow Jazz and American Popular Song

Let’s Dance

Come dance with us this week on Afterglow--no lessons required!

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Photo of dancers in swing era.

Photo: Wikipedia

Dancing and popular music went hand in hand for young people of the 1930s and 40s.

For the first several decades of their existence, jazz and popular song were often played for dancers, and inevitably a number of songwriters seized upon this foot-driven entertainment as a subject for the tunes that they composed. On this edition of Afterglow we’ll hear recordings from Fred Astaire, Frank Sinatra, Blossom Dearie, Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, Anita O’Day and others as we take to the dance floor, dancing at the Savoy, dancing on the ceiling, dancing in the dark, and dancing cheek to cheek.

Music Heard On This Episode

Change Partners
Kurt Elling — Nightmoves (Concord, 2007)
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Change Partners
Kurt Elling — Nightmoves (Concord, 2007)

Notes: 8:01 p.m.

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Charleston
Paul Whiteman — 1920-1927 (Timeless Holland, 2008)

Notes: 8:07 p.m.

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Let's Dance
Benny Goodman — 16 Most Requested Songs (Sony, 1993)

Notes: 8:10 p.m.

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Cheek To Cheek
Fred Astaire — The Early Years At RKO (Sony, 2013)

Notes: 8:12 p.m.

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Fleischmann's Yeast Arthur Murray commercial
Louis Armstrong — The Fleischmann Yeast Shows (Jazz Heritage Society, 2008)

Notes: 8:17 p.m.

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Arthur Murray Taught Me Dancing In A Hurry
Mildred Bailey — Complete Columbia Recordings (Mosaic, 2000)

Notes: 8:19 p.m.

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Six Lessons From Madame La Zonga
Helen O'Connell/Jimmy Dorsey — The Helen O'Connell Years With Jimmy Dorsey (MCA, 1994)

Notes: 8:22 p.m.

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Come Dance With Me
Frank Sinatra — Come Dance With Me (Capitol, 1998)

Notes: 8:26 p.m.

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I Won't Dance
Blossom Dearie — Blossom Dearie (Polygram, 1989)

Notes: 8:28 p.m.

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Dancers In Love (midpoint music bed)
Duke Ellington — Piano Reflections (Capitol, 1989)
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Stompin' At The Savoy
Ella Fitzgerald/Louis Armstrong — Ella And Louis Again (Verve, 2003)

Notes: 8:33 p.m.

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Savoy
Lucky Millinder — 1941-42 (Classics, 2003)

Notes: 8:39 p.m.

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Dancing On The Ceiling
Jeri Southern — The Very Thought Of You (Verve, 1999)

Notes: 8:43 p.m.

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Dream Dancing
Ella Fitzgerald — Dream Dancing (OJC, 2002)

Notes: 8:46 p.m.

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Begin The Beguine
Tony Bennett — Fifty Years: The Artistry Of Tony Bennett (Sony, 2004)

Notes: 8:50 p.m.

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Let's Face The Music And Dance
Anita O'Day — Complete Verve/Clef Sessions (Mosaic, 1999)

Notes: 8:54 p.m.

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Night Lights is WFIU's weekly program of classic jazz hosted by David Brent Johnson.

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