Friday 15 July 2022

Irresistibly cheerful, absolutely trivial... dance music of the late 1920s

The early steps of decadence are often very enjoyable - and the late 1920s "Charleston-type" dance music is no exception. 

Since I was a young kid and heard 'Winchester Cathedral" - a pastiche by the New Vaudeville Band; I have really enjoyed that style of music - especially when performed by the Pasadena Roof Orchestra, which used to feature frequently on British TV during the 1970s. 

Later, when at medical school, I used to go see a similar band from the Newcastle area, called the Savannah Syncopators (playing in the ex palace of the Bishop of Newcastle); and later still a similar band that played at my most local pub: the West Jesmond Rhythm Kings. 

With the exception of owning a few LPs of Bix Biederbecke, and until the advent of YouTube, I did not know anything about the originals of this music: it was the more recent revivalists that attracted my interest. 

Enough chat; here are a few examples:   

And here is an impressive and amusing old video of Varsity Drag, from when the dance was still new:

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