Our 2nd Collection of classic dance numbers played by the top bands of the 1920s, 30s & 40s. No agonising over which dance goes with which track, it’s already sorted here for you.
“The excellent liner notes will tell you all about the ballroom dances by the best British and American dance bands of the 30s and 40s. The remastering by Ted Kendall is as good as it’s going to get, without losing the spirit of the original recording. ” Anne Hopper, BBC Cumbria
“What can I say? I love recalling the past and Past Perfect recall the past perfectly!” BBC Radio 2
Fashions come and go, but the elegance of the ballroom still works its magic on dancers of all ages. We present here a second selection of classic dance numbers played by the top bands of the nineteen twenties, ‘thirties and ‘forties.
Undoubtedly the dominant dance of the time was the Foxtrot, first popularised by Vernon and Irene Castle. A close-coupled dance in common time, the Foxtrot was easily adapted to most popular songs of the day. The variations, such as the slow and melody Foxtrot are largely self-explanatory. The Quickstep evolved from the Foxtrot, incorporating elements of the Charleston, which flourished in the early 1920s. In the USA, the Charleston and related dances, such as the Lindy Hop, spawned Jive, introduced by Cab Calloway in 1934. This, and other swing dances, like the Collegiate Shag, whose breakaways took up a lot of floor space, annoyed ballroom operators, as it restricted the number of dancers who could be safely admitted. Hence the emergence of the Balboa, a return to the close coupling of the Foxtrot, with tightly controlled and subtle movements. Another way the dance hall manager could keep order was by encouraging group or barn dances, where at least everybody was going in the same direction! One such is the Palais Glide, a variation on the Lambeth Walk, introduced to popular acclaim in the 1937 show Me And My Girl. The Foxtrot and its ilk, of course, didn’t have things all their own way – the Waltz, danced in triple time, originated in Bavaria around 1750 and remained the dominant triple-time dance; the Polka, a dance in double time, had its roots in nineteenth century Bohemia and crossed to the USA with European emigrants.