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The Gift of Music | CDs | 20s & 30s | Cheek to Cheek
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Cheek to CheekDance music from the twenties and thirtiesClassic songs with sophisticated tunes, sung by some of the most famous names in the business make up this album of splendid music which will make those toes itch to be dancing!1 Cheek to Cheek Fred Astaire2 As Time Goes By Rudy Vallee3 Mood Indigo Duke Ellington4 These Foolish Things Lew Stone5 Lullaby of Broadway Bob Crosby with The Dorsey Brothers Orchestra6 Pennies from Heaven Louis Armstrong7 Sophisticated Lady Duke Ellington8 Someone to Watch Over Me George Gershwin9 The Very Thought of You Al Bowlly10 Night and Day Fred Astaire11 Isn't It Romantic? Carroll Gibbons12 June in January Bing Crosby13 My Reverie Bea Wain with The Larry Clinton Orchestra14 Once in a While Tommy Dorsey15 Please Bing Crosby16 A-Tisket, A-Tasket Ella Fitzgerald17 Over the Rainbow Glenn Miller18 The Glory of Love Benny Goodman19 Deep Purple Bea Wain with The Larry Clinton Orchestra20 Love is the Sweetest Thing Al Bowlly21 In a Shanty in Old Shanty Town Ted LewisCCL CDG1145Cover image: 1940 Couple Dancing/Piano Mary Evans Picture LibraryConcept and programme notes by Martin MoritzP & C 2005 Classical Communications LtdMade in Great BritainInside book:'Jazz dancing is degrading. It lowers the moral standards. Unlike liquor, a great deal of the harm is direct and immediate. But it also leads to undesirable things. The jazz is too often followed by the joy ride. The lower nature is stirred up as a prelude to unchaperoned adventure.'These cautionary words appeared in an article entitled 'Unspeakable Jazz Must Go!' which appeared in the December 1921 edition of The Ladies Home Journal in America.After World War 1, Ragtime music had evolved into new forms. Jazz and Blues arrived and new styles of dancing evolved for this new music. Jazz and jazz dancing were not popular with everyone. Many regarded both as decadent and dangerous. Jazz music of the early 1920s was fast and energetic, mirroring the times. Many of Ragtime's dances such as the 'One Step', which were suited to the frenetic new jazz tempi, had lingered on. Old favourites like the Waltz and Foxtrot retained their popularity in the early 20s as Arthur Murray began teaching, as well as publishing his 'How to Dance' tutors. The early Twenties also saw a renewed interest in the tango which was reborn as the 'new French Tango' since Rudolf Valentino had taken the dance and made it his signature. Magazines catered to the new interest in social, theatre and film dancing. All good middle-class parents began sending their offspring to tap and ballet classes. The focus on the Jazz Age was decidedly on youth. It was the era of 'pep', personified by the slim, girlish 'flapper' with her bobbed hair and her male companion, the 'sheikh', complete with ukulele, raccoon coat and bell-bottomed 'Oxford bags'. Dancing began to actively involve the upper body for the first time as women began shaking their torsos in the 'Shimmy'. However, no dance epitomizes the spirit and exuberance of the 20s more than the 'Charleston' and it became universally popular. There were dozens of 'Charleston' tunes written and dance halls and hotels regularly held contests. Pompous ballrooms tried to discourage the dance, or at least posted signs that read: PCQ - 'Please Charleston Quietly'.Its overwhelming popularity inspired choreographers and dance teachers to concoct new 'fad' dances for a public hungry for novelty. On the heels of the Charleston followed 'The Black Bottom' and the 'Varsity Drag'. It was 1928 and it seemed the party would never end. But, with the Stock Market crash in October the following year, it most certainly did.As the Depression began to tighten its grip on the nation, Americans found escape from the harsh economic reality in music and dance, and the fantasy world that Hollywood offered. The incomparable Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers would glide glamorously across the screen, oblivious to bank closures and overdue rent.Dancing and music provided relief for the Depression-crushed nation. When couples could not afford to go to nightclubs, they danced to records, and when they could no longer afford these, they rolled up the carpet and danced to the sounds of the big bandsLatin rhythms continued to invade American ballrooms in the 30s, notably the Cuban Rumba which became widely popular because of the success of the Latin-styled song 'The Peanut Vendor'. Later in the decade, the Conga and the Brazilian Samba would be all the rage and, of course, swing.
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