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  1. #1

    Celebrating Swing Dancing and the Savoy Ballroom!

    Today´s Google homepage is celebrating the Lindy Hop and the Savoy Ballroom [May 26, 2021]. It is one of the best Google Doodles they have created, IMO. If you haven´t seen it, be sure to view the video behind-the-scenes and turn on your sound.

    They have also created a game in the main Doodle, which I have yet to figure out, but enjoy anyway.

    Last edited by 9A; 05-26-2021 at 06:21 PM.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by 9A View Post

    They have also created a game in the main Doodle, which I have yet to figure out, but enjoy anyway.
    Big news -- I figured out the game - for one player. Fun. Great musical accompaniment.

  3. #3
    The ballroom went out of business in October 1958 and was demolished despite protests.
    On May 26, 2002, Frankie Manning and
    Norma Miller, members of Whitey's Lindy Hoppers, unveiled a commemorative plaque for the Savoy Ballroom on Lenox Avenue between 140th and 141st Streets, New York City.

    Here once stood the legendary Savoy Ballroom, a hothouse for the development of jazz in the Swing era. Visually dazzling and spacious, the Savoy nightly featured the finest jazz bands in the nation, and its house bands included such famous orchestras as those of Fess Williams, Chick Webb, and Teddy Hill. The great jazz dancers who appeared on its block-long floor ranged from professionals like Whitey's Lindy Hoppers to everyday Harlemites. During a time of racial segregation and strife, the Savoy was one of the most culturally and racially integrated of institutions, and its fame was international. It was the heartbeat of Harlem's community and a testament to the indomitable spirit and creative impulse of African-Americans. It was a catalyst for innovation where dancers and musicians blended influences to forge new, wide-spread, and long-lasting traditions in music and dance. Whether they attended or not, all Americans knew the meaning of "Stompin' at the Savoy."

    Last edited by 9A; 05-29-2021 at 09:28 PM.

  4. #4
    According to Cab Calloway, Chick Webb invented swing. One of his singer/sax soloists, Louis Jordan literally turned it into rock and roll. Neither one gets the credit that they deserve.

  5. #5
    Thanks for the enlightenment, Bob.

    Wikipedia´s contributors tend to agree:

    ¨At the Savoy, Webb competed in battle of the bands contests with the Benny Goodman Orchestra and the Count Basie Orchestra. Webb lost to Duke Ellington in 1937. Although a judge declared Webb's band the winner in 1938 over Count Basie's, and Basie himself said he was relieved to come away from the contest without embarrassing himself, musicians debated the result for decades.¨


    Webb's death hit the jazz/swing community very hard. After his death, Ella Fitzgerald led the Chick Webb band until she left to focus on her solo career in 1942 and caused the band to break up. Art Blakey and Duke Ellington both credited Webb with influencing their music. Gene Krupa credited Webb with raising drummer awareness and paving the way for drummer-led bands like his own. Webb's thundering solos created a complexity and an energy that paved the way for [Buddy] Rich [who studied him intensely] and Louie Bellson.

    ¨On February 12, 1940, a crowd of about 7,500 people attended a Chick Webb Benefit in Baltimore, Maryland. In attendance were Sally Webb, Chick's widow, his mother Marie Webb, his sister Mabel Porter, Governor Herbert R. O'Conor, Fitzgerald and boxing champion Joe Louis


    ¨Jordan began his career in big-band swing jazz in the 1930s, but he became known as one of the leading practitioners, innovators and popularizers of jump blues, a swinging, up-tempo, dance-oriented hybrid of jazz, blues and boogie-woogie. Typically performed by smaller bands consisting of five or six players, jump music featured shouted, highly syncopated vocals and earthy, comedic lyrics on contemporary urban themes. It strongly emphasized the rhythm section of piano, bass and drums; after the mid-1940s, this mix was often augmented by electric guitar. Jordan's band also pioneered the use of the electronic organ.

    ¨With his dynamic Tympany Five bands, Jordan mapped out the main parameters of the classic R&B, urban blues and early rock-and-roll genres with a series of highly influential 78-rpm discs released by Decca Records.

    . . .

    ¨Jordan is described by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as "The Father of Rhythm & Blues" and "The Grandfather of Rock 'n' Roll". Another source states that with Caldonia [1945], Jordan was "already crafting the classic rock ‘n’ roll sound". The Hall of Fame states that "his classic “Saturday Night Fish Fry” [1949] is an early example of rap and possibly the first rock and roll recording". ¨

    Of course, Wikipedia is not the ´last word´on everything, but quick to access.

    Last edited by 9A; 06-02-2021 at 06:00 PM.


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Ralph Terrana

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