Welcome to the new series of the music column where I am joined as always by Jazz singer and composer William Price King. We hope you will join us every Tuesday for some of the chart hits of the big band era from the 1930s through to the 1950s.
Some of the earlier videos are not of the best quality however where possible we have sourced remastered copies to share with you. Considering some are almost 100 years old, it is remarkable that they exist at all. A testament to the love of the music of that era. Along with our selections each week we will also be showcasing one of the dance crazes from the 1920s onwards and as with the music videos some are not of the highest quality and in some cases I have substituted more modern versions.
Here is my next selection from the Big Band chart in the 1930s from The Benny Goodman Quartet
“Moonglow,” composed by Will Hudson and Irving Mills, with lyrics by Eddie DeLange, was first recorded by Joe Venuti (the father of the jazz violin) in 1933. Venuti’s record didn’t hit the charts, but the following year the recording by Benny Goodman and his Orchestra did just that, and topped the Billboard chart at #1.
Here is my next selection from this era of popular music from Teddy Wilson
Teddy Wilson “Sweet Lorraine” (1935)
“Sweet Lorraine” is a popular song with music by Cliff Burwell and words by Mitchell Parish that was published in 1928 and has become a jazz standard. Theodore Shaw Wilson (November 24, 1912 – July 31, 1986) was an American jazz pianist. Described by critic Scott Yanow as “the definitive swing pianist”,Wilson had a sophisticated, elegant style. His work was featured on the records of many of the biggest names in jazz, including Louis Armstrong, Lena Horne, Benny Goodman, Billie Holiday, and Ella Fitzgerald. His version of Sweet Lorraine charted in October 1935, peaking at #17. OnlyJazzHQ
Other sources: Wikipedia
The early videos that I have managed to find are not always the best quality but hopefully they convey the wonderful joy that dancing brought to the times. Sally.
The Charleston is a dance named after the harbour city of Charleston, South Carolina. The rhythm was popularized in mainstream dance music in the United States by a 1923 tune called “The Charleston” by composer/pianist James P. Johnson, which originated in the Broadway show Runnin’ Wild and became one of the most popular hits of the decade. Runnin’ Wild ran from October 28, 1923, through June 28, 1924. The peak year for the Charleston as a dance by the public was mid-1926 to 1927.
Although it achieved popularity when the song “Charleston”, sung by Elisabeth Welch, was added in the production Runnin’ Wild, the dance itself was first introduced in Irving C. Miller’s Liza in the spring of 1922. Here is a modern video of the dance from
Der Charleston von Janin und Zsolt Let’s Dance 2022 RTL
Your Hosts for The Big Band Era
William Price King is an American jazz singer, crooner, and composer.
His interest in music began at an early age when he studied piano and clarinet in high school. At Morehouse College in Atlanta where he grew up, he sang in the Glee Club and studied classical music. After graduation he went off to the Yale School of Music where he earned a Masters degree. From there he journeyed to New York where he created a jazz trio ‘Au Naturel’ which performed in some of the hottest venues in Manhattan including gigs on Broadway and the famous ‘Rainbow Room.’ These gigs opened doors for performances in Montreal and a European tour.
While touring Europe he met a lovely French lady, Jeanne Maïstre, who, a year later became his wife. King left the group ‘Au Naturel’ and settled in the south of France where he started a new life on the French Riviera, opening his own music school – the “Price King Ecole Internationale de Chant.” He has had the pleasure over the years of seeing many of his students excel as singers on a professional level, and some going on to become national celebrities. He continues to coach young singers today, in his spare time.
Sally Cronin is an author, blogger and broadcaster who enjoyed four years as part of the team on Onda Cero International’s English speaking morning show in Marbella and then for two years as a presenter on Expressfm the local radio station in Portsmouth. She co-presented two ‘Drive Time’ shows a week with Adrian Knight, hosted the live Thursday Afternoon Show and The Sunday Morning Show guests including musicians and authors. Following this she became Station Director for a local internet television station for two years, producing and presenting the daily news segment, outside broadcasts and co-presenting the Adrian and Sally chat show live on Friday evenings.
She and her husband David have now returned to Ireland where they live on the Wexford Coast where she blogs and continues to write books.
Thanks for tuning in and as always we love to hear from you.. thanks William and Sally.