Many people probably wouldn't have made it through the 1930's
without music. The people who listened to the music said it was their
way of life (Microsoft music). Music helped people forget about all the bad
and horrible things going on around them, it let them escape their day to
day troubles if just for a little while.
The kind of music most people listened to was the high beat
"Swing". Swing was said to have been born in 1938 when Jelly Roll
Morton's Red Hot Peppers recorded "George Swing" (Microsoft music).
Others say it started on a cold night when Bennie Moten's band got an
entire Kansas City ballroom jumping (World Book 159). Still others say it all
started in 1932 when the great Duke Ellington recorded the album "The
Anthem of Idiom", "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That
From the definition of the Webster Dictionary, swing involves a
departure from the written score by maintaining the underlying beat, but
playing the melody between and around the beat in a fashion other than
it is written (Pg.
2121). More commonly, swing refers to what we call "big
band" jazz of the 1930's- music performed by groups which generally
featured several of each instrument and playing a steady but still wild
beat that was great for dancing.
Swing was a big band music with some exceptions like Benny
Goodman's small bands. The great swing band included those of Louis
Russell, Earl Hines, Jimmy Lancford, Andy Kirk, Harlen Leonard,
Claude Hopkins, Chick Webb, Don Redmen, Benny Carter, Bunny
Bengan, Charlie Barnet, Harry James, Woody Herman, Lionel Hampton,
and the great Count Basie.
Count Basie started out his young career as a jazz musician playing
to silent movies. Then in 1928 he joined Walter Page's Blue Devils,