100 Most-DJ’d Swing Tracks: 60 – 51

Week five! Half-way through the top 100 Swing countdown. More after the fold…

As I’ve been DJing since 2007, and have had a pretty steep learning curve in that time, this will probably throw up some bizarre choices and guilty secrets. It’s just about possible I could be secretly brushing aside the worst of those – but only the very worst. Where possible, I’ll put in links where you can listen to the tracks.

These are not necessarily my all-time favourite tracks, and I would not claim that they’re all the best dance tracks ever. They’re just the ones I’ve played the most over the last thirteen years.

I’ve created a Spotify playlist to host all the tracks (or all the ones i can find on Spotify anyway) – and each week, I’ll keep adding the tracks for the week. You can listen to it here!

  Track Artist Album Time BPM Plays
60 Here Comes Your Pappy (With The Wrong Kind Of Load) Putney Dandridge Complete Recordings Putney Dandridge 1935 – 1936 2:37 175 99
  Early swing era, with a piano / bass / drum rhythm section – a cheerful song with a real jump to it.

Listen on Spotify
59 Leap Frog Louis Armstrong The Decca Singles 1935-1946 2:58 158 100
  Another great jumping big band number from Louis Armstrong and his orchestra in 1941. A lot of variety and texture to this one – great for creative dancers.

Listen on Spotify
58 Meet The Band Edgar Hayes Complete Jazz Series 1937 – 1938 3:20 174 100
  The bass saxophone gives this one a wonderful distinctive crunchy sound – great energy, and more enough “endings” to feed a dozen songs (the sadist in my loves watching how dancers cope with that)

Listen on Spotify
57 Everything Is Jumpin’ Artie Shaw Very Best Of 5:09 165 101
  A long, classic Artie Shaw staple. I half think I should edit this to be a little shorter, but it’s such a great song that I can’t bring myself to do it.

Listen on Spotify
56 Mr Ghost goes to Town Hudson – DeLange Orchestra   2:54 160 101
  Mr Ghost is one of those classic swing dancing favourites – filled with fun moments that never get old. This is my favourite version. Enough said.

Watch on YouTube
55 Harlem Holiday Cab Calloway Complete Jazz Series 1932 2:52 145 102
  The irrepressibly cheerful Cab Calloway on top form – I love the rhythm and sense of fun he put into his voice – and the way he plays call-and-response with himself… a great track.

Listen on Spotify
54 Tuxedo Junction Erskine Hawkins And His Orchestra Complete Jazz Series 1950 – 1951 3:18 146 102
  Erskin Hawkins has done many great versions of Tuxedo Junction. This is the best one.

Listen on Spotify
53 Lindy Hopper’s Delight Ella Fitzgerald & Her Famous Orchestra Complete Chick Webb & Ella Fitzgerald Decca Sessions (1934-1941) (disc 6) 2:51 188 103
  This is probably the most appropriately named song of all time. This is an exciting, incredible piece of music – if you’ve ever listened to it, you know exactly why it’s a swing dancing favourite. If you haven’t listened to it, here’s your chance to find out!

Listen on Spotify
52 `Til my baby comes back to me Blue Harlem Talk To Me 2:50 130 104
  Look – I haven’t played this in years. And – I confess – preparing this post is the first time I’ve ever actually *listened* to the lyrics. So … wonderful though Imelda May’s voice is, and though Blue Harlem were definitely one of the better UK swing bands for their time … well – if I were to play it again, I’d go with Buddy Johnson’s version, but the abuse themes running through the song have sadly killed it for me.

Listen on Spotify
51 Lavender Coffin Lionel Hampton & His Orchestra Lindy Hop Jamboree 2:42 145 105
  Yeah – so I used to play Lavender coffin a lot. Now I play it occasionally. Sometimes songs are overplayed because they’re great. This one has absolutely been overplayed, and I am a little bored with it these days – but it still fills a dance floor.

Listen on Spotify

Footnote: – For anyone who doesn’t know the term, BPM is short for Beats Per Minute, and is a standard way for DJs to measure track speed.

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