100 Most-DJ’d Swing Tracks: 80 – 71

Part three of my most-DJ’d music countdown.

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
80 Shake That Thing Woody Allen, Eddy Davis, Eddy Davis, The Manhattan Minstrel, Greg Cohen Wild Man Blues 3:32 127 79
  Little known fact – Woody Allen is an avid jazz clarinetist, and has been a regular performer for decades. He has a lovely quirky style that reminds me of Johnny Dodds – and this song typifies it. Lots of quirky fun.

Listen on Spotify
79 East Side Kick Woody Herman Woody Herman 3:23 156 82
  East Side Kick would be waaaay higher in the list if I’d found it sooner. I can’t begin to say how much I love this song – it has a poignancy that is missing from most swing tracks, I love listening to it, and I love dancing to it. It seems to create a great air of excitement on a dance floor – a good little energy builder.

Listen on Spotify
78 I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate (11-10-39) Muggsy Spanier Complete Jazz Series 1939 – 1942 2:55 156 82
  How many versions of this song are there? Adapted from a bawdier Louis Armstrong composition called “Katie’s Head” – it’s a fun jazz classic.

Listen on Spotify
77 Tuxedo Junction Cy Laurie’s Jazz Band Jazz Classics From London 3:14 126 82
  An unusually slow, quirky, and fun trad version of Tuxedo.

Listen on Spotify
76 Look Out Metronome All Stars Metronome All Stars The Classic Recordings 4:33 147 83
  From a gentle start, this quickly builds into something high energy and special. ‘All Stars’ is no exaggeration either – the lineup for this one is utterly insane, featuring the likes of Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, Hodges, Cootie Williams, Rex Stewart, Johnny Hodges, Teddy Wilson, Sy Oliver, Red Norvo…. the list goes on and on.

Listen on Spotify
75 How Come You Do Me Like You Do? Connie Haines Nightingale From Savannah 2:40 129 85
  One thing it’s easy to miss in Swing is how the singers put so much rhythm into the vocals – and Connie Haines was great at that – and her smiling voice puts so much rhythm and energy into this song. Great fun for low-tempo, high-energy dances.

Listen on Spotify
74 Well All Right Tommy Dorsey The Remarkable Tommy Dorsey 3:11 152 86
  My favourite version of this is by Harry James – but the sound quality is so terrible I that it can’t be DJ’d. Yes – I have tried. This is fun though – quite a varied song, with a lot to play to.

Listen on Spotify
73 Study In Blue Larry Clinton Studies In Clinton 3:12 159 87
  This is one of my reliable ‘not sure what to play next’ songs – mid tempo, solid, reliable, fun.

Listen on Spotify
72 Lord Deliver Daniel (c. 04-29-37) Clarence Williams Complete Jazz Series 1937 – 1941 2:10 183 89
  I cannot listen to this song enough, and every time I do, I hear new things in it – it’s the rhythms that get me, and the interplay between the different horns – the crazy timing and energy is amazing.

Listen on Spotify
71 Apollo Jump Lucky Millinder Apollo Jump 3:23 152 91
  This is one of those great reliable solid tracks that I often keep back for emergencies – everyone likes it, everyone always dances to it.

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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