Georgia on My Mind Today
Ask any of my friends or family what kind of music I like, and you might get fairly mixed answers. I tend to be a bit sporadic in my tastes, and they change from year to year (or season to season; I spend the entire months of November and December listening to Christmas music!). However, my love and obsession with vintage music, specifically big band and swing music, is no secret.
I started listening to the genre about eight years ago. I was going though a tough breakup and found a romance song CD that listed classic romance songs such as "At Last" by Etta James and "It's Magic" by Doris Day. It really didn't take but three songs in for me to start looking up the artists, the songs, and studying up on the genre.
I fell in love INSTANTLY. There is something so classic and wonderful about the crooners of the 30's, 40's and 50's. The music is always so lovely and still so pertinent to the feelings and actions of today. Sure, the clothes have changed and dating rules were modernized, but we still make the same mistakes our grandparents made growing up!
Quick history: The era of music during the 1930s and '40s was called the Swing Era, and the ensembles that played this music with more than a dozen musicians per group were called "big bands". The Swing Era was known for dancing and swinging around to the music of big band orchestras. Some of the best musicians ever born performed during this era. No one will ever forget the sweet sounds of Louie Armstrong, or the beautiful voices of Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald. Glenn Miller and Judy Garland were at the top of their game, Fred Estaire had a nice run, and Count Basie established his dominance. Such household names as Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and Perry Como all made a very good living as well.
And if you haven't heard of The Rat Pack, you should look them up right now! The Rat Pack was a group of actors/singers featuring Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop. These weren't even the original members, and there would be many that came and went, but to this day when someone refers to the Rat Pack, they are referring to this variation.
In Las Vegas, when a member would be scheduled for a performance, the rest of the group would turn up for an impromptu show. The performers sold out almost all of their appearances, and visitors would stream into Las Vegas, often sleeping in their cars if they couldn’t find rooms. Hotel and casino marquees usually read: “Dean Martin, Maybe Frank, Maybe Sammy".
So today I'm listing my all time favorite songs from these eras. I have so, so many others but these are my go-to's and fairly easy to recognize. Most of the videos are lyrics or pictures only, since videos were not often part of music at the time:
"Georgia on My Mind" by Ray Charles: see video here
"At Last" by Etta James: see video here
"Cheek to Cheek" by Fred Astaire: see video here
"Ain't That a Kick in the Head" by Dean Martin: see video here
"Blue Moon" by Ella Fitzgerald: see video here
"Fly me to the Moon" by Frank Sinatra: see video here
"Don't Fence Me in" by Bing Crosby: see video here
"What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong": see video here
"The Trolley Song" by Judy Garland: see video here
"All of Me" by Billie Holiday: see video here
"All I Could Do was Cry" by Etta James: see video here
"Secret Love" by Doris Day: see video here
Do you have a secret love for classic music? Are you obsessed with oldies like I am? Tell me all about it below!