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August 2, 2012 12:19 PM   Subscribe

Could you recommend some bold, brassy, sassy swing music, especially where sung by women?

Hello there. I'm going through a swing music phase at the moment, and am loving the whole upbeat, bold, brassy, dancy, silly-and-sophisticated mood of it. But it seems a lot of it is sung by men. Can you recommend some swing music sung by women to balance things out and that'll keep my ass lindyhopping, jiving, and generally swinging? Or... if there's some absolute gem sung by a man (or an instrumental, come to think of it) then I'll take that too.

The sort of mood I'm looking for would be songs like Gimme Some Rhythm Daddy by the Brian Setzer Orchestra, or Go Daddy-O by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.
posted by laumry to Media & Arts (34 answers total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
 


Etta James. Eartha Kitt.
posted by snorkmaiden at 12:30 PM on August 2, 2012


What about Lavay Smith and Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers?
posted by small_ruminant at 12:30 PM on August 2, 2012


Keely Smith
posted by Iris Gambol at 12:32 PM on August 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


Squirrel Nut Zippers features a female lead. Their stuff is upbeat and hellaciously fun.
posted by jquinby at 12:33 PM on August 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


Andrews Sisters (not all of their stuff swings, but their version of "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy "sure does.
Martha Tilton (she sang on Benny Goodman's "Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen" at Carnegie Hall)
Squirrel Nut Zippers (more of a hot jazz sound)
posted by entropicamericana at 12:34 PM on August 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Not a chick but often overlooked in the jazz/swing category and worth another listen: Bing Crosby. Really.
posted by Currer Belfry at 12:38 PM on August 2, 2012




Banu Gibson.
posted by straw at 12:43 PM on August 2, 2012


Christabel and the Jons
posted by workerant at 12:45 PM on August 2, 2012


One of my favorite bands, the Rhythm Rockets, with their original lead singer, Lesley Byers - Come Ride the Rocket
posted by photovox at 12:47 PM on August 2, 2012


Captain Swing by Michelle Shocked is variable but has some real gems.
posted by AkzidenzGrotesk at 12:50 PM on August 2, 2012


Hot Club of Cowtown plays Western Swing, a hybrid of swing and country. They are awesome, and their lead singer alternates between a man and a woman.
posted by pickypicky at 12:54 PM on August 2, 2012


Candye Kane (yes, that Candye Kane) is technically a blues singer but she knows how to swing.
posted by tommasz at 12:59 PM on August 2, 2012


Pearl. Bailey! (Hello, Dolly, here w. Carol Channing and winning; Two to Tango w. Nat King Cole)

And Sarah Vaughn. But Pearl Bailey is kind of the queen of sassy jazz.
posted by smirkette at 1:07 PM on August 2, 2012


Some sample tracks:
Imelda May: Big bad handsome man.
Julie London: Come-on a my house.
Wanda Jackson: Fujiyama Mama
Mariam Makeba and the Skylarks: Inkomo Zodwa
Hot Club of Cowtown: Exactly like you
The Puppini Sisters: Wuthering Heights.
Marylyn Monroe: I wanna be loved by you.
Caro Emerald: Riviera Life
The Andrews Sisters: Rum and Coca Cola
The Breakaways: He doesn't love me
The Manhattan Transfer: Java Jive
posted by rongorongo at 1:19 PM on August 2, 2012


Great version of Bei Mir Bist Du Schon on the "Swing Kids" movie soundtrack, but I don't know who sang it.
posted by chickenmagazine at 1:24 PM on August 2, 2012


Check out anything featuring Ivie Anderson. Here's another.

Then there's Helen Humes.

I also love the International Sweethearts of Rhythm.
posted by Longtime Listener at 1:33 PM on August 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Great version of Bei Mir Bist Du Schon on the "Swing Kids" movie soundtrack, but I don't know who sang it.

I imagine that would be Martha Tilton who sang with Benny Goodman at the famous Carnegie Hall concert (and elsewhere).
posted by yoink at 1:33 PM on August 2, 2012


Lambert Hendricks and Ross
posted by rhizome at 1:35 PM on August 2, 2012


Here's a YouTube of Martha with the Benny Goodman at Carnegie Hall.
posted by yoink at 1:35 PM on August 2, 2012


two Ruth Brown Songs:

Wild, Wild Young Men

Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean
posted by The Lamplighter at 1:36 PM on August 2, 2012


Seconding Andrews Sisters!
posted by Captain Chesapeake at 1:42 PM on August 2, 2012


The Swing Kids version of Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen was done by Janis Siegel of Manhattan Transfer.
posted by thrasher at 2:08 PM on August 2, 2012


Della Reese's version of Frank Sinatra's It Was A Very Good Year. She turns a song I'd never much cared for into something astonishingly witty and sexy.
posted by mippy at 4:12 PM on August 2, 2012


Hey, I recently got lots of mileage out of the standard After you've Gone, here performed by Rita Reys & Dutch Swing College Band.
posted by yoHighness at 4:58 PM on August 2, 2012


Maria Muldaur does a couple, but that's not her main thing.
posted by small_ruminant at 5:00 PM on August 2, 2012


Anita O'Day Swings Cole Porter, arranged by Billy May. Fast, sassy, and swinging very hard, with May's usual bumptious charts.
posted by wdenton at 5:28 PM on August 2, 2012


Portland local vocal jazz band The Stolen Sweets fit the bill. They're lovely, talented and great to see live.
posted by loquat at 7:59 PM on August 2, 2012


Lavay Smith and Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers - Oo Papa Do
posted by corey flood at 8:24 PM on August 2, 2012


You might try the Boswell Sisters, who for my money have a little more zest and heart than the Andrews Sisters. SO GOOD. They hailed from New Orleans and did a mean rendition of St. Louis Woman. While they did the bulk of their recording in the 1930s and pre-date swing's heyday, they definitely swing in a more hot jazz kind of way. They are truly a forgotten gem of the era and I love them to bits! Perfect kitchen-puttering music, if you know what I mean.

Also, for true brassy gutsy swing with a female voice that can't be topped, try Ella Fitzgerald. A good introduction is her Gershwin Songbook album.
posted by anonnymoose at 8:55 PM on August 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


And seconding the International Sweethearts of Rhythm. Wonderful!
posted by anonnymoose at 8:56 PM on August 2, 2012


(Btw, I meant to say Saint Louis Blues. Long day)
posted by anonnymoose at 9:00 PM on August 2, 2012


I'm currently in love with Diablo Swing Orchestra (swing/metal crossover joy!) and electro-swing outfit Electric Swing Circus.
posted by f3l1x at 6:32 AM on August 3, 2012


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