Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Dance Music: Jitter Joe

Girls From Mars: Jitter Joe


I was going to post this this week in any case, but the last post by 1001 Songs of Carolina Girls makes a great lead-in to this one. You see, now we are going to talk about swing dancing. I am old enough that this is the dance music of my parents’ generation. My father never talked about dancing, but my mother grew up in New York City during the swing era, and she liked to cut a rug in her younger days. Jitter Joe was a hit for the group Cats and the Fiddle, who were active during the 1930s and 40s. Girls From Mars take the inspiration for their version of the song from Cats and the Fiddle. The Girls, as they refer to themselves on their website, began performing for swing dance groups in the Philadelphia area in the 1990s. These days, members of the trio are living in Philly, Massachusetts, and New Mexico. They still manage to get together for small tours, which can be in any of those places, and can include dances, festivals, and house concerts.

Bonus: Here’s a video of Peter Strom Jandi Kim demonstrating a Lindy hop to a recording of The Cats and the Fiddle. You can see how the Carolina shag is related to this dance.

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