You might be familiar with “Gang Busters” or “We Cats Will Swing For You”, both songs which are played quite often at swing dance events.
Well, my current favourite song by the R&B pioneers The Cats And The Fiddle is another one and it's our Song of the Week.
The Cats And The Fiddle were formed in 1937 in Chicago. Austin Powell (lead vocals, guitar), who led the “Harlem Harmony Hounds” left the band and teamed up with the trio of Jimmie Henderson (tenor, tiple*), Chuck Barksdale (bass vocals, upright bass) and Ernie Price (tenor, guitar, tiple*).
The “Fiddle” in the group's name was another name for stand-up bass, and all the member were “hep cats” in the jazz slang of that time.
It was not until late spring of 1939 when they were discovered by producer/agent Lester Melrose, who got them to the Bluebird label.
The first recording session was in August of 1939, the second one followed in December, when they also recorded “Public Jitterbug No. 1“.
This is a nice “good mood” song with a very light feeling! I like the typical vocal harmonies of the band with the jiving, swinging “boom cha” rhythm. It's makes you moving!
Check out Marv Goldberg's notes if you wanna learn more about The Cats And The Fiddle, it's a great source!
*tiple or tipple: ten-stringed instrument which looked and sounded somewhat like a ukulele, but had an extended range.
Title: Public Jitterbug No. 1
Artist: The Cats And The Fiddle
Tempo: 206 bpm
Dance: Lindy Hop, Balboa
You can find the songs of the series also on my Spotify playlist. Official hashtag of the series: #djcsotw
Do you like the “Song of the Week” series? Share your thoughts below.