The Charleston. The Lindy Hop. The Black Bottom. The Shimmy. All were the rage during the Roaring Twenties as more than 100 dance bands criss-crossed America and fueled weekend dance marathons.
Freed from the restrictions of the tight corsets and voluminous skirts of the Victorian era, members of the new generation literally flung themselves into the dances, swaying, hugging and grinding to the new rhythms. Older generations were appalled. They considered jazz particularly decadent and a cause of the moral downfall of thousands of young women.
Professor Henry Van Dyck of Princeton University called jazz “an unmitigated cacophony, a combination of disagreeable sounds in complicated discords, a willful ugliness and a deliberate vulgarity.” Thomas Edison claimed he played jazz records backwards because “they sound better that way.” Despite such disapproval, however, the sounds of the ‘20s evolved into the mainstream music of the ‘30s and ‘40s played by the big swing bands of our youth.
Carolina Meadows residents had an opportunity to once again listen and dance to big band music recently when the Ambassadors, who specialize in swing, played in the Carolina Meadows Auditorium following a Roaring Twenties dinner.
Led by Larry Triplett, trombonist, the band includes 17 musicians and both a male and female vocalist – Raleigh Mann and Shelly McVicker, who directed the MeadowSingers last year. Residents enjoyed the music as they sipped sparkling grape juice or their own wine while sitting around tables decorated in the Roaring Twenties theme. It was a blast!
From resident Public Relations Committee member Rita Borden