At the heart of carefully entertaining Dancing through Blitz: Blackpool’s Big Band tale (BBC Two) had been neither the Blitz nor Blackpool nor any big band specifically. It absolutely was the story of move.
“This was the songs that saw us through Blitz and kept our spirits up, ” stated judge Len Goodman first. And through the prism of wartime morale he, together with swing aficionado and historian, took us on a nostalgia-packed trip of big musical organization music in Britain. A journey that took us through its transatlantic origins when you look at the Twenties, its peak of popularity throughout the 2nd World War and its own eventual capitulation to your irresistible wave of rock ’n’ roll.
All the greats made appearances through the archive. The swing wizard of Duke Ellington, Lionel Hampton, Count Basie and Louis Armstrong was explored. Early exponents eg Albert Ammons and Pete Turner were lovingly recalled by Holland, whoever Rhythm & Blues Orchestra loaded within the video spaces with gusto.
The fantastic Brit bandleaders – Jack Hylton, Henry Hall, Ted Heath and aptly named Ken “Snakehips” Johnson – came to the fore while the part of tracks and, especially, radio in bringing party songs toward masses was analyzed. And lest we strayed too much from war, stories such as for example how Johnson together with honey-voiced crooner Al Bowlly were killed in environment raids within months of each and every various other (not to mention Glenn Miller’s better-known wartime disappearance) introduced united states down with a bump.
Duke ellington along with his Famous Orchestra carrying out in 1945
However, there was clearly constantly some body like Petula Clark, remembering her time as a troop-entertaining youngster celebrity, waiting to lift the spirits once again. Singers from Ella Fitzgerald to Sinatra had been celebrated alongside novelty dances like the Blackout Stroll and within the Spreading Chestnut Tree, all with a charm that place even constantly costume-changing Worsley into the tone as she beamed in nuggets of personal context. Rationing, homefront fashions in addition to allure of GIs simply couldn’t take on the swoonsome soundtrack.