Europe is filled with castles, so many they’re sometimes taken for granted. Unless you’re from outside of Europe, where castles are a rare thing.

For example, American castles are slightly  smaller

So it comes as no surprise that they were not a common subject in American Swing tunes.

How Uncommon?

As a professional DJ for 13+ years, I’ve collected and researched a ridiculously large number of songs. Exactly how many?

One Bazillion.*

And how many of those were about ‘castles’?


But man, what a tune! And from a great artist too. To introduce him, take a look at who he played with:

  • Duke Ellington
  • Chick Webb
  • Willie “The Lion” Smith
  • Sidney Bechet

These giants of Swing share one common thing — they all asked Johnny Hodges to join their band. But he didn’t just join them; he took their entire band to school, instantly becoming a stand-out soloist.

…and he took them to school with style

He was so incredible that he played for the great Duke Ellington during the 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s — up until one week before his surprise demise. So if you’ve read this far, you’ve guessed that Johnny Hodges is the creator of:

The (Castle) Song You Need

“Castle Rock”
Johnny Hodges
Amazon | iTunes

* (always bastions of accuracy) defines bazillion as “more than a million or billion, an unimaginable number”
** ‘one’ is the number of castle songs I’ll spin regularly. Frank Sinatra & Harry James also do a “Castle Rock” with lyrics.

Got a castle tune I might not know? Drop in a comment!

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Jered's unhealthily obsessed with dance, travel, and seeking the perfect coffee roast to power him through it all
18+ years later, he's still at it, and still discovering more to get excited about