Every Sunday I scour my DJ collection for dance tunes you might want to add to yours.
A Rare Swing Jam from a Rare Artist
Today’s song is from drummer & bandleader Cee Pee Johnson and I swear to god I didn’t just make that name up!
His unique style was compared to Lionel Hampton and his energy to Cab Calloway. Most recognizably, he appears in the famous Hellzapoppin’ Lindy Hop scene (video below).
Why don’t we know him better?
…”probably” died in Hawaii
…”sometime” after 1947
…maybe. Nobody freakin knows.
Nowadays we would simply check the date of his last Facebook status update like “Yep, last cat video was on Tuesday, so…” but disappearing was a lot easier back in the day.
One thing is known: the Swing world lost a real artist when he rode off into that sunset like some kinda jazz cowboy.
This Week’s Song: “Jig in the Jungle”
This 1941 soundie (alternatively named “Jungle Jig”) starts off with African percussion oddly similar to Hellzapoppin’ — also from 1941.
Nope, that’s Cee Pee banging away in both with a passion!
Dat singer tho…
Dorothy Dandridge was a triple threat star — singer, dancer, and Hollywood star.
Her biography shows off her talents, plus Swingouts that are representative of the time and good ol’ Cee Pee Johnson yet again:
Lindy Hop starts around 6 min mark