With “Let's Do The Hop” – a compilation of songs closely linked to Frankie Manning – the Cologne/Germany based group “Hop Spot” just released a non-profit CD.
100% of the profit from selling this CD goes directly to the Frankie Manning Foundation.
I've chosen Dawn Hampton's selection for the CD “Splanky” as our Song of the Week.
George Gee Swing Orchestra
On “Let's Do The Hop”, the version of this Count Basie classical is performed by the George Gee Swing Orchestra.
Without Count Basie, there wouldn't be a George Gee Swing Orchestra, though:
His college radio show was a huge hit! The station asked George to interview his idol – William “Count” Basie – before a campus concert. That extensive, exclusive conversation would change George’s life forever.
The next day, he assembled his own 17-piece big band – the Make-Believe Ballroom Orchestra! Staffed by student players, the band quickly became the darling of the campus community.
That was back April 26, 1980, when George Gee, a Chinese-American born in New York, started his big band when actually no one was interested in big band jazz.
In 1998, Gee formed his 10-piece band “Jump, Jive & Wailers” and put a new twist on big band favorites and delivered all-out “rollickin’ roadhouse boogie”! (Quote from his website).
With this group, which George lovingly calls his “Economy Big Band,” they have been able to travel around the United States and the world headlining swing and Lindy Hop dance events.
Splanky was written by Neal Hefti, who worked with Count Basie from 1950-1962. The song first appeared on the album “Count Basie Big Band” from 1954.
This tune is a classical among Lindy Hoppers. It contains a lot of breaks and energy changes, simply great for improvising!
Do you like to dance to “Splanky”? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!
Now Check Out
- Song of the Week #142: “Zormpas' Story” by The Speakeasies' Swing Band!
- Song of the Week #141: “Summit Ridge Drive” by Billy Jack Wills & His Western Swing Band
- Song of the Week #140: “Port Of Rico” by Illinois Jacquet