Dancing Through the Blitz: the Big Band Story

Discussion in 'Books, Films, TV, Radio' started by ritsonvaljos, Jul 24, 2015.

  1. ritsonvaljos

    ritsonvaljos Senior Member

    Arguably one of the things that kept up morale and united British and Allied service men and women and civilians was the 'Big Band sound' and dancing in the ballroom. A new (2015) 90-minute documentary featuring Len Goodman, Lucy Worsley and Jools Holland tells the WW2 story of the 'Big Band' sound, dancing and dance music especially at Blackpool. This is a link to the relevant BBC website page:


    As some members of this forum will remember, as I am a former ballroom dancer, some of the articles I did as a volunteer for the BBC "People's War" website (and then for "2WW Blogspot") were about ballroom dancing and dance music during the war years. For anyone interested, the following links are to four of these articles:

    ("Dancing Through the War Years" by Andé Lyons")

    (Victor Silvester's 'BBC Dancing Club')

    ("Keeping the world on its toes")

    ("Dual Dancers")


    In the modern day, most people will remember the outstanding Glenn Miller Band and especially that Major Glenn Miller was tragically lost in the war. The mystery of his disappearance has never yet been resolved but his legacy lives on.

    Victor Silvester (Snr.) enlisted to the Army at the outbreak of WW1: when still only 14! He was still only 18 when that war ended. During WW2 Victor Silvester (Jnr.) served as an officer with the Hampshire Regiment (6th Airborne Division) but was badly injured (blinded in one eye) during training before the Normandy Landings.
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  2. TriciaF

    TriciaF Junior Member

    Thanks for that. Looking forward to watching it (if husband doesn't monopolise the handset.)
    My Dad, in the RNVR, was a good pianist and had a small dance band during his service in WW2.
  3. papiermache

    papiermache WO 356 Mechanic

    I've got two left feet, can't sing, am tone deaf - ( there must be a song lyric in there ) and love music of all sorts, but much prefer Dance Band music to Big Band Music. Nevertheless, thanks for the reminder because it will be worth watching. The sort of programme you cannot do properly on commercial telly with over 15 minutes of mind-numbing adverts per hour and only the BBC can deliver, like Strictly Come Dancing. Anyway, bring back Nat Gonella and Ambrose, Henry Hall and the Teddy Bear's Picnic, etc...
  4. Dave55

    Dave55 Very Senior Member

    The great Jean Porter doing the Feet Dragging Blues by Harry James. Her partner is no dancer.

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  5. Dave55

    Dave55 Very Senior Member

  6. TriciaF

    TriciaF Junior Member

    Another good one:

    They were fit in those days.
    There were tap dancing classes in our town - one of my aunts went. She was mad on American culture and went to live and work there eventually.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2018

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