Dancer, award-winning choreographer, show producer, stand-up comedienne, TV/film actress, and author, Norma Miller shares her touching historical memoir of Harlem's legendary Savoy Ballroom and the phenomenal music and dance craze that "spread the power of Swing across the world like Wildfire".
It was a time when the music was Swing, and Harlem was king. Renowned as "the world's most beautiful ballroom" and the largest, most elegant in Harlem, the Savoy was the only ballroom not segregated when it opened in 1926. The Savoy hosted the best bands and attracted the best dancers by offering the challenge of fierce competition.
White people traveled uptown to learn exciting new dance styles. A dance contest winner by 14, Norma Miller became a member of Herbert White's world-famous Lindy Hoppers and a celebrated Savoy Ballroom Lindy Hop champion. Swingin' at the Savoy chronicles a significant period in American cultural history and race relations, as it glorifies the popularized home of the Lindy Hop, and the birthplace of such memorable dance fads as the Big Apple, Shag, Truckin', Peckin', Susie Q, Charleston, Peabody, Black Bottom, Cake Walk, Boogie Woogie, Shimmy, and tap dancing.
Miller shares fascinating anecdotes about her youthful encounters with many of the greatest jazz legends in music history including Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Billie Holiday, Artie Shaw, Duke Ellington, Ethel Waters, and even boxer Joe Louis.
"A refreshing look at the history of swing dancing is Swingin' at the Savoy.... Miller has not only created an entertaining history of swing, but more importantly, gives the reader a sense of the personalities of people and places most have only heard of. The book is unique as a humorous autobiography, full of youthful antics and charm." (Lance Benishek, Dancing USA)
"This is an important book, bringing some much-overdue attention to the swing dancers who along with the musicians defined the era." (Robert Tate, Jazz Now)
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Fascinating story, terrible reader
The story was fantastic. Lots of interesting details about the origins of swing and its evolution. Absolutely fantastic.
I have no idea if the problem was her or the production staff, but every 30-60 seconds you could hear another voice cut in, as though the original recording was poor and needed to be fixed. It was extremely disruptive to be listening to the book and then all of a sudden to hear a different voice cut in on part of a sentence.
The book itself is fantastic, its the reader and/or production staff that was terrible.
If the production quality is that poor that you have to have someone else come in with a voice-over every minute or so, perhaps you should redo the entire recording or hire a different reader. So obnoxious!
- Jacqueline W. Teachey