Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Swingers Get the Blues, Too.

Frankie Manning died yesterday. he was on the verge of having his 95th birthday. He was the epitome of swingers, and swing dancing, the "Ambassador of Lindy Hop!"

Across the world, The Swingers Get the Blues, Too and this week is no exception for swingers, whether they be dancers, or musicians. Usually, Hellzappopin with the swingers, or maybe they felt like it was always A Day at the Races. Cottontail was another swingin' piece and Frankie and the rest of Whitey's Lindy Hoppers were struttin' their stuff. Blues has always been popular because everyone gets the Blues, and dancers and musicians have always had a penchant for feeling blue.

Swing and Blues, the two forms of music and dance, have always been related, and this week they come together again with the death of Mr. Manning. Take a listen to Duke's tune The Swingers Get the Blues, Too from the Blues in Orbit album. You might understand how with Frankie's passing, the swingers have got the blues, too. Yet, you might understand as well, how Frankie's legacy will keep us swingin'.

Frankie has inspired countless people, and will continue to inspire countless people. We have the music and the movie clips, as well as memories. Frankie continued to teach dancers, right up until the time of his death. The last time I saw him was in 2008 in Sacramento, California where dancers gathered to listen to his stories, dance with him, and learn from him.

Dancing has always brought happiness to my life. How could I not learn lessons of joy and happiness from a 93 year old gentleman who was still dancing? How can I not be grateful to a man who inspired other dancers? These dancers are my friends and family, and we have laughed, cried, sung and played together. Would I have these friends and family if it wasn't for Frankie Manning? In all honesty, maybe not. I do have them though, and I am grateful for them, and for Frankie.

Music has always united people, and dancers unite in unique ways (ask a few, they will be glad to share some unique experiences). Frankie loved the music, like we all do...therefore a couple of songs will be played on my show tomorrow night in tribute to Frankie. First: Shiny Stockings-it remains one of Fankie's favorite tracks. 2nd: The Swingers Get the Blues, Too...because right now...at least for the moment the swingers have the blues.

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