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Swing developped in the late 1920s and the 1930s in the USA from Dixieland- and Chicago-Jazz. The danceability of these styles layed the foundation for their popularity, together with the full sound of the bands.

The Swing was originally created by African Americans, but soon was played and later dominated by white musicians. The Swing Era is inseparably linked to the rise of the big bands. This rise can be explained by the Great Depression of the early 1930s, when many smaller orchestras had to disband. They formed more economical big bands, who had better chances to be featured at regional and national radio stations. Like this, Swing was popularized. Also European radio stations helped to the success of Swing.

Swing is characterized by its danceable rhythms. Like that, it particularly put the American youth under its spell. Numerous wild dancing styles emerged. Black kings of Swing were e. g. Count Basie, Duke Ellington or Lionel Hampton. Their white counterparts were a. o. Benny Goodmann, Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller.

In Europe, Swing and Jazz prevailed until World War II, then these music styles were banned in Germany and Austria by the Nazis. But that didn’t keep the juveniles from indulging in their passion in illegal clubs, which could lead to be sent into a concentration camp or even be executed.

After World War II, Swing elements were still important for popular music. In the U.S., Swing rooted singers, such as Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Dean Martin or Sammy Davis Jr. were big stars. Also in Europe, there are well-known Swing bands until today, playing for a big fan community.