Although I can't swing dance very well (I can do a few simple dances such as the Charleston Stroll, Gay Gordons and a bit of barn dancing) I love to listen to swing music, especially when it's played by a live band.
Today comes with the sad news that the BBC Big Band has had had it's funding cut by a lot - the regular Radio 2 show 'Big Band Special' will no longer be aired, and their studio recording sessions have been cut by 80%.
The BBC has had at least one Big Band since the 1920s, and I feel very disappointed that the current Big Band has been axed as it's no longer seen to be relevant or current. For those that don't know, Radio 2 is a popular radio station in the UK which I believe generally has an older listener-base (we have it on all the time at work!) but it plays a lot of the music I enjoy. Clearly there is still an audience for Big Band music.
It has been claimed that the band has been axed due to lack of funding, but I really think some of the money could be better spent on these truly world-class musicians.
Well, if it's about money, perhaps the BBC could spend less of our licence fees on cheap and ersatz reality shows and more on real musicians. As a rather weak sop, the BBC are trumpeting an extended two-hour big band music show on Sunday nights, presented by the excellent Clare Teal. That show should have been an added bonus, not a substitute. - Martin Chilton
The rest of the article quoted above contains more information about the situation and can be found by following the link next to the quote. If you have a minute to spare, I would ask you to consider signing this petition to save the Big Band.
Music by the BBC Big Band can be found on Spotify and Youtube if you'd like to give them a listen; they have recorded many classics by the greats of swing. I have included three videos below of some tracks that I enjoy but many more can be found to listen to online.
And Sing Sing Sing: