Barrymore Big? Know Your Noses

In Radio Girl, Bev asks Cecelia to describe a certain boy’s nose using a comparison of two popular big-nosed actors of the day. So in case you were wondering …

John Barrymore

Actor John Barrymore

Actor John Barrymore

or Jimmy Durante

Actor, comedian, singer Jimmy Durante

Actor, comedian, singer Jimmy Durante

PS~~Smoking will ruin your health and make you smell bad. Do not attempt.

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Photo of CarolCarol Brendler is the author of the young adult novel RADIO GIRL (Holiday House) September 5, 2013.
Coming 2014: A picture book, NOT VERY SCARY, illustrated by Greg Pizzoli, from FSG.
Also by Carol Brendler: WINNIE FINN, WORM FARMER (FSG, 2009) a picture book illustrated by Ard Hoyt.

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Jitterbugs, Hops, Strolls, Shags and Swings

Lindy Steps

On Broadway in Seattle, the steps to the Lindy Hop

Swing music was made for dancing. It’s hard to keep still when Benny Goodman’s in the house. From the East Coast to the West, every cool cat was swinging to the music in 1938, the year of Radio Girl.

Behold, some of the popular dances! Note that many of these were in fashion from the 1920s all the way into the 1950s. That’s popular!

The Lindy Hop, (for whatever reason, this video points out that this clip is danced by “black teens.” I don’t see why indicating their race was necessary, but it’s such a great demonstration of the basic dance.)


(Sorry about the ad.)

The Jitterbug! A modern-day contest with some fancy moves thrown in . . .

The Collegiate Shag, a new video made to look old –>


(More ads. Sorry.)

And there were quite a few more! See more dance steps from the 1930s

A little something extra here. The Jitterbug Stroll. Usually done as a line dance, this isn’t actually from the Swing Era, but it’s just so fun! Yowsah!

Tell me that Jitterbug Stroll song isn’t stuck in your head now. The composer/singer is jazz dance instructor Steven Mitchell. Here’s his website.

Swing, Music, Swing

Before hip hop, before rock ‘n’ roll even, there was a kind of music that worried parents, threatened American values, and was predicted to bring down Western culture as we know it. It was called swing.

Fast-paced, with its roots firmly embedded in jazz, and rising to popularity out of the African American music scene, swing was all the rage, not only in the 1930s but the ’40s, too. Swing music had its own stars, like Ella Fitzgerald and Benny Goodman.

This audio with photos gives a fine sense of what swing was like:

Even cartoon star Betty Boop gets swingin’ with a new character named Sally Swing (I think Sally is voiced by actress Rose Marie):

However did we survive such decadence?

Coming up next: Dancing to swing music. The rage and the glory.