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.
What did you like best about this story?
The story was fantastic. Lots of interesting details about the origins of swing and its evolution. Absolutely fantastic.
Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Bettye Zoller Seitz?
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.
You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?
The book itself is fantastic, its the reader and/or production staff that was terrible.
Any additional comments?
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!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful