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Let’s dance!

The Knott family record collection holds at least eighty recordings of dance music. One-hundred and sixty sides are enough to have a dance party every couple of weeks and not repeat a song for a year. Lots of the records say ‘for dancing’ right on the label. Most are foxtrots with a few waltzes and one identified as a shimmy one step. There are frequently subtitles in Spanish.


Paul Whiteman, the self-proclaimed “King of Jazz” wanted his music to be fun. So in this Irving Berlin number, once the tune is established he contrasts a baritone saxophone with a raspy coronet, or is it a kazoo or maybe a comb and paper?

Paul Whiteman (1924)

B: Learn to do the Strut


The record manufacturers created their own bands. Nat Shilkret shows up frequently as the director of the Victor Salon Orchestra. Over a couple of decades, he sold over fifty million records. Here a vocal refrain is inserted for variety. This is a common motif in the collection.

Paul Whiteman (1926)

B: Cheritza Pretty Little Viennese


In this lovely piece he wraps it up with a whistler.

Nat Shilkret (1925)

B: Yearning Just for You