The British Pathe newsreel organization has released 85,000 films to YouTube — they can be found here. Of course, I went to that channel and entered “jazz” in the search box. Some of the film footage is silent, which is its own kind of frustration, but this one isn’t:
Three and a half minutes of Humphrey Lyttelton and his band, culminating in an ecstatic SNAKE RAG — played for young dancers thoroughly captivated by the music, the rhythm, and their own movement. No stimulus but rhythm and “ginger pop,” the narrator tells us.
At first, I yearned for those good old days. Imagine rooms full of young people dancing all night to King Oliver’s music . . .but then I realized that the best swing dance extravaganzas I’ve been to, in California and New York, with bands led by Clint Baker and Gordon Au, and others, have been just as evocative, just as moving. So there’s hope.
May your happiness increase!