Album: Various Artists, Teenage: the Creation of Youth, 1911-1946 (Trikont)

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The Independent Culture

Compiled to accompany Jon Savage's book tracing the roots of the notion of the teenager from the late 19th century to the Second World War, Teenage doubles as a fine anthology of early 20th-century swing and jazz

The with gilt-edged classics like Duke Ellington's "Cotton Club Stomp", Chick Webb's "Stomping at the Savoy", Cab Calloway's jive-talk spiel "Zaz Zuh Zaz" and Benny Goodman's "House Hop" are bulked out by welcome novelties such as Slim & Slam's "Flatfoot Floogie" and Baron Lee's light-hearted "Reefer Man".

Throughout, the focus is on dancing, from perky ragtime through hot-jazz steppers to the wartime jump-blues of Louis Jordan's "GI Jive" and T-Bone Walker's "Bobby Sox Baby", a trenchant criticism of crooner-mania. Since when, of course, the changes in youthful behaviour have been mostly questions of style rather than substance. Walter Davis's "Sweet Sixteen" and Judy Garland's "In-Between" also address the predicament of the teenager in that era. The latter's collaboration with her Wizard of Oz co-stars on "The Jitterbug" (cut from the film) is an early example of Hollywood trying to cash in on a kids' craze.

Download this: 'Cotton Club Stomp', 'House Hop', 'Reefer Man', 'GI Jive', 'Bobby Sox Baby'