Jitterbug Slang in PIC (March 1938)
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Bapopik at AOL.COM
Tue Aug 21 01:22:07 UTC 2001
From PIC (without the photos), March 1938, pg. 6:
_JITTER BUGS SAY PHOOEY TO SCHMALTZ!_
If some admirer said to Arturo Toscanini "Mr. Miller you're a killer," the Maestro would call a cop. But Benny Goodman would be pleased because he would understand that it was a compliment in swingese. Swing fans and musicians have a language of their own. On these pages, "PIC" tries to explain some swing terms.
THE CATS ARE IN A GROOVE.
--or, swingsters are playing the blues. This picture is on the wall of the Famous Door nightclub where Louis Prima and his swing band play. From left to right are the Duke of Windsor, Stalin, Roosevelt, Shaw, Mussolini, Hitler, and Einstein.
A COUPLE OF KILLER DILLERS BARREL HOUSING.
--or, hot players are jamming it. At the right is Louis Prima.
--take it easy. Meyer Weinberg, clarinetist, is called "Pudgy."
SWING ME PRETTY.
--soft and sweet. That's how Art Tatum, blind pianist, is playing.
--hot rendition. When Prima plays a riffout or solo, he really gets hot.
LICKING THE LICORICE STICK OR GOB STICK.
--playing the clarinet. Also known as an agony pipe or wop stick.
--going to town on the drums. Godfrey Hirsch, "My Man Godfrey," beats it up on the traps.
JIBING THE VIBES OR HITTING THE HARPS.
--playing the vibraphone. Nothing disgusts players of gut-bucket, screwball, and whacky music so much as the Schmaltz or sweet type played by a "Long-Underwear gang."
THE CAT CAN REALLY CHIRP.
--that player can sing very well. In this case it's Louis Prima.
SLAP ME SOME FIRE ON THE DOG HOUSE. GRIP THAT GIT BOX.
--getting hot on the bull fiddle and the guitar. Left to right are Frank Federico and Louis Masinter.
COME ON, BOYS, SEND ME GATE.
--play with umph. Prima wants an extra something from his swingsters.
BEAT TO THE SOCKS.
--all fogged out. Prima's band falls apart between sessions.
SCOFF A BIT OF GROWL.
--eating between meals. Mr. and Mrs. Prima are waiting for a midnight snack.
--people in the know. All they need is coca-cola and Prima's music to get high.
A TABLE OF ALLIGATORS.
--swing audience. The man on the right seems to fear his sanity.
--worshippers of the great God Swing. And how they love it!
--a phony, corny guy. The kind of college freshman who asks the leader to "please play Tiger Rag" when it's just been played.
A JITTER BUG.
--the real article. This guy gets so worked up when he hears swing that he can't sit still but jumps around as if he had ants in his pants.
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