September 15, 2012

10 Great Artie Shaw Tracks

Benny Goodman might have been the King of Swing, but Artie Shaw was dubbed the King of the Clarinet.

In light of the severe beating that Chick Webb and Django Reinhardt took this year at the ABW Battle of the Bands, I thought I would list out 12 great Artie Shaw recordings for those who might be new to his sound, or just don’t know what songs to request from your local DJ when you need your Shaw fix.

Did I miss your favorite Artie Shaw song? I very well could have. This isn’t a definitive list of Shaw songs, nor is it a list of his 12 best. This is just a list of cool Shaw songs that I like and hope you will to.

There is no specific order to these numbers, these are just 10 kickin Shaw songs that I am sure you will enjoy.

Blues Pt. 1

Who says you cant get down to Artie Shaw? This track will make you think otherwise.

Cross Your Heart

Classic and fastly becoming a standard for instructors to teach to, or dances to use as a beginner song. Strong, definable rhythm. Swingin harder than some Basie tracks, Cross Your Heart also features the Harpsicord. An instrument that one would never guess would ever show up in swing tune. If you like the harpsicord sound, check out his complete Grammercy Five album along with the track Special Delivery Stomp.

St. Louis Blues

This song is a standard track of mine, no matter who recorded it. Easy addon for this list.

One Foot In The Groove

A popular song selection at any event. Strong swingin rhythms, and an interesting arrangement.

Shine On Harvest Moon

Despite the awesomeness of the song, I think the one thing I like most about this track is the fact that it is 5 minutes long. That is 5 whole minutes of Artie Shaw goodness.

Non-Stop Flight

This song comes in a variety of flavors. So if you are fond of the song, but not too sure about the version I linked, keep searching. ARGH! I love the clarinet on this one!

The Yam

The Yam? Really? I knew that band leaders and song writers were weird, but naming the song The Yam?  LOLWTFBBQ. that is all

Oh! Lady Be Good

This might be my favorite Shaw track of all time. Rip roaring arrangement of a classic tune. Add that with the shag dancers in the background of the video clip, and you get a song you can rock out on the dance floor too, all the while, have a running video in your head of some legit shaggers.

Man From Mars

Perhaps one of the definitive tracks in the Artie Shaw repertoire. 4 minutes of ins and outs, slap you silly, Artie Shaw badassery. No need to say more, the song speaks for itself.

Hold Your Hats

A new song on my “play whenever you can” list. Fast, slick, and still swingin hard. Love that first trumpet solo. If that doesn’t get you going, then stop dancing.

What songs did I miss that are your favorite? Let me know below.


  1. Blues Pt. 1, FTW! I enjoy Artie Shaw’s version of Diga Diga Doo, The Grabtown Grapple and then Back Bay Shuffle for the playful call/response.

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Music and Dance