"Texas Tommy Swing"

by the American Quartet

Probably the first song published with the word "swing" in the title, this was written in 1911 by Sid Brown & Val Harris. It was featured in the Zigfeld Follies that same year. Victor recorded this side on March 25, 1912, at which time the American Quartet consisted of Billy Murray (lead tenor), John Beiling (high tenor), Steve Porter (baritone), and William F. Hooley (bass). The name of the dance (according to "StreetSwing's Dance History Archives") seems to have roots that date back much earlier, to the Civil War era. A web site about California Jazz History, which has since been withdrawn from the Web, said this about the dance:
"..the first known use of the word swing relating to dance was here on the Barbary Coast making it the true location of this form of dance's birthplace which was 1910. This dance was actually the combination of different Steps put together which created the "Texas Tommy Swing". One of the Dance Halls on the Barbary Coast was called "The so different" owned by Purcells and featured these dances. Al Jolsen would come to the Barbary Coast after doing his shows downtown to watch the Texas Tommy Dancers, he contracted to take a Team on the road back east to which finally introduced the dance to New York.""
The record itself was enjoyed in its time, and there is some surface noise to prove it, but after some noise reduction treatment it emerges as an enjoyable slice of history.
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