9 jazz playlist essentials for a swingin’ Christmas party
Jazz music is the perfect party soundtrack whatever the time of year, and it’s especially perfect for a stylish Christmas party. As we approach the next 20s, end the previous decade with some 1920s music by jazz bands for hire.
These 9 jazz classics need to be on your Christmas party playlist.
1. My Blue Heaven (1927)
Written by Walter Donaldson and George A. Whiting, My Blue Heaven was a huge commercial hit in the 20s and beyond. One of the most famous recordings is by Gene Austin, and it’s been re-recorded by Fats Domino, Frank Sinatra, and many more. The cosy lyrics and gentle tune make it perfect for winding down the Christmas party by the fire.
2. Cheek To Cheek (1935)
Written by Irving Berlin for Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in Top Hat, Cheek to Cheek has become one of the most famous dances of all time. The song has been covered by a range of famous voices, including Billie Holiday, Doris Day, and Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald.
3. Everybody Loves My Baby (1924)
Written by Spencer Williams and Jack Palmer, Everybody Loves My Baby was most famously recorded by a young Louis Armstrong. It’s remained popular for decades since, and is ideal for a festive Charleston. Even if your party guests don’t know the steps, they’re bound to have a go when they hear this!
4. Doctor Jazz (1926)
Doctor Jazz is exactly what your Christmas party guests would expect from a roaring twenties soundtrack – bright trumpets, a fast tempo, and a catchy melody. It was written and composed by Joe ‘King’ Oliver, and is an early example of classic New Orleans jazz.
5. After You’ve Gone (1918)
This is the oldest song on the list and still a classic. After You’ve Gone was written by Turner Layton and Henry Creamer in 1918. It’s been re-recorded many times since, and as recently as 2016! Hummable and memorable, your party guests will love it.
6. Ain’t Misbehavin’ (1929)
This is an early 1920s jazz song by Thomas “Fats” Waller and Harry Brooks. Waller reportedly wrote it during a brief stay in prison for not paying his alimony. He performed it in the hit 1943 film Stormy Weather, and tens of other artists have followed suit.
7. Avalon (1920)
Avalon was written by Al Jolson, Buddy DeSylva and Vincent Rose. The opening melody is borrowed from the Puccini opera Tosca, and Puccini’s publishers successfully sued the writers for $25,000 and all the royalties. It’s still a memorable tune, and even appeared in classic Christmas film It’s a Wonderful Life.
8. Button Up Your Overcoat (1929)
A big hit in 1929, Button Up Your Overcoat was recorded by Ruth Etting and Helen Kane – the inspiration for Betty Boop. The song is full of excellent post-Christmas advice, like “Button up your overcoat when the wind is free”, “Cut out sweets” and “Lay off meat”!
9. Ain’t She Sweet (1927)
Of all the songs on this list, Ain’t She Sweet has probably been covered the most. Written by Milton Ager and Jack Yellen, it was most famously covered by The Beatles, who played their own rock n roll version live between 1957 and 1962.
Real jazz bands for hire with swing and style
If you want the real thing, the Jazz Spivs can give it to you. We’re a unique jazz bands for hire and play all the songs above, plus many more classics. Our jazz soundtrack is perfect for drinking, dancing, and swivelling!