Swingin' in the Rain

Music review by
John Graham, Common Sense Media
Swingin' in the Rain Music Poster Image
Classic swing tunes for young and old.

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The parents' guide to what's in this music.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that with "A -- You're Adorable," you and the kids can sing the alphabet and develop vocabulary. Then after using the "Three Little Fishies" as an example of scat singing, point out the trouble they encounter when they don't listen to their mama. Parents and grandparents who are hoofers can demonstrate the jitterbug.

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What's the story?

American roots music songstress Maria Muldaur delivers an outstanding album of swing-era classics for the younger set. SWINGIN' IN THE RAIN is no maudlin 1930s nostalgia trip, though. Muldaur revives these time-tested tunes (for example, \"Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah,\" \"Jeepers Creepers\") with her sweet, supple voice. Dan Hicks joins Muldaur for some swinging silliness on the monkey/chimp duet, \"Aba Daba Honeymoon.\" The band kicks up some great Dixieland in \"Choo 'n Gum,\" in which the naughty narrator buys gum whenever she's sent to the store for something else.

Is it any good?

Muldaur performs these classic tunes with an infectious, light-hearted sense of joy. Just try not to smile! And the musicians play acoustically throughout, yet swing like mad, remaining true to the genre. Jim Rothermel in particular turns in stellar performances on clarinet, saxophone, flute, piccolo, harmonica, and recorder.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how these songs, which originated during the 1930s and '40s swing era, are part of America's musical history. How are they different, and how are they similar to today's music?

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