Ignore the racist stereotypes and see true athleticism, artistry and energy. The incomparable Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers, and the poem follows. Watch the video first; I dare you not to be amazed. Band is Slim Galliard and Slam Stewart; Slam spent his last years in my hometown, Binghamton, NY. A gentle, sweet man who never lost his soulful voice and way with a bass.

Lindy Hoppers

Back when jazz was hot
When the drums meant dancin
jitterbuggin, Lindy Hoppin
shimmyin, shakin your sugar…

Lil, Grace, and Fancy
flounced and flirted in the finer clubs
Gracie, she was fine on the dance floor
Lil had more meat on her bones,
made lifting for the Lindy doubtful
Still, she clapped and hooted off on the side
beer in one hand, the other tucked in Slim’s front pocket

Now, Fancy was a flimsy-thin frail
made for stompin at the Savoy
When the band commenced to wailin
she’d be flyin over Jimmy’s head,
flung between his legs and back up again
She shined like a new penny,
bronze and easy rollin

Her real name was Flo
but once they saw her dance
hellzapoppin on that floor
they renamed her Fancy

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

For Three Word Wednesday: Thin, Jitter, Grace, blog