Title: Sing, Sing, Sing (Introducing “Christopher Columbus”)
Artist: Benny Goodman and his Orchestra
Album: The Complete Benny Goodman, Vol. IV: 1936-1937
Release: RCA/Bluebird, 1976

A thing that happened beginning in the fall of 2018 is that in the midst of the hustle and bustle of being a full time school teacher, I ached and yearned to go camping. One thing I love to do when I go camping by my lonesome is quietly play some old big band and swing tunes on my little cell phone as I attempt to light a fire and cook some s’mores.

I went out camping during a cycling trip to Delaware earlier this summer. I had hoped to go again in the late summer, but that hope was dashed when my boss at my summer job fell shorthanded, and I had to fill in. The end result was that I had this pent up urge to go camping for the following several months. Since camping was not to be had after school started up, the only suitable replacement was to listen to big band and swing music over the weekend—lots of it—and to digitize it all so I would have a big band extravaganza at my fingertips when and if I ever did go camping again.

I considered going camping over the Thanksgiving holiday, but I could bring myself to walk out on my siblings and niblings to spend three days by myself in the bitter cold. It didn’t happen, and to this day I have not been on my long awaited camping trip.

Anyway, I had to pick a song for the countdown that represented this whole phase of my year. I had many to choose from, but finally settled on Sing, Sing, Sing, because (a) I want my countdown to be a little lively and inspiring, and (b) this was the only song of the lot that I took out of my own mind and imposed on others by way of TouchTunes jukebox.

Here are some of the other tunes that put me in that special place of wishing I were setting up my bed in the woods and under the stars:

Alone, I’ll Never Smile Again, and There Are Such Things,
by Tommy Dorsey, with the latter two featuring a young Frank Sinatra of vocals

My Prayer, Adios, and Perfidia,
by Glenn Miller and his Orchestra

When Buddha Smiles, by Benny Goodman:

Not all of it is poppin’ enough for a year-end countdown, but all are chill enough for a night at camp, which I’ll be looking forward to this summer for sure, if not sooner. To get myself “in the mood”, here is a picture of the Swiss Alps: