Posted on 10th Aug 2021 by John Rosie
Following our work to make the journal 'Tune Times' available to view online, the National Jazz Archive has now done the same for its rare collection of Ballroom and Band magazine. You can access this great resource from the Journal pages of our Explore section.
The monochrome Ballroom and Band was a monthly British magazine that provided dance tuition, record reviews, dance fashion ideas, plus concert and band news. Starting in November 1934, its strapline was 'The journal of better dancing to better music'. The ballroom and band editors were Walter Whitman and Eric Ballard respectively.
The magazine's opening introduction looked to establish it at the vanguard of a growing movement towards "dancing for all", which was reflected in the growing enthusiasm for dance music and corresponding growth in dance halls.
Writers saw Ballroom and Band as a progressive journal for the dancing masses. Its stated aim was to promote what it saw as the 'English dance style' and to support British artists, but only when it was deserved. It also recognised the importance of 'gramophone records' to bring the sound of leading bands to the ordinary listener.
The archive has the complete series of the Ballroom and Band journal from November 1934 to March 1935. There is a treasure trove of contemporary articles from the 1930s and reflects cultural interests such as health, beauty, dance, concerts and recorded music.
The number of images are limited as the journals are packed with written articles, which makes it even more interesting as a source of jazz and cultural history. There are photographs of both British and international stars of the day as well as illustrations for the different dance instructions.
We're sure you'll find this series of magazines fascinating and a great resource for social and music research.
The iconic print shown above is from the back-page of each edition of Ballroom and Band.