Remember the Cherry Poppin' Daddies? How about the Squirrel Nut Zippers? Big Bad Voodoo Daddy? Well, if you were around in the late nineties (which I imagine most of you were, since teenagers haven't been told yet what vinyl records were, or how they worked) you'll remember these bands as part of the inexplicable Swing music revival. For a short while, swing music was suddenly part of the pop culture lexicon, prompting a spike in sales for Glenn Miller CDs, convincing film-goers that Swingers was anything more than mediocre, and briefly rekindling the career of Brian Setzer.

Well, in the late sixties, there was a similar movement. The Sopwith Camel, along with Harpers Bizarre and a myriad of others had America flashing back decades before swing - all the way back to Vaudeville. (These bands are often lumped in as second-rate Lovin' Spoonfulls, but I find their sound much more stylized.) For a band out of California in the late sixties, Vaudeville theater may be an odd touchstone, but what I love about Sopwith is how much they embraced the style; from album cover to spoken word in their songs, they really delved into that slice of Americana. 

Here's their big hit, Hello, Hello:

[ mp3 ]: The Sopwith Camel - Hello, Hello