Ken Dahleen will take us back to the Big Band Era with a program of familiar big band standards dedicated to dancing at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 11, at Butterfield Commons on Strawberry Creek. File photo
Ken Dahleen will take us back to the Big Band Era with a program of familiar big band standards dedicated to dancing at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 11, at Butterfield Commons on Strawberry Creek.
File photo

The big-band era that had its heyday from the early 1930s to the 1950s helped to lift the spirits of a country recovering from a Great Depression and facing a devastating war on two fronts.

Ken Dahleen and his Big Band Staff, next up at the Idyllwild Summer Concert Series, plan to lift the spirits and the feet of attendees at the Thursday, Aug. 11, concert on Butterfield Commons. And Dahleen is dedicating this concert to Idyllwild’s dancers. BBS will be playing many of the familiar tunes that transformed popular music and the country’s mood over three decades.

The sound of the big bands — Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, Artie Shaw and Count Basie — gave our country hope in bleak and challenging times. The music was positive and uplifting, and boy could it swing. Dance floors and ballrooms in cities large and small were crowded with people who needed to hope, needed to smile, needed to laugh and, most of all, needed to dance.

So, at a time when many people are not confident about their future, when the national dialogue is caustic and combative, and the mood is again pessimistic, big-band swing seems a good medium for shaking off the shadows.

So, come on out, join your neighbors, eat, drink and dance — and get “In the Mood.”

As they do each year, Dahleen and the Idyllwild Summer Concert Series board plan the series and sign contracts with acts before having sufficient funds to break even. Your help is needed to fund a series that is presented especially for locals.

Bring your beverages of choice, picnic baskets, chairs and cash. Fill the donation jars that volunteers pass before the concert begins.

To date, $21,720 has been raised out of a total budget of $32,420. Three concerts remain to meet budget or help provide a financial cushion for next year. BBS takes the stage at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 11. There is no opening act.

Sponsors and donors can contact Dahleen directly at 951-659-2229 or send checks to P.O. Box 1542, Idyllwild, CA 92549.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.