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Gen Xers are explaining that weird moment in the late '90s when everyone got into swing music

The Gap brought swing to the mainstream with its "Khakis Swing" commercial.

Every Gen Xer remembers a small moment in time when swing music was extremely popular in the late '90s. Swing went from nonexistent to an alt-rock radio mainstay from 1996 to 1998 and then, it was gone in a flash.

During that time, young people rushed to their nearest dance studios to learn the Lindy Hop and bought up old-school, retro suits and fedoras. Swing clubs started popping up all over the country and MTV played swing-inspired videos such as "Hell" by Squirrel Nut Zippers, "Jump Jive an' Wail" by Brian Setzer Orchestra and "You and Me (and the Bottle Makes Three)" by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.

Film editor Simone Smith asked Gen X to explain what the hell was going on in the late '90s that led to swing music making a huge comeback.


It's always hard to figure out how specific trends crop up, but according to Kenneth Partridge from Billboard, it began with the formation of Royal Crown Revue in 1989 by two members of the seminal L.A. punk band Youth Brigade. Royal Crown Revue's old-school '40s tough-guy aesthetic was something punks could relate to while also bringing back the danceable '40s sound.

The band had a Wednesday night residency at L.A.'s The Derby before turning it over to Big bad Voodoo Daddy, who were featured in John Favreau's 1996 surprise hit "Swingers."

"Swingers" was probably the most important moment in the swing revival. The film centered around friends who roam L.A. like a modern-day Rat Pack to a soundtrack featuring Dean Martin, Count Basie and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.

Others attribute swing's rise in popularity to "A League of their Own," (1992) "Swing Kids" (1993) and "The Mask" (1994).

In 1998, The Gap brought swing to the mainstream with its "Khakis Swing" commercial, featuring good-looking young people Lindy-hopping to the sounds of Louis Prima.

​On a psychological level, the swing craze seemed to be a pivot from the dreariness of grunge rock that began to fade from the public consciousness by around 1996. Some also think that the upbeat, fun music was a response to the return to the prosperity of Clinton-era America.

At the same time, rave culture, which was also centered around dancing and had an upbeat aesthetic, was becoming popular as well.

Some Gen Xers did their best to explain the phenomenon that felt like it came out of nowhere.

Swing music? it could have been worse.


Smith may be confused that there was a big swing craze in the '90s, but she should also know that it wasn't the only strange musical comeback of the era. What in the world was the whole Gregorian chant craze about?












Hold on, Frankie! Mama's coming!

How do you explain motherhood in a nutshell? Thanks to Cait Oakley, who stopped a preying bald eagle from capturing her pet goose as she breastfed her daughter, we have it summed up in one gloriously hilarious TikTok.

The now viral video shows the family’s pet goose, Frankie, frantically squawking as it gets dragged off the porch by a bald eagle—likely another mom taking care of her own kiddos.

Wearing nothing but her husband’s boxers while holding on to her newborn, Willow, Oakley dashes out of the house and successfully comes to Frankie's rescue while yelling “hey, hey hey!”

The video’s caption revealed that the Oakleys had already lost three chickens due to hungry birds of prey, so nothing was going to stop “Mama bear” from protecting “sweet Frankie.” Not even a breastfeeding session.

Oakley told TODAY Parents, “It was just a split second reaction ...There was nowhere to put Willow down at that point.” Sometimes being a mom means feeding your child and saving your pet all at the same time.

As for how she feels about running around topless in her underwear on camera, Oakley declared, “I could have been naked and I’m like, ‘whatever, I’m feeding my baby.’”

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Joy

Tea time: how this boutique blends cultures from around the world

Ethically sourced, modern clothes for kids that embrace adventure, inspire connections and global thinking.

The Tea Collection combines philanthropic efforts with a deep rooted sense of multiculturalism into each of their designs so that kids can grow up with global sensibilities. They make clothes built to last with practicality and adventure in mind. But why "Tea"?

Let's spill it. Tea is a drink shared around the world with people from all different cultures. It is a common thread that weaves the world together. The Tea Collection was born from a love of travel and a love of sharing tea with different people in different places. Inspired by patterns from around the world, these clothes help children develop a familiarity with global communities.

Tea sources their materials ethically and ensures that each of their partners abide to strict codes of conduct. They have a zero-tolerance policy for anything "even slightly questionable" and make sure that they regularly visit their manufacturing partners to ensure that they're supporting positive working conditions.

Since 2003, The Tea Collection has partnered with the Global Fund for Children and has invested in different grassroots organizations that create community empowered programs to uplift kids in need. They donate 10% of their proceeds and have already contributed over $500,000 to different organizations such as: The Homeless Prenatal Program (San Francisco, CA, USA), Door of Faith Orphanage (Baja California, Mexico), Little Sisters Fund (Nepal) and others in Peru, Sri Lanka, India, Italy and Haiti.

But the best part about the Tea Collection? They're also an official member of the Kidizen Rewear Collective, which believes that clothes should stretch far beyond one child's use. They have their own external site for their preloved clothes that makes rewearing affordable. Families can trade in gently used Tea clothes and receive discounts for future products. Shopping the site helps keep clothes out of land fills and reduces the environmental impact of the fashion industry.

By creating heirloom style clothing made to last families can buy, sell, and trade clothes that can be reworn again and again. Because "new to you" doesn't always have to mean never been worn. And let's be honest, we all know how fast kids grow! Shopping preloved clothes is a great way to keep styles fresh without harming the environment or feeling guilty about not getting the most out of certain styles.

But don't just take our word for it! Head over to the Tea Collection and see for yourself!

Upworthy has earned revenue through a partnership and/or may earn a portion of sales revenue from purchases made through links on our site.

Education

Teacher of the year explains why he's leaving district in unforgettable 3-minute speech

"I'm leaving in hopes that I can regain the ability to do the job that I love."

Lee Allen

For all of our disagreements in modern American life, there are at least a few things most of us can agree on. One of those is the need for reform in public education. We don't all agree on the solutions but many of the challenges are undeniable: retaining great teachers, reducing classroom size and updating the focus of student curriculums to reflect the ever-changing needs of a globalized workforce.

And while parents, politicians and activists debate those remedies, one voice is all-too-often ignored: that of teachers themselves.

This is why a short video testimony from a teacher in the Atlanta suburb of Gwinnett County went viral recently. After all, it's hard to deny the points made by someone who was just named teacher of the year and used the occasion to announce why he will be leaving the very school district that just honored him with that distinction.

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