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The Swingtips, is a band formed in 1995 from Phoenix, Arizona. Credited as "one of the earlier riders of the swing band revival" and an influential part of the swing revival movement in general, the Swingtips was founded by Kregg Barentine, who toured with the Glenn Miller Orchestra in 1993-1994, and by Paul Maranto, a Phoenix dance instructor and guitar player. Originally called "The Wingtips", the band changed its name to the Swingtips and within the first year, co-founder, Paul Maranto, left the band. Barentine's original compositions helped define the era with such notable songs as "Checkbook Daddy-O", "The Business End Of The Barrel", "Let's Play Some Ball", "Santa Swings", "Roswell", and "Sam The Clam", many of which appeared on numerous CD compilations during the late 1990s and well into 2000.
Barentine originally wrote the song, "Let's Play Some Ball" with the Arizona Diamondbacks in mind and the song was premiered on stage with Diamondbacks owner Jerry Colangelo in 1997 at the Herberger Theater for the Herberger Headliners fundraiser, benefitting the theater and the newly created baseball team. The Swingtips "Let's Play Some Ball" resonated with other baseball related teams and events. The band was invited to play for the 60th Anniversary of the Baseball Hall Of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, and also gave a concert in 1999 to the NY Mets baseball fans from home plate at the historic Shea Stadium originally located in the New York City borough of Queens, in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park. The band was selected to perform for the 1st and 7th games of the historic Major League Baseball 2001 World Series and continues to perform for baseball related events wearing their trademark Babe Ruth era designed band uniforms.
The Swingtips became a regular performing act at the Atlantic Dance Hall on Disney's BoardWalk Resort at Disney World in Orlando, Florida during the years 1997-2001. Also during this time, the band began to stylistically experiment with their music. Their third studio album, Roswell, was a creative departure from the band's traditional swing and Latin jazz, and incorporated modern elements to include digital and analog synthesizers and rhythmic loops. The approach yielded an eclectic album that built a cult following with remakes of Disney's Haunted Mansion "Grim Grinning Ghosts", Star Wars "Cantina Band", "James Bond Theme", and originals like "Roswell" and "Sam The Clam", which earned Barentine songwriting awards in both the 2007 International Songwriting Competition and 2007 Great American Songwriting Contest.
The Swingtips music is included in film and television in Spain... on the road Again starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Mario Batali, Queen Latifah's The Perfect Holiday (Sony Pictures), WB Roswell, WB Felicity, HBO's Cathouse: The Series, Cartoon Network, ABC's All My Children, and CMT's Greatest Road Trips.
The Swingtips continue to write, perform and record at Ghost Note Studios, which is owned and operated by Kregg Barentine. Barentine is a full-time writer/producer/performer whose credits and clients include: FX Network The Shield, Alice Cooper, Movado, Disney, Hard Rock Casino, ABC, Hollywood "Wolf" Yates, Universal Music, Warner Bros., Fox Sports, MTV Made (filmed and performed at Barentine's studio), Fender USA Bass Bash 2005, amongst a notable list. In 2008, Barentine, also known as producer - "Ripchord", was signed to a record deal by American rapper/actor Ludacris' record label - We Mix for the song, "Luv Of Da Game", which he co-wrote and produced with writer/performer, "Tazuh". The song became the batting walkup music for Anaheim Angels star player, Torii Hunter.
Both Kregg Barentine and Swingtips trumpeter, Scott Yandell, have performed with Wayne Newton (2007 and 2008), The Temptations (2007–2010), Bobby Vinton (2010) and The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra (1999–2000). Drummer, Dan Tomlinson, tours with Lyle Lovett (1986–present) when not playing with the Swingtips. Steve Culp performs with Sister Sledge and tours with the smooth jazz group, Turning Point. John Willis runs the Fender subsidiary, SWR, a bass amplification company and is a touring musician with SE Willis and Chuck Hall.
Current Band Members
- Kregg Barentine - vocals, sax, guitar
- Steve Culp - piano, vocals
- Dan Tomlinson - drums
- John Willis - bass, vocals
- Scott Yandell - trumpet, vocals
Former Band Members
- Gregg Delfiner - drums
- Paul Maranto -guitar, vocals
- Kyle Nix - bass
- Ted Sistrunk - bass
- Jim Van Wagoner - keyboards, vocals
- Mark Witt - trombone, harmonica, vocals
- Let's Play Some Ball (Ghost Note Records 1996)
- Santa Swings (Ghost Note Records 1998) Re-released in 2007 with different versions of "Santa Swings", "Bad, Bad Christmas Boy" and "Mary's Little Boy Child"
- AZ Swings (Scat Records 1998)
- Next Generation Swing (Beast Records/Simitar 1998)
- Diamond Cuts: Turning Two (Hungry For Music 1998)
- Swingin' Christmas (Royalty Records/Wasabi 1998)
- Next Generation Swing Vol.2 (Beast Records/Simitar Entertainment 1999)
- We're Swingin' (Metacom Records 1999)
- A Yuletide Dance (WRD Worldwide Music 1999)
- Did Somebody Say Swing? (Ripe Productions 1999)
- Roswell (Ghost Note Records 2000)
- A Harry & David Christmas (Universal 2002)
- Swingtips Live (Ghost Note Records 2003)
- Loco En La Cabesa (Ghost Note Records 2008)
Notes and references
- Steinger, Alex (September 1998). "The Swingtips: Let's Play Some Ball! (Ghost Note Records)". In Music We Trust (12).
- Nathan, David (August 1, 2001). "The Swingtips...in Roswell". All About Jazz.
- "Hey cats! Jump to swingin' band". The Gazette. September 2, 1999.
- "Wolfman washington". Charlotte Observer. Jan 22, 1999.[full citation needed]
- WMC News Department (2007) World Music Central http://worldmusiccentral.org/article.php/intl_songwriting_isc_finalists_2007
- "Spain - on the Road Again".
- "TAXI Member Profiles: Kregg Barentine".
- "Felicity (1998) Episode Guide Season 1 - Music Guide - EPisodeWorld".
- Robyn Burnett (2002). Crash Into Me: The World of Roswell. ECW Press. p. 225. ISBN 978-1-55022-539-6.