1/18 Here's to the Band Society bands at the turn of the century played ragtime for dancing in elegant hotels. Time passed and they played the fox trot. Down the street, another kind of band was playing Swing, the jazz of the 1930s, with a pause for a fox trot so people could dance close. The big bands, numbering 12-14 musicians, were hugely popular. So there were the bands and then there were also songs about the bands.