Klagetoh Swingers

Biography by

In what at least on paper sounds like an unlikely fusion of the Native American and lounge music scenes, this Navajo singing group spent much of the '70s recording what appears to have been their ultimate…
Read Full Biography

Artist Biography by

In what at least on paper sounds like an unlikely fusion of the Native American and lounge music scenes, this Navajo singing group spent much of the '70s recording what appears to have been their ultimate masterpiece, six volumes of Navajo Songs About Love. The first volume in this series was recorded for the Indian House label in 1974, and the final installment was not finished until the beginning of the next decade. Some members of the group came and went throughout this period, possibly having collapsed from amorous exhaustion. Like any musical activity that takes place in Klagetoh, at least one member of the musical Bonnie family is involved, in this case Ted T. Bonnie. He also took part in several other recording projects done for this label in the early '70s, including Night and Daylight Yeibichei, Navajo Corn Grinding and Shoe Game Songs, and Navajo Gift Songs and Round Dance. The latter project combined him with many female singing Bonnies, such as Boniface Bonnie, Stella Bonnie, Rose M. Bonnie, and Winnie Bonnie, the latter two members of the Klagetoh Maiden Singers. The Klagetoh Swingers are reported to have begun performing around the Southwest as far back as the '50s, and were the subject of a special ceremony and presentation in 2001 at the Nakai Registration Hall in Klagetoh. The performing tradition in this genre is carried on by younger ensembles such as the Navajo Nation Swingers.