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The Genres: Sean Daly on Neo-Swing

Squirrel Nut Zippers (photo: Jay Blakesberg)

Forget about those Squirrel Nut Zippers: You wanna know who’s really responsible for the rebirth of swing? Heather Graham. That’s right: sweet, sexy, saucer-eyed actress Heather Graham.

You don’t believe me? Listen up: The year was 1996, the movie was Swingers, and the blonde beauty (still a year away from strapping on the skates as Rollergirl in Boogie Nights) didn’t show up in the hip indie hit until the final act. But when she did—catching the eye of sad-sack Jon Favreau, pulling his pudgy bum onto the dance floor, twirling her curves to the bouncing beat of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy—well, Heather Graham singlehandedly made it acceptable for otherwise oblivious club kids to lace up the two-toned spectator shoes and button down the smart suits.

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