Old-School British Dance Music
I don't mind a bit of electro-swing now and then, but there'll always be room for the old-school dance music. The British Dance Bands and Their Vocalists is a great value 4-CD compilation of British dance band music from the 30s and 40s, with the big name singers of the time, including Al Bowlly (above), Archie Lewis and Anne Shelton. The quality of the transfer from the original 78s is good, although I don't mind a recording showing its age, a few crackles and pops adding interest like the wrinkles on a distinguished fizzog.
The songs include such timeless classics as Shine on Harvest Moon, A Nigthingale Sang in Berkeley Square and Besame Mucho. Some not so familar titles, to me anyway, include Ashby-de-la-Zouch and Six Lessons from Madame La Zonga. There was a film made of Madame La Zonga in 1941. I must look into that, she sounds like an interesting lady judging by the lyrics.
Maybe you're looking for some of this kind of music, but you think this whole CD business a hassle? Past Perfect might be the answer, as they can supply pre-loaded iPods filled with remastered vintage music. If CDs are good for you, they stock a wonderful collection of those too.