Happy Birthday: Ben Pollack

Picture of Ben Pollack

Today we are celebrating the birthday of drummer and bandleader - the Father of Swing himself, Ben Pollack.  Ben was born on June 22nd, 1903 in Chicago, Illinois.  Happy Birthday Ben!

 - If you'd like to learn a little more about Ben Pollack and hear a couple of his songs, then check out the Podcast Extra: 

Big Band Birthdays - June 22: Ben Pollack


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Boyd Raeburn

Picture of Boyd Raeburn

Boyd Raeburn is known for his creative and complex band he led in the mid-1940's.  Musicians and critics loved his work, but the public wasn't as excited simply because most of his music wasn't "danceable".  Raeburn's music was more geared for the listener and not the dancer.

It's almost ironic that Raeburn went down this Progressive Jazz path like some other greats of the era including Woody Herman and Stan Kenton.  Because Raeburn entered the scene playing in some VERY commercial, mickey-mouse style bands through the 1930's.  Somewhere along the line his music matured into a much different direction.  

Raeburn is most know for his band that pushed musical boundaries from 1944 to 1947.  His Orchestra's arrangements would sometimes have a classical music "feel" to them and this helped attract many talented musicians to play in the band.  But, like I said earlier, the general public just wasn't ready.  He and the band still managed to build a very nice following that sustained him throughout his career.

Listen to: Tonsillectomy by Boyd Raeburn

In 1946, Raeburn married the band's beautiful vocalist Ginny Powell.  She had also provided some great vocals for Harry James and Gene Krupa through the years.  The couple left the music scene by the mid-1950's and remained married until Powell's death in 1959.  Raeburn moved on to run a furniture store in New Orleans and passed away in 1966 of a heart attack.

Raeburn's music should never be overlooked and you can hear many of his tracks right here on Swing City Radio.

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Swing City Radio: Playing Your Big Band and Swing Music Favorites from the 1930's, 40's and Today! - Big Band Radio Station Streaming Online from King of Prussia, PA. Commercial Free!

Hudson-DeLange Orchestra

Picture of Hudson-DeLange Orchestra

The Hudson-DeLange Orchestra was a formed around the basic concept that Will Hudson and Eddie DeLange wrote some very good music together. The band was only around for a few years, but the music they made was excellent.  Hudson would normally compose the music and DeLange would pen the lyrics.  In fact, before creating a band together, the two co-authored "Moonglow" which went on to become a standard of the Big Band era.

In the mid 1930's, DeLange decided to form an orchestra.  He soon figured out that he would need a much deeper catalog to draw from so DeLange offered Hudson a partnership in his new band in exchange for his arranging abilities.  Hudson accepted and the Hudson-DeLange Orchestra was born.

In their limited time together, the Hudson-DeLange Orchestra managed to record a good amount of music for the Brunswick label.  Some of them became hits and many others resurfaced later covered by other big names from the era.  It was decided that DeLange lead the band while Hudson stayed behind the scenes. They played over 200 live dates throughout the Eastern portion of the United States over a two year span.

Listen to: "Definition of Swing" by Hudson-DeLange Orchestra

In early 1938, the band decided to call it quits.  Hudson continued to tour with a group under his own name.  When he later entered the military for World War II, he did some arranging for Glenn Miller's AAF Orchestra.  DeLange, also went on to form his own band and recorded a lot of sides for the Bluebird label.  He suffered from an early death in 1949. 

Even though The Hudson-DeLange Orchestra was around for only a very short time, the band did make it's mark on the era.  You can listen Hudson and DeLange right here on Swing City Radio.

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The Dinning Sisters: Soundies and Snaders

Picture of The Dinning Sisters

The Dinning Sisters were Capitol Records answer to the The Andrews Sisters who recorded for the Decca Label.  The trio consisted of Lucille Dinning, Jean Dinning and Ginger Dinning. Lucille left the group in 1946 to be replaced by Jayne Bundesen who stayed until 1952.

I chose to feature "Pig Foot Pete" by The Dinning Sisters because it was one of those rare songs that were made into both a Soundie and a Snader Telescription.  The Soundie from the 1940's includes the original line up and the Snader Telescription from the 1950's was recorded with Jayne Bundesen in place of Lucille.

It's interesting to see both side by side to view the comparisons and difference between Soundies and Snader Telescriptions.  Plus, it's a good song and easy to listen to twice. 😀  Take notice of the different production styles and presentation. Enjoy!

Watch: Soundie from the 1940's featuring "Pig Foot Pete" by The Dinning Sisters


Watch: Snader Telescription from the 1950's featuring "Pig Foot Pete" by The Dinning Sisters

Remember:  If you would like access to Bonus Content and Podcast Extras then join our Patreon and become a Hepcat.  It's a great way to support the station.  

Check it out at: SupportSwing.com

Swing City Radio: Playing Your Big Band and Swing Music Favorites from the 1930's, 40's and Today! - Big Band Radio Station Streaming Online from King of Prussia, PA. Commercial Free!

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