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Woody Herman

Woody Herman - Radio Recordings: 1944 - 
This recording features the songs: "Flying Home", "125th St. Prophet", "Straighten Up and Fly Right" and "Come On Out Wherever You Are" from a Live Radio Performance that took place in 1944.  The audio has been cleaned up and this is a classic performance by Woody Herman and His Orchestra.

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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 Broadcasting Online from King of Prussia, PA.

December Birthdays

Pic of Big Band Birthdays

Here is a list of December Birthdays of notable Big Band and Swing artists that we play right here on Swing City Radio.  I also included the date the artist passed away for age purposes. If you feel that I've missed someone, then send me an email through the website.  View more Big Band related Birthday and Events on our Swing City Radio Station Calendar.

December 3
Connee Boswell (December 3, 1907 – October 11, 1976)

December 7
Louis Prima (December 7, 1910 – August 24, 1978)
Teddy Hill (December 7, 1909 – May 19, 1978)

December 9
Freddy Martin (December 9, 1906 – September 30, 1983)

December 12
Frank Sinatra (December 12, 1915 – May 14, 1998)

December 14
Jerry Daniels (December 14, 1915 – November 7, 1995)

December 15
Stan Kenton (December 15, 1911 – August 25, 1979)
Glenn Miller Disappears (1944)

December 17
Ray Noble (17 December 1903 – 2 April 1978)

December 18
Fletcher Henderson (December 18, 1897 – December 29, 1952)

December 25
Cab Calloway (December 25, 1907 – November 18, 1994)
Nat Shilkret (December 25, 1889 – February 18, 1982)
Tony Martin (December 25, 1913 – July 27, 2012)

December 28
Earl Hines (December 28, 1903 – April 22, 1983)

December 31
John Kirby (December 31, 1908 – June 14, 1952)

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

Stan Kenton

Picture of Stan Kenton

Stan Kenton was among the most influential pianists and band leaders of the Big Band Era. He led an innovative jazz orchestra for almost four decades and even though Kenton had several pop hits in the 1940's, his music was always progressive. Kenton was also a pioneer in the field of jazz education. 

In April of 1936, Gus Arnheim was reorganizing his band into the style of Benny Goodman's groups and Kenton was to take the piano chair. This is where Kenton would make his first recordings when Arnheim made 14 recordings in the summer of 1937. Once he departed from Gus Arnheim's group, Kenton went back to study with private teachers on both the piano and in composition. 

In 1940, Kenton formed his first orchestra. Kenton worked in the early days with his own groups as more of an arranger than a featured pianist. His first band was primarily a collection of studio musicians. Kenton spent the summer of 1941 playing regularly in front of audiences at the Rendezvous Ballroom in Balboa Beach, CA. The Stan Kenton Orchestra struggled for a time after its initial success. Its recordings were not big sellers and a stint as Bob Hope's backup radio band during the 1943–44 season was an unhappy experience.


Listen to the song "Eager Beaver" by Stan Kenton

By late 1943, with a contract with Capitol Records, a popular record in "Eager Beaver", and growing recognition, the Stan Kenton Orchestra was gradually catching on. It soon developed into one of the best-known West Coast ensembles of the 1940's. Its soloists during the war years included Art Pepper, Stan Getz, Boots Mussulli, and singer Anita O'Day. 


Listen to the song "Artistry in Rhythm" by Stan Kenton

By 1945, the band had evolved. June Christy was Kenton's new singer and her hits "Tampico" and "Across the Alley from the Alamo" made it possible for Kenton to finance his more ambitious projects. His ensemble entitled Artistry in Rhythm and Stan Kenton's other musical projects helped shaped Jazz Music deep into the 1960's.

Listen to the brilliant music of Stan Kenton right here on Swing City Radio.

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!

Erskine Hawkins

Picture of Erskine Hawkins

Erskine Hawkins was a trumpeter and band leader from Birmingham, Alabama. He is most remembered for composing the song "Tuxedo Junction" with saxophonist Bill Johnson. The song became a huge hit during World War II. Erskine's version made it as high as No. 7 on the national charts while Glenn Miller's version became a #1 Hit Song.

From 1936 through 1938, he recorded for Vocalion Records as "Erskine Hawkins and his 'Bama State Collegians". He later signed with RCA Victor Records and began recording on their Bluebird label as "Erskine Hawkins and His Orchestra".


Listen to "Tuxedo Junction" by Erskine Hawkins

In the late 1930's, Erskine Hawkins and His Orchestra were one of the house bands at the Savoy Ballroom. They alternated with Chick Webb's band. They often used Tuxedo Junction as their sign-off song before the next band would take the stage.  Hawkins also engaged in battles of the bands with such bandleaders as Glenn Miller, Duke Ellington, and Lionel Hampton.

In the mid 1940's, he was transferred to the main RCA Victor label, recording many of his greatest hits for both labels during the 40's.

Listen to Erskine Hawkins right here on Swing City Radio.

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

Podcast: Episode 39

The Big Band and Swing Podcast

The Big Band and Swing Podcast -  Episode 39: Bunnies and Wells - 

Hello there!  In this episode of The Big Band and Swing Podcast we hear some "hopping" tunes from Bunny Berigan, Charlie Barnet, Glenn Miller, The International Sweethearts of Rhythm and more.  We also listen to an old radio ad from Groves Nose Drops. 

Listen to The Big Band and Swing Podcast

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

Bonus Podcast: A Big Band Christmas

The Big Band and Swing Podcast

The Big Band and Swing Podcast -  Celebrating: A Big Band Christmas - 

Hi there Big Band Fans! In this special episode of The Big Band and Swing Podcast we celebrate Christmas music from some of the biggest names of The Big Band Era. We play some great, festive songs from Glenn Miller, Bing Crosby, Perry Como, Dinah Shore and more. 

Listen to The Big Band and Swing Podcast

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