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Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

Swing City Radio wishes you a Happy Thanksgiving!  We are so thankful for all of you that have been listening to the station for the last couple months.  If you like what you are hearing, then please let your friends and family know. 

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.

Christmas Music

Big Band and Swing Christmas Music

Starting on Thanksgiving Day, Swing City Radio will be playing Christmas songs by your favorite Big Band and Swing artists along with some other Christmas standards.  We will be scattering them in throughout the day mixed in with our normal programming.  (About one or two songs per hour.)

We will also be featuring some Christmas songs from some new, unsigned Big Band artists that we are very excited about.  I plan on featuring some articles about them so you can learn more about the artists and their music.

I'll keep you posted about any plans we may have for Christmas Day and New Years Eve.

I hope you all enjoy your Thanksgiving and thanks for continuing to listen and supporting the station.  Maybe you can have the station playing in the background as you have your Thanksgiving dinner?  It's my understanding that Big Band and Swing music helps the body digest food better.  Just kidding! :)

Enjoy the holiday and be safe!

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.

Earl Burtnett

Earl Burtnett

Earl Burtnett (1896–1936) was a bandleader, songwriter and pianist.  Burtlett was popular in the 1920's and 1930's.

In 1918 he joined Art Hickman's band as lead arranger and writer for the orchestra.  He penned some successful songs for Hickman including "Sleep", "Leave Me With A Smile", "Mandalay", and "If I Should Lose You".

In 1929, he took over as band leader on Hickman's retirement. His band then had a residency at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, and recorded for Brunswick Records backing the Biltmore Trio. They played across the country in the early and mid 1930's, with periods at both the Rice Hotel in Houston, and later at the Drake Hotel and other venues in Chicago, where their concerts were often broadcast on WGN radio.

Browse Earl Burtnett's Music Collection (Affiliate Link)

Burtnett recorded for Columbia from 1926 through 1928 when he signed with Brunswick again and recorded prolifically through mid-1931.

On Christmas Eve, 1935, Burtnett underwent an emergency appendectomy in Chicago. However, peritonitis set in after the operation, and he died on January 2, 1936 at the age of 39.  He unfortunately passed away right as swing music was starting to take hold in the United States.  One can only imagine the great music he would have created.

You can hear Earl Burtnett 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.

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Earl Burtnett

Don Redman

Don Redman

Don Redman (1900 – 1964) was a talented musician of many instruments, as well as an innovative arranger, bandleader, and composer.

Redman was born in West Virginia. His father was a music teacher and his mother was a singer. Don began playing the trumpet at the age of three and joined his first band at the age of six. Think about that! Six years old and in a band! By the age of 12, Redman was proficient on all wind instruments ranging from trumpet to oboe as well and could even play piano.

In 1923, Redman joined the Fletcher Henderson orchestra, mostly playing clarinet and saxophones.  With Fletcher Henderson's band he began writing arrangements. Redman was very influential in establishing the sound that was to become swing.

Browse - Don Redman's Music Collection (Affiliate Link)

In 1927, he joined McKinney's Cotton Pickers as their musical director and leader. He was responsible for their great success and arranged over half of their music selection.

Redman then formed the Don Redman Orchestra in 1931. They got a residency at the famous Manhattan jazz club Connie's Inn.  That year Redman also signed with Brunswick Records. The Brunswick records Redman made between 1931–1934 were some of the most complex pre-swing hot jazz arrangements of popular tunes.

The band hopped from label to label until 1940 when Redman disbanded the orchestra.  At that point in his career he concentrated on freelance work writing arrangements. Some of his arrangements became hits for Jimmy Dorsey, Count Basie, and Harry James. In the 1950's he was the music director for singer Pearl Bailey.

You can hear Don Redman 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.

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Don Redman Don Redman Don Redman

Bunny Berigan

Bunny Berigan

Bunny Berigan (1908–1942) was a trumpeter and bandleader whose career was tragically cut short by alcoholism.

Berigan started his career playing with local bands as a teenager in his home state of Wisconsin. He joined Hal Kemp's Orchestra in 1929 after failing his first tryout for the band.  By late 1930 he had already become a sought out studio musician providing trumpet solos for Abe Lyman, Paul Whiteman and Benny Goodman.  From late 1932 through early 1934, Berigan was a member of Paul Whiteman's orchestra, before playing with Abe Lyman's band for a bit in 1934.

In 1934, Bunny returned to freelancing and recorded as a sideman on hundreds of recordings, most notably with the Dorsey Brothers and Glenn Miller's earliest recordings as a band leader.

Browse Bunny Berigan's Music Collection (Affiliate Link)

At the same time, Berigan joined Benny Goodman's Swing band. With Berigan and Krupa both on board, the Goodman band made the tour that ended at the Palomar Ballroom in Los Angeles. That tour and performance are often credited with the launch of the swing era.  Berigan recorded a number of solos while with Benny Goodman, including "King Porter Stomp", "Sometimes I'm Happy", and "Blue Skies".

Berigan led his own band full-time from early 1937 until June 1942, with a six-month hiatus in 1940 as a sideman in Tommy Dorsey's band. Berigan's alcoholism worked against his financial success as a bandleader. The stresses of bandleading drove Berigan to drink even more heavily. Some of the notable members of his band were Buddy Rich, Ray Conniff and Les Elgart.

Berigan sadly passed away in 1942 of cirrhosis of the liver.

You can hear Bunny Berigan 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.

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Bunny Berigan Bunny Berigan Bunny Berigan

Cootie Williams

Cootie Williams

Cootie Williams (1911–1985) was a trumpeter and band leader.

Cootie Williams began his professional career at the young age of fourteen with the Young Family band, which also happened to include Lester Young on sax. Williams once said he acquired his nickname as a boy when his father took him to a band concert. When it was over his father asked him what he'd heard and the young William replied, "Cootie, cootie, cootie."  Makes me wonder what band his father took him to see. :)

In 1928, he worked briefly in the bands of both Chick Webb and Fletcher Henderson.  His career took off when he became a member of Duke Ellington's orchestra when the band was playing at the Cotton Club. He also recorded his own sessions during this time, both as a freelancer and with other members Ellington's band. Williams was renowned for his "jungle" style of trumpet playing and for his use of the plunger mute. He would also sing occasionally. He was the soloist in major Ellington compositions like "Echoes of Harlem" and "Harlem Air Shaft."

Browse Cootie Williams' Music Collection (Affiliate Link)

In 1940 he joined Benny Goodman's orchestra. It was a highly publicized move within the Big Band community and it's fans. and it caused quite a stir at the time.  Then in 1941, Cootie Williams formed his own orchestra.  Some of the musicians he employed over the years were Charlie Parker, Eddie Davis, Bud Powell and Eddie Vinson.

In the late 1940's the band disbanded and Cootie began to focus more on rhythm and blues music.

You can listen to Cootie Williams and His Orchestra 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.

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Cootie Williams Cootie Williams

Dolly Dawn

Dolly Dawn

Dolly Dawn (1916–2002) was a vocalist and band leader. She was a singer with George Hall's Hotel Taft Orchestra in the 1930's and later took over control of the band.

In the early 1930's she appeared weekly on a local radio show based in New Jersey where she grew up. In 1935 she replaced Loretta Lee as vocalist with George Hall's orchestra.  She and the band broadcast six days a week from the famous Grill Room of the Taft Hotel in New York. The band became very popular. Her most successful song with George Hall's Hotel Taft Orchestra was "You're a Sweetheart."

Browse Dolly Dawn's Music Collection (Affiliate Link)

In July of 1941 George Hall officially turned the band over to Dolly and became her manager. The band was renamed "Dolly Dawn and Her Dawn Patrol".  This was short-lived because she lost many member of the band because of the World War II draft. From 1942 she continued on without the band appearing in clubs, dance halls and in other engagements throughout the US.

Dolly continued to record as a solo artist into the 1950's.

You can hear Dolly Dawn and Her Dawn Patrol as well as George Hall's Hotel Taft Orchestra 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.

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Dolly Dawn Dolly Dawn

Raymond Scott

Raymond Scott

Raymond Scott (1908–1994) was an composer, band leader, pianist, record producer, and inventor of many electronic instruments.

Scott never scored cartoon soundtracks, but his music is familiar to millions because Carl Stalling adapted it in over 120 Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Daffy Duck, and other Warner Bros. Looney Tunes and other cartoons.  Just try to listen to Scott's music and not have visions of famous cartoon scenes that you may remember from your childhood. :)

Scott began his professional career as a pianist for the CBS Radio house band with his older brother. In late 1936, Raymond Scott put together a band with some of his CBS colleagues, calling it the Raymond Scott Quintette. It was a six-piece group, but he thought "Quintette" (an original spelling created by him) sounded "crisper". The band included Pete Pumiglio on clarinet, Bunny Berigan on trumpet (Later replaced by Dave Wade), Louis Shoobe on double bass, Dave Harris playing tenor saxophone and Johnny Williams on drums. They made their first recordings in 1937 for Master Records.

Browse Raymond Scott's Music Collection (Affiliate Link)

The Quintette represented Scott's vision of breathing new life into swing music through tight, busy arrangements and riffs that reduced improvisation. Scott called this style "descriptive jazz." He is also known for his unique and unusual song titles like "New Year's Eve in a Haunted House", "Dinner Music for a Pack of Hungry Cannibals" and "Bumpy Weather Over Newark".

Scott believed in composing and playing by ear. He didn't composed on paper at all.  The Quintette's songs derived from Scott humming phrases to his sidemen or by playing riffs and rhythms on his keyboard and letting the band members interpret his cues. It was all done by ear with no written scores. Scott, who was also a very creative sound engineer, recorded the band's rehearsals on discs and used the recordings as references to develop his compositions. He reworked, re-sequenced, and deleted passages, and added themes from other discs to construct the final songs. While creating a song, he let his group members improvise, but once the song had been completed, he regarded the song as "locked" and and "as is". This was a VERY different approach at that time.

The Quintette existed from 1937 to 1939 and recorded the popular "Twilight in Turkey", "Minuet in Jazz", "War Dance for Wooden Indians", "Reckless Night on Board an Ocean Liner", "Powerhouse", and "The Penguin."

You can hear many of Raymond Scott's recordings 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.

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Raymond Scott Raymond Scott

The Sunday Morning Swing


So how do you spend your Sunday mornings?  Do lounge around in pajamas sipping a delicious cup of coffee?  Maybe it's the one time in the week where you can sit down and have a relaxing breakfast with your family or spend some peaceful moments before going to church.

We all spend our precious Sunday Mornings in different ways.  Consider making The Sunday Morning Swing a new part of your routine.  Ease through your morning with the relaxing, smooth sounds of the Big Bands.  The Sunday Morning Swing features the softer Big Band favorites from the 1930's and 40's.  Let's make Big Band Music on Sunday mornings a tradition.  The show is even better with a great cup of coffee.

By the way, I like my coffee strong and bold.  No cream or sugar for this guy.  :)

Listen every Sunday Morning from 8am EST to 11am EST.

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.

Vaughn Monroe

Vaughn Monroe

Vaughn Monroe (1911–1973) was a singer, trumpeter and band leader. He rose to popularity in the 1940's and maintained that popularity throughout the 1950's.

In 1940, Monroe formed his first band in Boston and became its main singer. He was signed to the Bluebird label of RCA Victor.

Monroe recorded extensively until 1956, and his signature tune was "Racing With the Moon". It sold more than one million copies and Monroe was awarded a gold disc by the RIAA.  Among his other hits were "In the Still of the Night", "There I Go", "There I've Said It Again", "Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow", "Ballerina", "Melody Time" and "Riders in the Sky."

Browse Vaughn Monroe's Music Collection (Affiliate Link)

Monroe's orchestra had a number of excellent musicians. They focused mainly on romantic ballads in the studio, these songs became the hits for them.  When live, the band had a fiercely swinging side only occasionally captured on record. In ballrooms, Monroe often reserved the final set of the evening for unrestrained, swinging music.  I need to find some of those sets and put them on the air.

Listen to Vaughn Monroe and His Orchestra 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.

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Vaughn Monroe Vaughn Monroe Vaughn Monroe

Erskine Hawkins

Erskine Hawkins

Erskine Hawkins (1914–1993) was a trumpeter, band leader and composer 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.

During 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".

Browse Erskine Hawkins' Music Collection (Affiliate Link)

In the late 1930s 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.

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Erskine Hawkins Erskine Hawkins Erskine Hawkins

Veterans: Thank You

Veteran's Day

Our flag does not fly because the wind moves it… it flies with the last breath of each soldier who died protecting it.

Swing City Radio thanks the American Veterans who have helped keep this incredible country free.



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