Cherokee Soundie

Cherokee Soundie

One of Charlie Barnet's biggest hits was "Cherokee."  Check out this great Soundie from 1950 featuring Charlie and His Orchestra.  To learn more about the history of Soundies take a look at his article we posted a few months ago.  Watch the video below and enjoy!


...and of course you can hear Charlie Barnet 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.

Swing City Radio Mug

Swing City Radio Mug

So I got my new Swing City Radio Mug today!  Very exciting! (I need a life, haha.)  It's the same mug that we feature in our Swing City Radio Swag Store.  Looking forward to drinking gallons of coffee from this mug.  Here's a direct link to the mug in our store.

The mug looks great and the station logo really "pops" on this mug.  The other impressive thing is how it was shipped.  Look at the pictures below.  See how secure the packaging is?  I've ordered mugs from other places over the years and many times they've arrived broken.  So I was quite pleased to see that there was care taken when packing this mug.

Swing City Radio Mug Swing City Radio Mug

Here are some photos of the front and back of the mug.  The picture on the right is a little blurry but I'm sure you get the point.

Swing City Radio Mug  Swing City Radio Mug

Don't forget to check out our Swag page for other items!

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.

This Week on Live at 5


This week we have some great Big Band performances on Live at 5 including:

Monday (03/30): Joan Brooks: Live on Columbia Presents... - June 7, 1944

Tuesday (03/31): Bob Crosby with Eileen Barton: Live on the Air #1

Wednesday (04/01): Ralph Flanagan: Live from Hollywood Palladium

Thursday (04/02): Russ Morgan: Live from the Trocidaro - Jan 18, 1945

Friday (04/03): Live from The College Inn - Mar 27, 1945

Please keep in mind, some of the recordings featured on the show are almost 100 years old. Time has been spent trying to clean up some the audio, but the quality at times, on some of these recordings can be a little sketchy.  There may be some audio garbles, a brief volume drop or two and some pops, but they shouldn't take away from the enjoyment of the recording.  That being said, the content of these shows are classic, so if you need to adjust your volume a bit, I hope you'll find that it's worth it.

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

Podcast: Episode 4

The Big Band and Swing Podcast Logo

Listen to The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Episode 4: Contrasts and The Count


We listen to some great Big Band music including songs from Charlie Spivak, Jimmy Dorsey and Count Basie. We also enjoy a radio performance by Ozzie Nelson and His Orchestra which was recorded at the Blackhawk Hotel in 1940.

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.

Hal Kemp

Hal Kemp Album Cover

Hal Kemp was an alto saxophonist, clarinetist and bandleader who passed away at the height of The Big Band Era. He was also an excellent composer and arranger whose songs features a distinctive sound and feel. 

 In 1927, Kemp formed his own orchestra, which at various times featured Bunny Berigan, Skinnay Ennis and John Scott Trotter, and the band became a popular jazz orchestra in the late 1920s.

In the 1930s,  Kemp's band became better known for more soothing "sweet" dance music which was gaining popularity during the gloom and doom of The Great Depression. From 1932 to 1934, they performed at the Blackhawk Restaurant in Chicago, and appeared regularly on radio broadcasts. They became well-known nationally, and eventually signed with Brunswick Records.

Kemp and his orchestra had a number of hit records, including "The Music Goes 'Round And Around", "Shuffle Off to Buffalo", "In the Middle of a Kiss", "This Year's Kisses" and "Lullaby Of Broadway".  In 1937, Kemp left Brunswick Records and signed with Victor Records.

Hal Kemp died in California in 1940, aged 36, following a road accident. His car was hit by an oncoming truck, and he died in hospital from pneumonia two days later. Hal's Birthday would have been today, he was born March 27th, 1904.

You can hear the many hits of Hal Kemp 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.

The Wizard of the Keyboard

Frankie Carle picture

March 25th marks the birthday of Frankie Carle, nicknamed "The Wizard of the Keyboard". Carle enjoyed great success as a bandleader and pianist in the 1940s and 1950s.  He was best known for his song "Sunrise Serenade" which reached Number 1 in the United States in 1938 and sold more than one million copies.

Before having his own band Frankie Carle played with Mal Hallett and His Orchestra in the mid 1930's and joined Horace Heidt and His Musical Knights in 1939.  The popularity he attained while with Heidt’s band allowed him to leave the band in 1944 and form his own band, The Frankie Carle Orchestra.  His band disbanded after 1955 and he performed mainly as a soloist until the 1980s maintaining a close following of loyal fans.

You can hear the music of Frankie Carle 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 3

The Big Band and Swing Podcast Logo

Listen to The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Episode 3: Cats, Coffee, Kaye and Krupa


In this episode Ronnaldo plays some Swingin' music by Woody Herman, Glen Gray, Sammy Kaye and many more.  We will also hear from the "Drummer Boy" himself, Gene Krupa. We will be listening to some selected songs from a great performance by Gene from February of 1940. Ronnaldo discusses the challenges of recording the podcast in the presence of five cats that are eager to join the show.

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.

On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe

Picture of On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe

"On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe" was a chart topping song from the mid 1940's written by Johnny Mercer and Harvey Warren.  You might be more familiar with Judy Garland's version of the song but it was also covered by Bing Crosby, Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra and The Andrews Sisters to name a few.  The song is about the former Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, and was featured in the 1946 film, The Harvey Girls, where it was sung by Judy Garland. (I included a Youtube audio version of the song at the end of the article.)

Despite mentions in the lyrics of the song, the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe (AT&SF) never directly reached Laramie, Wyoming or Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. But hey, why let the facts get in the way of a good song? :)

The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway (reporting mark ATSF), often referred to as the Santa Fe or AT&SF, was one of the larger railroads in the United States, named after the cities and towns of Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe.  Despite it's name, it  did not directly serve Santa Fe, due to the mountainous terrain, the city of Albuquerque instead served New Mexico and the Santa Fe area.

AT&SF was widely known for its passenger train service. The railway introduced many innovations in passenger rail travel, among these the "Pleasure Domes" of the Super Chief and the "Big Dome" Lounge cars and double-decker Hi-Level cars of the El Capitan. The railroad was also among the first to add dining cars to its passenger trains, a move which began in 1891, following the examples of the Northern Pacific and Union Pacific railroads. The AT&SF offered food on board in dining cars or at one of the many Harvey House restaurants that were strategically located throughout the rail system. "The Harvey Girls" (the movie in which the song was written for) was a story about the waitresses of those Harvey House restaurants.

Harvey Girls

In the 1970s, the railroad used Crosby's version in a commercial.  The railroad officially ceased operations on December 31, 1996, when it merged with the Burlington Northern Railroad to form the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway.
You can also hear the song "On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe" 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 2

The Big Band and Swing Podcast

Listen to The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Episode 2: Boogie Woogie, Blue Jays and some Glenn Miller


In this episode your host Ronnaldo plays some hopping music by Tommy Dorsey, Gene Krupa, Harry James and many more.  We will also listen to some highlights from a Glenn Miller Orchestra radio remote recorded at the Glen Island Casino. Ronnaldo explains some of the sound quality you can expect to hear on this 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.

Podcast: Episode 1


Listen to The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Episode 1: Let's Start This Swing Thing!


Host Ronnaldo introduces The Big Band and Swing Podcast.  In this episode you will hear some great music by Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Jim Lunceford, Charlie Barnet and many more.  You will also get to hear some selected songs from a fantastic performance by Bob Chester and His Orchestra on Victory Parade of Spotlight Bands from April of 1943.

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.

The Big Band and Swing Podcast

The Big Band and Swing Podcast

Swing City Radio is proud to announce the launch of our new podcast: The Big Band and Swing Podcast.  Here is the the description of the new podcast and what you can expect to hear:

"The Big Band and Swing Podcast is a weekly podcast that focuses on the music, artists and history of the Big Band Era of the 1930's and 1940's.  You will hear classic recordings, performances, and radio remotes from artists like Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, The Andrews Sisters, Cab Calloway and many, many more.

If you are a fan of The Big Bands and Swing Music then check out The Big Band and Swing Podcast presented by Swing City Radio.com.  Vinyl pops and crackles are included.  Don't forget to subscribe."

New episodes will be available for download every Friday and over the course of the next month the podcast will be available on all popular podcast outlets including: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, TuneIn, Spotify, Stitcher, Podchaser, iHeartRadio, Pandora and many, many more.

I'm very excited about this podcast because it will promote Swing City Radio on platforms where the radio station is not currently listed.  I've really enjoyed recording this podcast and after an archive of episodes is built up you will see it added to the station's weekday programming.  Check it out.  I really think you will like it.

Podcast episodes will be listed right here on the website and you can also visit the website for the podcast: 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.

Message for Our Audience

Logo

Hey everybody Ronnaldo here...

So lately, the world has been turned upside down by the Corona Virus.  Swing City Radio has regular listeners in over 40 countries including Germany, Italy, France, Japan, Argentina, Canada and of course, the United States which is where we broadcast from.  Many of these countries are now under quarantine restrictions and considered hot spots for the virus.

I just want to take the time to say Stay Safe, Be Patient and of course Wash your Hands. :)

For years now I've commonly heard people stating how the world moves to fast and how we never have time for ourselves, our family and our friends. Well everyone, here's the time! We can take this time to complain about whats going on or we can choose to use this time to connect with the people we love and care about.

Most of the music played here on Swing City Radio is from the 1930's and 1940's.  At that time our parents, grand-parents and for some of us, our great-grand-parents, were facing a worldwide crisis as well.  This is the music that helped them escape.  This is the music that provided joy.  They got through those times and we will get through this.

We will remain broadcasting throughout this crisis.  (That is the plan as of this moment)

So enjoy the Big Band and Swing music we play here, stay healthy and safe, and know that Swing City Radio cares about all of you out in radio land.

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.

The Good Old Days

Good Old Days

The Great Toilet Paper Shortage of 2020 in the United States.

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.

The Birthday Bombshell

Ina Ray Hutton

It's the Big Band Blonde Bombshell's Birthday today.  (That's a lot of B's)  Happy Birthday Ina Ray Hutton!  Ina Ray was born Odessa Cowen on March 13, 1916 in Chicago.  She enjoyed great success as a bandleader and singer.  Ina Ray even had a TV Show for a bit in the 1950s.  She was a very talented performer and here at Swing City Radio, lets just say we are quite fond of her.

She sadly passed away in 1984 at the age of 67, from complications due to diabetes.

You can hear Ina Ray Hutton right here on Swing City Radio.

Ina Ray Hutton


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.

Will Bradley

Will Bradley

Will Bradley was a trombonist and bandleader whose career took off during the 1930s and still had impact into the 1940s. His influence was strongly felt in Boogie-Woogie music.

In the late 1920's and 30's, he was a member of bands such as Red Nichols & His Five Pennies and The Ray Noble Orchestra.  In 1939 he started a big band with Ray McKinley, a swing drummer and vocalist from Texas. The band included Freddie Slack, Arthur Rollini and Lee Castle to name a few.

The Bradley band became well known for Boogie-Woogie, particularly its hit record, "Beat Me Daddy, Eight to the Bar". The song reached the top ten in the charts, as did "Scrub Me Mama with a Boogie Beat" and "Down the Road a Piece". The latter song was recorded by the Will Bradley Trio.

In 1942, McKinley departed to form his own band. Bradley hired trumpeter Shorty Rogers and drummer Shelly Manne, but many members wound up in the military due to the draft, and the band dissolved.

You can hear Will Bradley 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.

Happy Birthday Marion

Hutton

Tomorrow, March 10th, is Marion Hutton's Birthday.  Marion was the main female vocalist for the Glenn Miller Orchestra.  Hutton was born in 1919.  You can learn more about her in an article we posted here on our website back in December.  View Marion Hutton article.

...And remember!  March is Glenn Miller Month 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.

Chattanooga Gold

first gold record

Chattanooga Choo Choo was released by Glenn Miller in the Spring of 1941.  It became the first song to be certified a "Gold Record" on February 10th of 1942.  Pictured above is Glenn receiving the award from executives from the RCA label.  A song is certified Gold when sales exceed the one million mark.

The song was originally featured in the 1941 movie Sun Valley Serenade.  The movie soundtrack contains many other Glenn Miller songs as well.

The song describes the train route from New York City to Chattanooga, Tennessee including places like Baltimore and North Carolina.  The beginning of the song is famous for sounding like a train rolling out of the station, complete with the trumpets and trombones imitating a train whistle.

You can hear live and studio recording of Glenn Miller performing Chattanooga Choo Choo 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.

Leap Year Birthdays

Jimmy DorseyDinah Shore

Two noteworthy artists from the Big Band Era that had rare February 29th birthdays were Jimmy Dorsey and Dinah Shore.

Famous band leader Jimmy Dorsey was born on this day in 1904.  Vocalist Dinah Shore, who also later became a huge television personality, was born in 1916.  A rare Happy Birthday goes out to these two great performers.

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.

Glenn Miller Month

Glenn Miller

The month of March is "Glenn Miller Month" on Swing City Radio.  We will be playing Glenn Miller songs every hour and diving deeper into his vast catalog of music.  The first week of Glenn Miller Month we will feature only Live Glenn Miller Performance on Live at 5.  I will also be posting some of my favorite Glenn Miller albums that I own up on the website along with articles and videos about the life of Glenn Miller.

Swing City Radio celebrates the March 1st birthday of Glenn Miller, a true icon of the Big Band Era.

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.

Billie Holiday

Billie Holiday

Billie Holiday, born Eleanora Fagan, was a very talented singer with a career spanning nearly thirty years. Nicknamed "Lady Day", Holiday had a huge influence on jazz music and pop singing overall. Her vocal style, strongly inspired by jazz instrumentalists, pioneered a new way of manipulating phrasing and tempo. She was known for her vocal delivery and improvisational skills.  She was born in Philadelphia, PA in 1915.

After a terrible childhood, Holiday began singing in nightclubs in Harlem, where she was heard by the producer John Hammond. She signed a recording contract with Brunswick Records in 1935. Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, Holiday had mainstream success on labels such as Columbia and Decca. By the late 1940s, however, her life was filled with legal troubles and drug abuse. After a short prison sentence, she performed at a sold-out concert at Carnegie Hall, but her reputation deteriorated because of her drug and alcohol problems.

She was a successful concert performer throughout the 1950s with two further sold-out shows at Carnegie Hall. Due to personal struggles and an altered voice, her final years were met with mixed reaction. She released her final album, Lady in Satin, in 1958. Billie Holiday died of cirrhosis in 1959.

God Bless the Child

Billie Holiday's life was so complex and so tragic at times that many books and movies have been made about her life.  One story that stands out to me is the circumstances and inspiration behind her classic song "God Bless the Child."

Holiday's mother Sadie Fagan, nicknamed "The Duchess", opened a restaurant called Mom Holiday's.  "It kept Mom busy and happy and stopped her from worrying and watching over me", Holiday said. Fagan began borrowing large amounts of money from Holiday to support the restaurant. Holiday obliged but soon fell on hard times herself due to personal troubles and addictions.  Billie later described the indecent to a reporter: "I needed some money one night and I knew Mom was sure to have some", she said. "So I walked in the restaurant like a stockholder and asked. Mom turned me down flat. She wouldn't give me a cent." The two argued, and Holiday shouted angrily, "God bless the child that's got his own", and stormed out. With Arthur Herzog, Jr., she wrote a song based on the lyric, "God Bless the Child", and added music.

"God Bless the Child" later became Holiday's most popular and most covered record. It reached number 25 on the charts in 1941 and was third in Billboard's songs of the year, selling over a million records.

You can hear a lot of Billie Holiday's songs 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.

Command Performance

Bob Hope on Command Performance

Command Performance was a radio program produced exclusively for the U.S. troops and aired between 1942 and 1949. The program was broadcast on the Armed Forces Radio Network (AFRS) and transmitted by shortwave to the troops overseas, it was not broadcast over domestic U.S. radio stations.  Most of the episodes were recorded before a live studio audience in the Vine Street Playhouse in Hollywood, California.

The basic theme of the program was that soldiers would send in requests for a particular performer or program to appear. They also suggested unusual ideas for music, sketches, or sounds from home on the program, for example: "Ann Miller tap dancing in military boots"; "a sigh from Carole Landis"; "foghorns on San Francisco Bay"; "Errol Flynn taking a shower"; "a slot machine delivering the jackpot" and "Bing Crosby mixing a bourbon and soda for Bob Hope". Top performers of the day appeared, including Bing Crosby, Jack Benny, Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, Fred Allen, Ginger Rogers, Judy Garland and The Andrews Sisters.

The first Command Performance was broadcast on March 1, 1942, almost exactly three months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Its success paved the way for the creation of the Armed Forces Radio Service in May 1942. Time magazine described Command Performance as being, "the best wartime program in America".  I'd have to agree with them.  It's ironic and a shame that very few listeners in the United States ever heard it because of it's exclusive distribution to the U.s. Troops around the world.  Variety Magazine also observed that “sometimes the language on these shows is just a little more robust than is passed by standard broadcasting stations. Jack Benny, as we recall, last Sunday night encouraged our fighting men to ‘give ’em hell.'”  Oh, that salty language of Jack Benny.  :)

The main reason that the show wasn't broadcast on domestic U.S. radio stations was that performers volunteered their talents for the program. In 1943, Tune In magazine estimated if "Presented by a commercial sponsor, Command Performance would have a weekly talent cost of $50,000."  Another reason was that performing and production unions waived their rules for the war effort on the condition that the shows were only broadcast to service personnel.

An episode of Command Performance generally ran for 30 minutes with the exception of holiday specials.  The program featured some great musical performances and entertainment that can only be found on these shows.

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.

Swing City Radio T-Shirt

Show your support for your favorite Big Band and Swing Radio Station by ordering a Swing City Radio T-Shirt.  These T-Shirts are great!  Lots of different styles too.  Check them out!  Just click on the picture or links directly below.

Logo Shirts

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.

Charlie Spivak Soundie

Charlie Spivak

Here is a video of Charlie Spivak and His Orchestra performing "Hop, Skip and Jump."  This was released as a Soundie in the early 1940's.  Soundies were the original music videos, decades before MTV was even an idea.  But as you can see the formula for a music video has never seemed to change.  The band is featured doing some silly things while playing and of course there's beautiful women dancing along with the music.

Check out the goofy expression Charlie has in parts of the video.  He just didn't look too comfortable with the whole process. (Picture Below)

Also, wanted to give out a Happy Birthday to Charlie who would have turned the ripe old age of 115 on February 17th.  Spivak passed away in 1982.


Charlie Spivak

You can hear Charlie Spivak 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.

George T. Simon

George Simon

The Big Band Era was filled with colorful personalities, constant drama and most of all, incredible music.  George Simon (1912–2001), covered all of it as the editor-in-chief of Metronome (the most influential magazine to cover the Swing scene) from 1939 to 1955.  The books he later wrote about the era are, in my opinion, the best books that cover the era.

Simon was probably the most influential jazz commentator during the swing era. Thanks to his inside connections with the jazz world, he was able to report information about bands and their personnel with great accuracy. 

He was also an early drummer in the Glenn Miller Orchestra. George later became known for being the most comprehensive writer and resource on Glenn Miller and his band.

George Simon's brother was Richard L. Simon, the co-founder of the American publishing house Simon & Schuster.  One of his nieces, Carly Simon, later became a chart topping singer-songwriter.

I highly recommend reading his books to get a true feel for the era and it's music.  Here are three of them that I have in my collection: "The Big Bands" (1968), "Simon Says: The Sights and Sounds of the Big Band Era" (1971) and "Glenn Miller and His Orchestra" (1974).

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.

Happy Birthday Wingy

Picture of Wingy Manone

A happy birthday goes out to trumpeter and bandleader Wingy Manone.  Wingy was born Joseph Manone on February 13th, 1900.  Some of his more famous recordings included "Tar Paper Stomp", "Nickel in the Slot" and "Tailgate Ramble".

His nickname "Wingy" came from the fact that he lost his right arm in a streetcar accident in 1910.  He was only 10 years old.  He used a prosthesis arm so naturally that his disability was not even noticed by the public.

His song "Tar Paper Stomp" will always be remembered for his famous riff that was later used by Glenn Miller as the foundation riff for his mega hit "In the Mood."

Manone was a highly sought out musician who was frequently recruited for recording sessions. He even played on some early Benny Goodman records.  He also fronted various pickup groups under pseudonyms like "The Cellar Boys" and "Barbecue Joe and His Hot Dogs."

Wingy passed away in 1984 at the age of 84.

You can hear many of Wingy Manone's songs 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.

Twice Blessed Dance Scene

Twice Blessed

Watch a great dance scene from the 1945 movie "Twice Blessed".  Twice Blessed was a comedy starring Preston Foster, Gail Patrick, and The Wilde Twins, Lee and Lyn Wilde.  More about the film below the video. Enjoy!


The plot of this film is that there are two identical twins (The Wilde Sisters) who have been split up since their parents divorce. Each envies the life style of the other so they decide to switch families for a day or two.  Hmmm...seems like Hollywood like this plot line and story and has used it many times over the years, huh.  The movie poster says it all!  "They're Babes in Arms Dancing, Romancing with the Joy of Life!" - I'm pretty sure if I was walking past that movie poster in 1945, I would have done a quick U-Turn into the theater.  

Twice Blessed Poster

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.

Judy Garland

Judy Garland on Swing City Radio

There has been a renewed interest in the life and career of Judy Garland due to the popularity of the movie "Judy".  Garland is played by actress Renee Zellweger.  I haven't seen the movie yet but have heard great things about it.

Judy Garland (1922-1969) is remembered by most as an Award Winning Actress and for starring roles in classic films like The Wizard of Oz and A Star is Born.  She was also a very influential vocalist during the Big Band Era singing with some of the biggest names of the time.  She made many record-breaking concert appearances and released eight studio albums.

Judy Garland was born as Frances Ethel Gumm on June 10, 1922.  [Great name huh?  Surprised that it was changed as she got older. :) ]  She began performing in vaudeville at a very young age.  Her history as an actress is well documented.  Her role as Dorthy Gale in the 1939 film "The Wizard of Oz" cemented her as movie icon of the Golden Age of Movies.

Garland, of course, had many musical soundtrack hits to her credit but also had many hits for Decca Records during the 1930's and 1940's. [She later recorded for both the Columbia and Capitol labels as well.]  She made many recordings with orchestras led by Bob Crosby, Harry Sosnik, Victor Young, Bobby Sherwood and David Rose to name a few.  Judy shared the vocals in duets with such names as Gene Kelly, Bing Crosby, Johnny Mercer and the Merry Macs.

You can hear many Judy Garland songs right here on Swing City Radio.  If you've seen the move "Judy" let us know your thoughts by posting comments on our Facebook page.

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.

Ina Ray Hutton: Girl Time

Ina Ray Hutton

Watch Ina Ray Hutton lead one of her "All Girl" Orchestras in the short film "Girl Time."  I believe this is from 1947.  There is also a bunch of variety acts featured in this video as well. Enjoy.


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.

Watch Video of Chattanooga Choo Choo

Chattanooga Choo Choo

The video below is Chattanooga Choo Choo performed by Glenn Miller and his Orchestra from the 1941 movie "Sun Valley Serenade."  This is my favorite version of the song, though there are a few live versions that I would rank at the top of my list as well.  Enjoy!



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.

Tell Your Friends

Swing City Radio

I hope you have been enjoying the music we've been playing on Swing City Radio.  Can I ask you a favor?  A small one that will only take a couple minutes of your time.  Can you help me get the word out about the station?  I'd really appreciate if you told your friends and family that you are listening to this great station that plays a great selection of Big Band music.

Another easy way to help me spread the word is by posting it on your Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest accounts.  You can post one of the interesting articles we have on the website or you can simply click on one of the buttons below to post a generic message about Swing City Radio.

Thank you so much!  ...and thank you for listening to Swing City Radio!

Click on a button below to post generic information about 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.

V-Discs

V-Disc

V-Disc was a record label that was formed in 1943 to provide records for U.S. military personnel. Captain Robert Vincent supervised the label from the Special Services division. The "V" stood for Victory.

The label was a morale-boosting initiative involving the production of recordings during World War II by arrangement between the U.S. government and record companies. Many popular big bands and singers recorded V-discs for the troops. The name referred to both the label and the discs themselves, which were produced from October 1943 to May 1949.

The V-Disc project began in June 1941, six months before the United States' entered World War II. It was suggested the troops might appreciate a series of records that could motivate soldiers and improve morale. By 1942, the Armed Forces Radio Service (AFRS) was sending discs to U.S. troops around the world from concerts, recitals, radio broadcasts, film soundtracks, special recording sessions, and previously issued commercial records.

At this time in history the American Federation of Musicians (AFM) were involved in the 1942–44 musicians' strike in which there was a recording ban on four companies. In 1943 the men behind V-Disc convinced the striking AFM to allow the union's musicians to make records for the military as long as the discs were not sold and the masters were disposed of. Musicians who had contracts with different record labels were now able to record together for this project. The result of this was a collection of fantastic music. The program started for the Army, but soon music was provided for the Navy and Marines.

The V-Discs were a hit. Soldiers who were tired of hearing the same old records were treated to new and special releases from the top musical performers of the day. The selection included big band hits, swing music, and other entertainment. Radio networks sent air checks and live feeds to V-Disc headquarters in New York. Movie studios sent rehearsal feeds from the latest Hollywood motion pictures to V-Disc. Musicians gathered at V-Disc recording sessions in New York City and Los Angeles. V-Discs were pressed by labels such as RCA Victor and Columbia.  It was a great example of teamwork to provide a "piece of home" for the brave soldiers fighting around the world.

Many V-Discs contained spoken-word introductions by bandleaders and musicians wishing good luck and prayers for the soldiers. Glenn Miller in December 1943, introduced a record by saying, "This is Captain Glenn Miller speaking for the Army Air Force's Training Command Orchestra and we hope that you soldiers of the Allied forces enjoy these V-Discs that we're making just for you."

The V-Disc program ended in 1949. Audio masters and stampers were destroyed. Leftover V-Discs at bases and on ships were discarded. On some occasions, the FBI and the Provost Marshal's Office confiscated and destroyed V-Discs that servicemen had smuggled home. An employee at a Los Angeles record company served a prison sentence for the illegal possession of over 2500 V-Discs.  The Library of Congress has a complete set of V-Discs.

The V-Disc Project will always be remembered for providing some of the most unique and entertaining musical performances from the Big Band Era.

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.

List of Big Bands and Performers

Swing City Radio

Swing City Radio plays artists and performers from the Big Band and Swing Era of the 1930's and 1940's and Modern Swing artists from today.  We are constantly enhancing our playlists to keep our programming fresh, enjoyable and entertaining for our Big Band and Swing listening audience.  (You are the best audience in the world by the way!)

Below please find a partial list of the artists we play on Swing City Radio.  We've included a short bio along with a Wikipedia link so you can learn more about your favorite artists.  If you ever feel we should include an artist you haven't been hearing on our station, then please email us a request.

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F

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K

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Z

Goodman at Manhattan Beach

Goodman at Manhattan Beach

This is a picture of Benny Goodman playing on the Manhattan Beach bandstand as Martha Tilton sings.  I just love this picture!  The picture can be found in the liner notes booklet of The Swing Years.  The Swing Years is record collection that was put out by Reader's Digest.  I'll be featuring the collection in a future post.

Be sure to check out our Pinterest page to see more pictures and liner notes from this record collection.

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.

Andrews Sisters Video


Here's a fun video of the Andrews Sisters performing "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree" from 1942.  Shemp Howard from The Three Stooges makes an appearance in this clip.  Enjoy!


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.



LP Info and Care

Liner Notes

I love the fact that I can have my complete music collection in my pocket.  It's one of the many joys of living in the digital age that we live in today.  One thing I do miss though is the interesting liner notes that were included with records back in the day.  You can learn so much more about a specific recording or artist when you take the time to read the liner notes and inserts that were included with many albums.

During the technological transition between 78s and LPs (Long Playing Records) there always seemed to be parts of the liner notes dedicated to why one company's records were better quality than the others.  Reading these years later is fascinating and sometimes hilarious to me.

I've included some record care and general information from Columbia Records taken from an original pressing of a Benny Goodman record I have in my collection.  Great reading!  Also, be sure to check out the Swing City Radio Pinterest Page for more liner notes as I stumble upon them.

Liner Notes
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Pictured Above: The record companies must have been quite concerned on how the general public would care for their record albums.  Thankfully William S. Bachman, the Director of Columbia Records Sound Laboratories took the time to establish this guide to help us understand the proper safeguards of record care.  :)

Pictured Below: Earth altering information on why Columbia's High Fidelity was leaps and bounds above the competition.  Thank goodness they provided the illustration so I could understand the science behind the process.  :)

Liner Notes
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The information below explains the benefits of the Long Playing record.  All kidding aside, I can understand how happy people must have been not to have to get up and change a record after every song like you had to do with 78s.  I truly enjoy the illustration as well.  Luckily, the artist had the insight to provide arrows to show which way the hands on a clock move.   Also, the drawing itself could have easily been used for a Viagra ad if the product was around back then.  :)

Liner Notes
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... and to prove my point about my Viagra comment I provided the image below.  (Spare time can a dangerous thing at times.  Haha!)  I see a T-Shirt of this drawing in my future.

Liner Notes
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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.

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