You Get a Mug! We Get Support.

15 oz Mug from Swing City Radio

This mug is just awesome!  It just "feels" good in your hand and is very well made.  This is NOT one of those cheap mugs.  Enjoy your morning coffee and support Swing City Radio at the same time.

These Mugs make great gifts for listeners and purchasing Station Supporter Gifts are a great way to support Swing City Radio.  Please help keep Swing City Radio "Commercial Free!"

Click Here to Check Out This Great Mug!

You might think:  "Wow!  $39.95 for a Mug?  That's expensive!"

Here's Why:
Station Supporter Gifts are priced this way because a large amount of the purchase goes to supporting our station.  Think of it as a way that you can "Donate" to Swing City Radio and get a gift at the same time. 

You Get a Mug!  Swing City Radio Gets Support.  Everybody wins! :)

If Coffee Mugs aren't your thing, then check out these other Station Supporter Gifts.

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!

Podcast: Episode 34

The Big Band and Swing Podcast

The Big Band and Swing Podcast -  Episode 34: Anthony, Mundy and Shore, I'll Buy a Chevy

Hello there people! In this episode of the Big Band and Swing Podcast, Ronnaldo plays music by Ray Anthony, Jimmy Mundy, Wilbert Baranco, Jimmy Lunceford, Red Norvo and more.  Dinah Shore also recommends to See the USA in Your Chevrolet. 

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!

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.  :)


Watch a behind the scenes film about the AFRS Radio Show: "Command Performance"

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.

Free Music Download

Bunny Berigan

Bunny Berigan - Radio Recordings: 1938 - 
This recording features the songs: "Kiss Me Again", "Back In Your Own Backyard", "Whistle While You Work" and "Devil's Holiday" from a Live Radio Performance that took place in 1938.  The audio has been cleaned up and this is a fantastic performance by Bunny Berigan and His Orchestra.

- Only Available for a Limited Time -
Free Music Download
- Click Button to Download Your Free Recording -


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

Judy Garland 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.  But, she was also a very popular and 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 in 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 Dorothy Gale in the 1939 film "The Wizard of Oz" cemented her as a movie icon of the Golden Age of Movies.

Listen to a young Judy Garland sing "Stompin' at the Savoy" with Bob Crosby and His Orchestra from 1936

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.  Judy made many recordings with orchestras led by Bob Crosby (at the young age of 13), Harry Sosnik, Victor Young, Bobby Sherwood and David Rose to name a few.  Judy also shared the microphone 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. 

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.

Sammy Kaye

Picture of Sammy Kaye

Sammy Kaye was a memorable name of the Big Band Era whose catchy tag line, "Swing and Sway with Sammy Kaye", became one of the most famous of the of that time.  His signature tune was "Harbor Lights".  Kaye could play both saxophone and clarinet, but for some reason he never featured himself as a soloist on either one.

He made a large number of records for many different labels. Kaye was also a hit on the radio because of his radio-friendly "Sweet" style and sound. He was famous for an audience participation gimmick called "So You Want to Lead a Band?" where audience members would be called onto stage in an attempt to lead the band.  He just wasn't a good bandleader, he had a great grasp of marketing and band promotion.  I'm not sure if any other band leader from the era even came close to Sammy Kaye as far as his creative promotions and branding.


Listen to "Don't Fence Me In" - Swing and Sway with Sammy Kaye

His band members included a few big names including Ralph Flanagan and Don Cornell. All the members of the band sometimes sang backing vocals in various combination as the "Kaydets". His musicians were always competent, but because of his radio-friendly style, reviewers felt the band was unoriginal.

Though the music critics were hard on Sammy Kaye, this didn't keep him off the charts, and it didn't stop him from being one of the bigger names of the Big Band Era.

You can hear many of Sammy Kaye'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! - Broadcasting Online from King of Prussia, PA.

Special Podcast: Celebrating Bing Crosby

The Big Band and Swing Podcast

The Big Band and Swing Podcast -  Celebrating: Bing Crosby

Hi there Big Band Fans! In this special episode of The Big Band and Swing Podcast we celebrate the music of Bing Crosby. We play some great songs from Bing and we take a deeper look at America's first multimedia star. Join us in this musical celebration of Bing Crosby.

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!

Kitty Kallen

Picture of Kitty Kallen

Kitty Kallen was an amazing female vocalist whose career spanned from the 1930's into the early rock years of the 1960s.  Kallen performed with the popular big band leaders of the 1940's, including Jimmy Dorsey and Harry James, before establishing her successful solo career.

Kallen started quite young! She had a radio program on a Philadelphia radio station (Yes, Kitty was a Philly Girl) and sang with the bands of Jan Savitt, Artie Shaw and Jack Teagarden as a teenager.

In 1942, still only 20 years old, she sang the vocals for "Moonlight Becomes You", with Bobby Sherwood and His Orchestra.

At 21, she joined the Jimmy Dorsey band and recorded a string of hits including "They're Either Too Young or Too Old" and "Besame Mucho". At the end of 1943, she joined Harry James's band.

Listen to Kitty Kallen with Jimmy Dorsey perform "They're Either Too Young or Too Old"

Her work with Harry James led to another string of hits including "I'm Beginning to See the Light" and "It's Been a Long, Long Time."

After a long successful career Kallen died in 2016 at the age of 94.


Listen to "Juke Box Annie" by Kitty Kallen

You can hear Kitty Kallen's music, especially her work with Jimmy Dorsey and Harry James, 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! - Broadcasting Online from King of Prussia, PA.

Podcast: Episode 33

The Big Band and Swing Podcast

The Big Band and Swing Podcast -  Episode 33: Webb, Berigan and the Importance of Hat Room

Hey there Swing Fans! This episode features music by Chick Webb, Vincent Lopez, Kay Kyser, Bunny Berigan and more.  Ronnaldo also rambles on about Rambler.

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!

Happy Birthday Swing City Radio


Today, October 15th, marks the First Anniversary of Swing City Radio. In some ways I can't believe Swing City Radio has been on the air for a year now, and in other ways I can't believe it has ONLY been a year. 

I want to thank all of you for listening and supporting the station this past year.  It's been so exciting for me to watch the audience grow like it has and to receive such positive feedback.

I'm truly looking forward to "Playing Your Big Band and Swing Favorites from the 1930's, 40's and Today" for years to come.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!  ...and stay tuned, this is just the beginning.

~ Ronnaldo

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!

The Andrews Sisters

Picture of The Andrews Sisters

The Andrews Sisters were the most popular female vocal group of the first half of the 20th century. The group consisted of three sisters: LaVerne (1911), Maxene (1916) and Patty (1918). The Andrews Sisters have sold an estimated 80 million records, recorded over 600 songs and had 113 charted Billboard hits. Forty six of those charted recordings reached the Top 10. 

They started their career as imitators the Boswell Sisters, who were very popular in the 1930s.  They first came to national attention in 1937 with their hit "Bei Mir Bist Du Schön".  The release of that song marked the beginning of a string of hits that continued well into the late 1940's.  The Andrews Sisters had quite a run.

Listen to "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" by The Andrews Sisters

In the years just before and during World War II, the Andrews Sisters were at the height of their popularity, and the group still tends to be associated with the war years. They had so many hits during these years, both on their own and in collaboration with Bing Crosby. (They recorded 47 songs with Bing Crosby.)  Many of these hits had military related themes, including "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy", "Three Little Sisters", "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree (With Anyone Else but Me)", "A Hot Time In the Town of Berlin" and "Rum and Coca Cola". 


During the war, they entertained the Allied forces in Africa and Italy. They entertained in the U.S. as well, visiting countless military bases, hospitals, and munitions factories. While touring, they often treated three random servicemen to dinner when they were dining out. They recorded a series of Victory Discs (V-Discs) for distribution to Allied fighting forces only, again volunteering their time for studio sessions for the Music Branch of the Army Service Forces. They were dubbed the "Sweethearts of the Armed Forces Radio Service."

Watch The Andrews Sisters perform "Six Jerks in a Jeep" from Private Buckaroo

You can listen to The Andrews Sisters 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. Commercial Free!

Podcast: Episode 32

The Big Band and Swing Podcast

The Big Band and Swing Podcast -  Episode 32: Millinder, Martin and Milk from Contented Cows

Hello Everyone! In this episode of The Big Band and Swing Podcast Ronnaldo plays some great music by Gene Krupa, Tommy Dorsey, Red Norvo, Lucky Millinder and Freddy Martin.  We also listen to an old radio ad for Carnation Evaporated Milk.

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!

Naomi and Her Handsome Devils

Picture of Naomi and Her Handsome Devils

Naomi and Her Handsome Devils have been providing fans with original, vintage sounding music since their inception back in 2013.  The band is led by vocalist Naomi Uyama, a former international swing dance champion.  She has surrounded herself with talented musicians hailing from all parts of the United States including New Orleans, New York, Seattle and Chicago.  The music is top-shelf and Naomi's strong vocals refreshingly pay tribute to a past era without falling victim to cliché or imitation.

"Naomi and Her Handsome Devils have successfully brought an authentic, vintage sound into the modern day.  If you close your eyes while listening, you can almost hear the charming static of Old Time Radio."   - Ronnaldo (Swing City Radio.com)

Naomi and Her Handsome Devils have three albums to their credit starting with their self- titled "Naomi & Her Handsome Devils" which was released in 2014.  They followed up their debut release with "The Devils' Music" in 2016 and "Live at the Uptown Swingout" in the summer of 2019.


Listen to Naomi and Her Handsome Devils perform "Sugar"

You can listen and purchase recordings by Naomi and Her Handsome Devils at:

Learn more about the band at: NaomisDevils.com

Support the band and buy some Swag at: NaomisDevils.com/store

Color Picture of Naomi and Her Handsome Devils

You can hear Naomi and Her Handsome Devils right here on Swing City Radio.  The band is featured regularly on "The Modern Block" which airs at 3pm and 3am EST every weekday.

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!

Station Update and Some Glitches

Ronnaldo Picture

Message from Ronnaldo:

I wanted to give you a quick heads up that you may notice some glitches with the station over the next few weeks.  You might hear the same song back to back, hear some songs by the same artists very close together, you might even notice some of our shows starting a little late. 

Well, we've recently moved Swing City Radio to a more improved platform and we've encountered some little bugs along the way.  These details are being addressed and we should have things cleared up in the near future.

As you know, I'm very passionate about Swing City Radio and your listening experience is very important to me.  I just wanted to give you this quick update so you know these issues are being worked on. 

... As always, thank you for listening to 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. Commercial Free!

GI Jill and GI Jive

Gi Jill

GI Jill was the DJ host of a music program on the Armed Forces Radio Service during World War II named "GI Jive".  Her personality and the Big Band music she played provided American troops with a link to home and was a huge morale boost.  GI Jive was the No. 1 overseas attraction on the AFRS and by the end of January 1945 she had made 870 shows and GI Jive was broadcasting daily over 400 Army radio stations.

GI Jill was born Martha Wilkerson, but she never gave her real name over the air.  Her listeners had no idea that she was married and had a young family.  Like an actress playing a role, Wilkerson considered Jill a whole separate person. She later told a reporter: "The men overseas created Jill. They made her what they wanted her to be — the girl back home."

One Navy Veteran later reflected, "GI Jill did so much to bolster our morale. She came across like a wholesome girl-next-door who began each radio show with 'Hi-ya, fellas! This is GI Jill with the GI Jive.' ... We all loved her."


Watch a short film reel of GI Jill on the air.

Jill's relationship with the troops went well beyond the 15 minutes of each broadcast. As servicemen wrote letters asking her to play certain records, she tried to reply to each letter she received, answering as many as 500 letters per week and including a photograph of herself with her letter. The interaction went both ways as some listeners sent Jill pictures of themselves, leading her to comment, "I think I was the only person in the world who had pinup boys." Some troops even sent her hand-made trinkets like a bracelet fashioned from a crashed airplane's broken window and a crudely inscribed heart-shaped pendant saying, "To Jill from Lou, 1944".

Reflecting on her experiences in broadcasting, Wilkerson called her work as GI Jill, "the most important thing I've ever done in my life."  Martha Wilkerson sadly passed away in 1999 at the age of 80.  GI Jill will always be remembered as a radio hero for the Allies.

You can learn more about GI Jill on 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.



Podcast: Episode 31

The Big Band and Swing Podcast

The Big Band and Swing Podcast -  Episode 31: GI Jill and Big Band Thrills

Hey there People of Swing! In this episode Ronnaldo shares the mic with the legendary GI Jill.  We also hear music from Harry James, Tommy Dorsey, Glenn Miller and much more.  This was a lot of fun to put together.  Enjoy!

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!

October Birthdays

Picture of Big Band Birthday Cake

Here is a list of October Birthdays of notable Big Band and Swing artists that we play right here on Swing City Radio.  For some reason the list doesn't seem as long as it has been for other months.  I also included the date the artist passed away for age purposes. If you feel that I 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.

October 7
Vaughn Monroe (October 7, 1911 – May 21, 1973)

October 10
Thelonious Monk (October 10, 1917 – February 17, 1982)

October 11
Art Blakey (October 11, 1919 – October 16, 1990) 
Leo Reisman (October 11, 1897 – December 18, 1961)

October 15
Happy Birthday Swing City Radio!

October 18
Anita O'Day (October 18, 1919 – November 23, 2006)

October 19
John Mills Jr. (October 19, 1910 – January 23, 1936)

October 20
Charlie Fuqua (20 October 1910 – 21 December 1971)

October 21
Dizzy Gillespie (October 21, 1917 – January 6, 1993)

October 26
Charlie Barnet (October 26, 1913 – September 4, 1991)
Tony Pastor (October 26, 1907 – October 31, 1969)

October 27
Boyd Raeburn (October 27, 1913 – August 2, 1966)
Jan Savitt (September 4, 1907 – October 4, 1948)

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.

Lucky Millinder

Picture of Lucky Millinder

Lucky Millinder was a very unique bandleader to say the least. Millinder could not read or write music, he did not play an instrument and Lucky rarely sang. (Pretty strange, huh.) It was his showmanship and musical taste that made his bands so successful. What Lucky lacked in natural musical talent, he made up for with a good ear for a hot song, and a knack of making chart topping records.  His group was said to have been the greatest Big Band to play Rhythm and Blues. 

In the 1920's he worked in clubs, ballrooms, and theaters in Chicago as a master of ceremonies and dancer. Lucky first fronted a band in 1931, and the following year took over the leadership of Doc Crawford's Orchestra which was based in Harlem, New York.

The 1930's proved to be a successful decade for Millinder, in which many opportunities came his way.  In 1933, he took a band to Europe and played residencies in both Monte Carlo and Paris. After gaining a lot of experience in Europe, he returned to New York City to take over the leadership of the Mills Blue Rhythm Band, which included Henry "Red" Allen and Charlie Shavers among other big names at that time. The band had a regular slot at the famed Cotton Club.

In 1940, with Bill Doggett now a part of the mix, Millinder established a residency at New York's Savoy Ballroom and won a contract with Decca Records. Dizzy Gillespie was the band's trumpeter for a while and was featured on Millinder's first charted hit, "When the Lights Go On Again (All Over the World)."  The follow-up recordings of "Apollo Jump" and "Sweet Slumber" were also big hits, with vocals by Trevor Bacon.  

Listen to "Who Threw the Whisky in the Well" by Lucky Millinder and His Orchestra

By the mid-1940's the band was drifting towards what came to be known as rhythm and blues and ended up having many hits on the R/B Charts.

You can hear the swing music of Lucky Millinder 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! - Broadcasting Online from King of Prussia, PA.

Liberty Magazine

Liberty Magazine Cover

In the Alvino Rey song "I Said No", female vocalist Yvonne King of the King Sisters teasingly turns down her male caller with a song filled with rejections: "I said no, no, no". The song's twist ending is that she is actually saying "no" to a Liberty Magazine subscription and finally gives in.

Listen to "I Said No" by Alvino Rey with Yvonne King

So what's the history behind Liberty Magazine?  Liberty was an American weekly, general-interest magazine, originally priced at five cents and subtitled, "A Weekly for Everybody."  It was launched in 1924 by publisher McCormick-Patterson.  At one time it was said to be "the second greatest magazine in America," ranking behind The Saturday Evening Post in circulation.

Liberty featured contributions and articles from some of the biggest politicians, celebrities, authors, and artists of the 20th-century. The contents of the magazine provides a unique look into popular culture, politics, and world events through the Roaring 20s, Great Depression, World War II, and Post-War America. 

In 1942, following the lead of The Saturday Evening Post, Liberty increased its price from five to ten cents, resulting in a major drop in sales.  It ceased publication in 1950.

It's believed that over 120 full-feature films and television shows have been produced from content published within Liberty, including "Mister Ed", "Double Indemnity" and "Sergeant York" to name a few.

Liberty Magazine Cover

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!

Modern Swing Musicians Need Your Help

Ronnaldo Pic


A message from Ronnaldo about donating to Modern Swing and Big Band artists:

"I want to thank you so much for your donations in the past, but right now is not the time to be donating to Swing City Radio - there's a more pressing need in these times... 

There are so many modern swing bands out there that are financially suffering because of the Pandemic.  These bands rely on Live Performances for most of their income and with so many places shut down - there's just no where to play.

If you find yourself really digging the music of a specific artist you hear on the Modern Block then consider lending them a hand and show how much you appreciate their music.  Check out their websites, Facebook pages or Youtube Channels and see if they offer a way that you can donate to them.  Throw some coins into their jars.

Remember, these are the musicians keeping the vintage sound we all love - alive!  So show them some love."

 
Listen to an Audio Message from Ronnaldo

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!

Harlan Leonard

Picture of Harlan Leonard

Harlan Leonard was a clarinetist and bandleader whose career spanned from the early 1920's and lasted into the mid 1940's.  His bands didn't achieve huge national success, but still featured some great tunes. The music he released later in his career are great examples of the transition between swing and bebop. 

Leonard was born in Kansas City in 1905. He joined Bennie Moten's orchestra in 1923, where he led the reed section. In 1931, he left Moten's band and formed the Kansas City Skyrockets, which had some limited success in the Kansas City area.  

Leonard eventually retooled his sound a bit and in 1939 he formed Harlan Leonard and His Rockets.  The band featured a young Myra Taylor and soon became a top Kansas City regional band and toured nationally.

Listen to Harlen Leonard and His Rockets perform "Rock and Ride"

The band broke up during the Second World War, and sadly, Leonard had permanently left the music scene by 1945.

Interesting side note:  Rumor has it that Charlie Parker played in Leonard's band for five weeks, but he was fired by Harlan for lack of discipline.

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 30

The Big Band and Swing Podcast

The Big Band and Swing Podcast -  Episode 30: Hampton, Fitzgerald and that 'Ol Trusty Fridge

Hey there People of Swing! In this episode we listen to some Stan Kenton, Martha Tilton, Lionel Hampton and Ella Fitzgerald.  Ronnaldo also discusses that old fridge you may have in the garage or basement.

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.

Dinah Shore

Dinah Shore

Dinah Shore was a singer, actress and television personality, and the top-charting female vocalist of the 1940's. She rose to prominence as a recording artist during the Big Band era. I have to say, Dinah was a HUGE artist during the era, but history seems to remember Doris Day and Patti Page more, maybe because they were so similar stylistically. She eventually moved on to television and achieved even greater success a decade later.

Her music career started off bumpy, after failing singing auditions for the bands of Benny Goodman, and both Dorsey brothers, Shore struck out on her own. She became the first singer of her era to achieve huge solo success. She had a string of 80 charted popular hits, spanning 1940–1957.

One of her most popular recordings was the holiday perennial "Baby, It's Cold Outside" with Buddy Clark. The song was covered by many other artists, such as Ella Fitzgerald. Other hits included "Laughing on the Outside (Crying on the Inside)", "I Wish I Didn't Love You So", "I Love You (For Sentimental Reasons)", "Doin' What Comes Naturally", and "Dear Hearts and Gentle People".

 
Listen to Dinah Shore sing "He's My Guy"

During World War II, Dinah Shore participated in the USO tours to Europe. She appeared in person, on radio, and on record with a number of British and American stars, including Major Glenn Miller and his large Army Air Force Band.

After appearing in a handful of feature films, she went on to a four-decade career in television.  I remember watching her shows with my Pop-Pop. I was too young to recall any details, but I know he was a fan of her.  Or maybe it was because there was only a handful of channels back then so you just watched what was on.  Regardless, I have memories of her on the tube.  :)


Watch Dinah Shore sing "See the U.S.A in Your Chevrolet" from a 1953 Commercial

TV Guide ranked her at number 16 on their list of the top 50 television stars of all time.

Listen to Swing City Radio to hear many of Dinah Shore's songs.

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 29

The Big Band and Swing Podcast

Listen to The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Episode 29: Peggy Lee and Cupcakes for Me!

Hello there Big Band Fans! This episode features some great songs by Jimmy Lunceford, Benny Goodman, Sam Donahue, Louis Jordan and more. Let's listen to some great Swing music together and maybe, just maybe, share some cupcakes.

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.

Now Streaming Commercial Free!

Swing City Radio is Commercial Free

Yes, you read that correctly.  As of today, September 17th, Swing City Radio is now Commercial Free.  Now you can listen to "Your Big Band and Swing Favorites from the 1930's, 40's and Today!" without commercial interruptions.

So, why did Swing City Radio choose to take this step?

Ronnaldo explains:

"This was a very tough decision to make.  Swing City Radio was offsetting many of it's expenses by including commercial advertising provided by our radio hosting provider.  So why did I decide to discontinue an income stream?  Here are just a few of the reasons:

1.  First and foremost, I felt that removing these ads will improve the sound of the station.  I was unable to control the volume of the commercials.  These ads would pipe into the programming at a much louder volume than most of the songs on the station.  This made the commercial interruption a much bigger interruption than it needed to be.

2. I felt the commercial offerings themselves didn't reflect the interests of the Swing City Radio Audience.

3. Political ads started to appear in the ads being served.  Day in and day out, people are exposed to endless politics.  I want Swing City Radio to be YOUR escape from all of that.

Moving forward, the station will reclaim this lost revenue through Show Sponsorship, Listener Sponsorship and Donations.  Those of you that have made donations to Swing City Radio in the past, I sincerely thank you.  If you'd like to make a donation in the future, you can do so here: Make a Donation to Swing City Radio via Paypal.  Your donations and sponsorship will keep Swing City Radio Commercial Free.

Thank you so much for listening to the station and I hope this change greatly improves YOUR listening experience."

~ Ronnaldo
   Station Owner and On-Air Personality

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.

Andy Kirk

Andy Kirk

Andy Kirk was a jazz saxophonist and bandleader who led the Twelve Clouds of Joy, a band that was popular during the swing era.

Kirk grew up in Denver, Colorado, where he was tutored by Wilberforce Whiteman.  (Wilberforce Whiteman was Paul Whiteman's father.  We play many of Paul Whiteman's tunes on Swing City Radio as well.)  Kirk started his musical career playing with George Morrison's band, but then went on to join Terrence Holder's Dark Clouds of Joy. In 1929, he was elected leader after Holder left for personal reasons.

Kirk renamed the band Clouds of Joy and relocated the band from Dallas to Kansas City. Although named the Clouds of Joy, the band has also been known as the Twelve Clouds of Joy due to the number of musicians in the band.

Listen to a recording of “Christopher Columbus” by Andy Kirk and His Twelve Clouds of Joy.  The song was later adopted by the Benny Goodman band for inclusion in their famous arrangement of “Sing, Sing, Sing.”

After Kirk moved the band to Kansas City they grew in popularity as they epitomized the Kansas City jazz sound. In mid-1936, he was signed to Decca and made scores of popular records for the label until 1946.

Listen to Andy Kirk and His Twelve Clouds of Joy 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.

Buddy Clark

Picture of Buddy Clark

Buddy Clark was a popular Big Band Era singer. In the late 1940's, after returning from service in World War II, his career blossomed and he became one of the nation's top crooners. His life and career were cut short due to a tragic plane crash in 1949.

He made his Big Band singing debut in 1932, with Gus Arnheim's Orchestra, but was not successful. He gained wider notice in 1934, with Benny Goodman on the Let's Dance radio program. In 1936, he began performing on the show Your Hit Parade, and remained until 1938. In the mid-1930's, he signed with Vocalion Records, having a top-20 hit with "Spring Is Here". He continued recording until he entered the military, but did not have another hit until the late 1940's.

In 1946, after returning from World War II, he signed with Columbia Records and scored his biggest hit with the song "Linda."

Interesting little fact:
Now here is something I didn't know until making this post. Buddy Clark's popular hit song "Linda" was written especially for the six-year-old daughter of a show business lawyer named Lee Eastman, whose client, songwriter Jack Lawrence, wrote the song at Lee’s request. When she reached adulthood, Linda became Linda McCartney. She was famous as a photographer, a musician (as a member of Wings), and a spokeswoman for animal rights.

Watch a Soundie of Buddy Clark performing "Linda"

Getting back to Buddy Clark, 1947 also saw hits for Clark with such titles as "How Are Things in Glocca Morra?", "Peg O' My Heart", "An Apple Blossom Wedding", and "I'll Dance at Your Wedding". The following year he had another major hit with "Love Somebody."

On October 1, 1949, hours after Buddy had completed a broadcast on CBS Radio with The Andrews Sisters, Clark joined five friends in renting a small plane to attend a college football game in Stanford, California. On the way back to Los Angeles after the game, the plane ran out of fuel, lost altitude, and crashed on Beverly Boulevard in West Los Angeles. Clark didn't survive the crash.  A month after his death, his recording of "A Dreamer's Holiday" hit the charts.

Listen to "A Dreamer's Holiday" performed by Buddy Clark

You can hear many of Buddy Clark'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.

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.  (I just watched that movie recently, check it out! Quite entertaining.)

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.

 
Watch: Video of  Glenn Miller performing Chattanooga Choo Choo.

The video above features an extended version of Chattanooga Choo Choo that was included in the movie "Sun Valley Serenade".

You can hear live and studio recordings 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.

Podcast: Episode 28

The Big Band and Swing Podcast

Listen to The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Episode 28: Crosby, The Count and Canned Meats


< Use the Audio Player Directly Above to Listen to Podcast >

Greetings Swingers! In this episode we hear from Count Basie, Hal McIntyre, Raymond Scott, Woody Herman and Bing Crosby. Ronnaldo also discusses delicious canned meat.

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.

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.  Those old Reader's Digest Big Band Collections are great! 

If you find a Reader's Digest Collection at a second hand store and own a record player they are usually a good purchase.  Many of them include six records or more.  Just make sure to look and see if the collection contains the original recordings by the original artists.  (Some of the collections feature newer recordings of the songs and aren't as good.)  Also, look through it and make sure the booklet is still included.  The booklets are just as entertaining as the recordings and are filled with interesting information and pictures.

Listen to Tracks from Record #6 of "The Swing Years" Collection

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.

Larry Clinton

Picture of Larry Clinton

Larry Clinton was best known as a trumpeter.  He also became a prominent and influential bandleader.

While in his twenties, Larry Clinton became a prolific arranger for some of the bigger bandleaders at the time. Tommy Dorsey, Jimmy Dorsey, Glen Gray, Louis Armstrong, and Bunny Berigan all used Larry Clinton charts and arrangements.

He formed his first band in 1937.  Larry recorded a string of hits for Victor Records. The Larry Clinton Orchestra featured a mix of pop tunes of the day, instrumentals written by Clinton, and swing versions of classical music compositions. The classical music compositions swept the industry, and orchestras everywhere were "swinging the classics" by adding pop lyrics to melodies by Debussy, Tchaikovsky and other classical composers. His version of Debussy's "Reverie", with vocalist Bea Wain, was particularly popular.  His version of "My Reverie" peaked at #1 on Billboard in 1938.

Listen to "My Reverie" performed by Larry Clinton and His Orchestra

In 1941, Clinton and his band appeared in six short musical films which eventually became "Soundies." This was one of his last jobs as a bandleader; he temporarily quit the music business upon the outbreak of World War II, and joined the United States Army Air Forces. A rated pilot, he rose to the rank of captain, was stationed in Calcutta and China and was a flight instructor with the 1343rd Base Unit.

After returning home from service, he resumed his musical career and enjoyed further success as a bandleader from 1948 to 1950.

You can hear many of Larry Clinton'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.

Watch: Glenn Crytzer Performance

Glenn Crytzer

I had the unexpected pleasure yesterday to watch a performance by Glenn Crytzer and the Celesta Quartet live streamed on Youtube.  I included the video below.  Great performance, you'll LOVE IT!  It took place in an alley behind his place and the sound quality is very good.

If you are not familiar with Glenn Crytzer, he is based out of the New York City area and his bands are top notch.  They sound like they just stepped out of a time machine from the 1940's.  You can hear his music on our show The Modern Block which airs on Swing City Radio at 3pm and 3am EST every weekday.  I can't say enough good things about this band so be sure to check them out.  ...and if you have some money burning in your pocket, consider throwing some change into their virtual tip jar.  In these times of Covid-19, it's quite tough for musicians to make a living.  Enjoy!

To leave a tip for Glenn and the Celesta Quartet: paypal.me/glenncrytzer



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 27

The Big Band and Swing Podcast

Listen to The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Episode 27: So Many Greats and Little Liver Pills


< Use the Audio Player Directly Above to Listen to Podcast >

Hello Swing Fans! This episode features some great music by Chick Webb, Les Brown, Frank Sinatra, The Andrews Sisters and more. By the way, count how many times I say "great" in the first segment. Yikes!

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.

Solomon Douglas

Solomon Douglas Swingtet

Solomon Douglas is the bandleader of the Solomon Douglas Swingtet and a beloved dance teacher who is known and respected throughout the worldwide swing dancing community. His bands have played at dance events throughout the United States. In 2006, he toured the United States and Japan as a member of the world-famous Glenn Miller Orchestra.

Douglas' bands (including The Solomon Douglas Swingtet and the Solomon Douglas Trio) have played at countless events in North America, Asia, and Australia since 2000. His experience as a swing dancer and dance instructor gives him an understanding unique among musicians of the music that swing dancers and blues dancers like to dance to!

Listen to "Tuxedo Junction" performed by The Solomon Douglas Swingtet

His influences as a pianist include Erroll Garner, Oscar Peterson, Gene Harris, Count Basie, and Thelonious Monk. His small groups (such as the Solomon Douglas Trio) play a mixture of musical styles including blues, old-school swing, and groovy mainstream swinging jazz with tinges of bop and soul-jazz.

You can hear many songs by The Solomon Douglas Swingtet right here on Swing City Radio.  They are played frequently on The Modern Block.

Be sure to check out these recordings by The Solomon Douglas Swingtet including: Swingmatism, Ain't No School Like the Old School, Live at the Legion and Soul Serenade.  They are great!

You can learn more about Solomon Douglas at: SolomonDouglas.com

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.

September Birthdays

Picture of Big Band Birthday Cake

Here is a list of September Birthdays of notable Big Band and Swing artists that we play right here on Swing City Radio.  For some reason the list doesn't seem as long as it has been for other months.  I also included the date the artist passed away for age purposes. If you feel that I 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.

September 4
Gus Arnheim (September 4, 1897 – January 19, 1955)
Jan Savitt (September 4, 1907 – October 4, 1948)

September 10
Cliff Leeman (September 10, 1913 – April 26, 1986)
Raymond Scott (September 10, 1908 – February 8, 1994)

September 12
Ella Mae Morse (September 12, 1924 – October 16, 1999)
Shep Fields (September 12, 1910 – February 23, 1981)

September 13
Dick Haymes (September 13, 1918 – March 28, 1980)
Mel Tormé (September 13, 1925 – June 5, 1999)

September 16
Andy Russell (September 16, 1919 – April 16, 1992)

September 26
Ted Weems September 26, 1901 - May 6, 1963)

September 30
Buddy Rich (September 30, 1917 – April 2, 1987)

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.

Dolly Dawn

Picture of Dolly Dawn

Dolly Dawn 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, Dolly was appearing weekly on a local radio show based in New Jersey where she grew up.  This eventually led to her big break in 1935 when 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 soon became very popular. Her most successful song with George Hall's Hotel Taft Orchestra was "You're a Sweetheart."

Listen to Dolly Dawn sing "Says My Heart" with the George Hall Orchestra

In July of 1941, George Hall retired from performing and 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 on, she continued without the band appearing in clubs, dance halls and in other engagements throughout the United States.

Dolly continued to record as a successful 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.

Bonus Podcast: Celebrating Les Brown

The Big Band and Swing Podcast

Listen to The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Celebrating: Les Brown


Audio Player to Listen to Podcast

Hello there everyone! In this special episode of The Big Band and Swing Podcast we celebrate the music of Les Brown. We play some of his hits and take a deeper look at this Big Band Icon. Join us in this musical celebration of Les Brown.

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.

New Schedule Starting Fall 2020

Pic of Fall Schedule

I'm excited to announce that starting on Tuesday, September 1st, Swing City Radio will begin our Fall Schedule.  The Fall Schedule includes two new shows which I think you will really enjoy.   I will also be scheduling a few of the shows to air twice daily so they can be enjoyed by our international audience.

Every Weekday: (All Times are Eastern Standard Time)

3pm and 3am - The Modern Block

5pm and 5am - The Big Band and Swing Podcast (Archived Episodes)

6pm and 6am - The Mix at 6

8pm - After Dark

** Our Weekend Schedule will remain the same.

To learn more about these shows, check out our Shows and Schedule Page.  Enjoy!

~ Ronnaldo

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 26

The Big Band and Swing Podcast

Listen to The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Episode 26: The Great Hollywood Hangover


Audio Player to Listen to Podcast

Hello Podcast Listeners! This episode features some great recordings by Duke Ellington, Russ Morgan, The Andrews Sisters, Bob Crosby and more. Let's get drunk on Big Band and Swing music together.

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.

Second Chorus

Second Chorus

Lately, I've been watching old movies from the 1930's and 1940's just to mix things up. I've been running out of things to watch ... I admit it.  Binge watching shows and movies on platforms like Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime have gone to a whole new level around the world as we all find ways to keep our sanity during the pandemic.

The other night I had the pleasure to stumble upon the movie "Second Chorus".  It stars Fred Astaire and Paulette Goddard and features a ton of music by Artie Shaw.  In fact, Shaw has a big role in the film, and the musical performances featuring him and the band are fantastic.

Overall, it's a fun movie and if you are looking for something different to watch, then give it a try.  I've included a synopsis of the plot below.  Enjoy!

Picture of Artie Shaw
Artie Shaw performing in the movie "Second Chorus"

The Plot (taken from Wikipedia)

Danny O'Neill (Fred Astaire) and Hank Taylor (Burgess Meredith) are friends and rival trumpeters with "O'Neill's Perennials", a college band. Both have managed to prolong their college careers by failing seven years in a row. At a performance, Ellen Miller (Paulette Goddard) catches Danny's and Hank's eyes. She serves them a notice for her boss, a debt collector, but the fast-talking O'Neill and Taylor soon have her working as their manager.

Tired of losing gigs to the Perennials, Artie Shaw, playing himself, comes to woo Ellen away to be his booking manager. She tries to get Danny and Hank an audition for Shaw's band, but their jealous hi-jinks get them fired.

Watch: Movie clip from "Second Chorus"

Ellen talks Shaw into letting rich wannabee musician J. Lester Chisholm (Charles Butterworth) back a concert. It looks like the jig is up when Hank pretends to be Ellen's jealous husband, and then her brother. Danny and Hank manage get Chisholm back on board, then get Shaw to agree to put Danny's song into the show. All they have to do is keep Chisholm and his mandolin (which he wants to play in the concert) away from Shaw until after the show; the solution is sleeping pills to knock Chisholm, and incidentally Hank, out.

To Ellen's relief, Danny finally acts professionally, arranging his number for the show, which Shaw says "has really grown up into something special." He hands the baton to Danny, who successfully dance-conducts his own composition.

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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