New Years Eve Party - Ronnaldo Live!

Ronnaldo Live

Let's celebrate the end of 2020 together.  There hasn't been a lot to celebrate this year but I want to end 2020 on a positive note.  So let's party!

Party starts at 10pm (EST) on Dec 31st - Ronnaldo Live! on Swing City Radio.

I will be jumping on the air around 10pm (EST) and I will be taking your requests and playing great Big Band music deep into the night to ring in 2021.  I don't know about you, but I'm tired of feeling isolated and it will be so refreshing to spend time on the air with all of you.  You can text me your requests at 484-808-5646 or you can use the request button on the website or app.

It should be quite fun and I hope to see you there!

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


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

The Costs of Things in 1920

1920 pic

As we FINALLY prepare to close the book on 2020, I thought it would be fun to look back to what things cost in 1920.  Some of the prices might seem like a total bargain but just remember, everything is relative.  It's important to keep in mind that the average household income in the United States in 1920 was approximately $3,269.40.  That amount in comparison is roughly $42,142.08 in today's dollars.

Average Income = $3,269.40 per year
New House = $6,296
Average Rent = $15 per month
Movie Ticket = 15 cents each
Gasoline = 33 cents per gallon
First Class Postage Stamp = 2 cents

Food and Groceries:
Bacon 1 lb. = 52¢
Bread 1 lb. = 12¢
Butter 1 lb. = 70¢
Cabbage 1 lb. = 2¢
Cheese I lb. = 38¢
Chicken 1 lb. = 39¢
Coffee 1 lb. = 47¢
Eggs 1 Doz. = 47¢
Flour 5 lbs. = 41¢
Milk ½ Gal. = 33¢
Oranges 1 Doz. = 63¢
Potatoes 10 lbs. = 63¢
Round Steak 1 lb. = 40¢
Sugar 5 lbs. = 97¢
Watermelon 1 lb. = 2¢

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

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Ronnaldo Christmas Pic

Merry Christmas Everyone!  Thank you so much for listening all year long!

Don't forget that starting at 6pm tonight Swing City Radio will be featuring 24 hours of Big Band Christmas Music!

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

Podcast: Collection of Favorites - Part 1

The Big Band and Swing Podcast

The Big Band and Swing Podcast -  Collection of Big Band Favorites - Part 1 - 

Hello everyone! I'm going to be taking a little break during the holidays but I DID NOT want to leave you empty handed. So I've put together a collection of songs from past episodes that I really enjoyed cleaning up and playing for you.  The King Sisters, Tex Beneke and Count Basie are just a few of the artists you'll hear in this episode.  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!

Ralph Flanagan

Picture of Ralph Flanagan

Ralph Flanagan, was a leader of his own successful band but early in his career served as a pianist, composer and arranger for the bands of Hal McIntyre, Sammy Kaye, Blue Barron, Charlie Barnet, and Alvino Rey.

A few years after returning from World War II,  Flanagan formed his own orchestra which is partly credited with re-popularizing the "Glenn Miller Sound."  The band made many records, among them "Singing Winds", "Rag Mop" and "Hot Toddy." 

Listen to "Hot Toddy" from Ralph Flanagan

The Ralph Flanagan Orchestra was managed by Herb Hendler at RCA.  Hendler is credited for encouraging Flanagan to adopt the "Miller Sound" that led to his success. 

You can listen to Ralph Flanagan 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! - Streaming Online from King of Prussia, PA - Commercial Free!

Spend Christmas with Swing City Radio

Christmas Picture

Just to remind you, on Christmas Eve at 6pm (5-GMT) we will begin to play ONLY Christmas music. This will continue to 6pm on Christmas Day.  You will be able to tune in to Swing City Radio on Christmas morning and Christmas afternoon and hear great Big Band Christmas songs.  

So, have us playing in the background while eating Christmas dinner, drinking eggnog, opening presents, spending time with family and so on. Actually, I can't remember the last time I drank eggnog.

We will return to normal programming at 6pm (5-GMT) on December 25th.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Watch a video of some great photography capturing Christmas in the 1940's

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

Dec 15th, 1944 - Glenn Miller Goes Missing

Glenn Miller

On a foggy afternoon, December 15, 1944, a plane carrying Glenn Miller and two other passengers took off from Bedford, England heading for Paris, France. The plane vanished over the English Channel and Glenn Miller was never seen or heard from again.  

Miller's disappearance was not made public until December 24, 1944, when the Associated Press announced Miller would not be conducting the "AEF Christmas Show" scheduled for the following day. Jerry Gray, who at that time was the band's deputy leader, had the unenviable task to conduct the band in Miller's absence.  The live performance was broadcasted by the BBC.


Listen to audio of BBC Radio reporting that Glenn Miller has gone missing.

Glenn Miller traded in his huge commercial success stateside for a military uniform to entertain US troops in Europe during World War II.  Major Glenn Miller was flying to Paris to make arrangements to move his entire band there in the near future.  His plane, a single-engine UC-64 Norseman, disappeared while flying over the English Channel and Miller never arrived in Paris.  The two other people on board were Lieutenant Colonel Norman Baessell and the pilot, John Morgan.

There are many conspiracy theories that have floated around about his disappearance, but it's most likely that Miller's plane flew into cold weather and experienced carburetor icing, causing the aircraft to lose power and ditch in the cold water. Any survivors would have died of hypothermia within 20 minutes.

Article

Miller left behind his wife and two adopted children. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star, presented to his wife Helen in a ceremony held on March 24, 1945.

December 15th is always a sad day at Swing City Radio.  Glenn Miller has always been and will always be one of my favorite Big Band artists.  You can listen to the music of Glenn Miller right here on Swing City Radio.

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

Podcast: Episode 42 - A Chick, a Tiger and a Boyd

The Big Band and Swing Podcast

The Big Band and Swing Podcast -  Episode 42: A Chick, a Tiger and a Boyd - 

Well, hello there!  This episode features music from Chick Webb, The Original Dixie Land Band, Boyd Raeburn and many more.  We also learn where to go if you need a gift for the Johnsons.

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!

Text: "Add Me" to 484-808-5646

Ronnaldo

Wow! I'm so glad you are all enjoying Ronnaldo Live!  It's so much fun playing your song requests and spending time with all of you. A couple of questions I've been getting are: 

- Ronnaldo, when are you going to be ON AIR next?
- What's the easiest way to send a Song Request?

Well, my personal schedule is always changing.  I usually just jump on the air when I have time.  But, with all the positive feedback I've been getting from all of you, I will be doing Ronnaldo Live! more often now.  So, I came up with a way that you can know ahead of time that I will be going LIVE ON AIR and give you time to get Your Song Requests in:

Text "Add Me" 
to: (484) 808-5646
Text "STOP" at anytime to be removed from Alerts.

... I will send out a Text Alert about an hour or so before I go ON AIR.  The text will tell you what time I will start the show and the great part is you can just respond to the text message with your song requests.  How easy is that! Try to get your requests in before the show starts so I will have time to get to them.

And just to be VERY clear, I will NOT be using these Text Alerts as a form of marketing.  This is just a way to keep you connected and letting you know the time of the upcoming Ronnaldo Live! Show.  Also, I will only send a Text Alert between the hours of 10am and 8pm (EST).  So, if I decide to go on late at night, you will NOT be bothered by a late night or early morning text. And, of course you can text "STOP" at anytime and will be removed from the list.

So, just text "Add Me" to (484) 808-5646 and I will send back a confirmation text back to you within 24 hours to let you know you are the list.

Thanks! I can't wait to play YOUR song requests.

~ Ronnaldo

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

Leo Reisman

Picture of Leo Reisman

Leo Reisman led a very successful band in the 1920's and 1930's.  He was also a pretty good violinist. He became famous for having over 80 hits on the charts during his career.  Reisman started recording in 1921.  Think about that! He started recording about 100 years ago and here I am writing an article about him and still playing his music in 2020.

Leo Reisman recorded for Columbia exclusively through most of the 1920's and then bounced back and forth between Victor and Brunswick.  In the 1930's, Reisman became known for recording many lesser-known Broadway songs, some of which were recorded by no other band. He bands were always prominent and he recorded prolifically.

Reisman regularly featured Broadway performers as band vocalists, including names like Harold Arlen and Fred Astaire.  A notable recording from this era was "Happy Days Are Here Again."


Listen to "Night and Day" by Leo Reisman (Fred Astaire on Vocals)

Overall, his most popular hits were his #1 recordings of "Night and Day," "The Continental," and "Cheek to Cheek."

Reisman's Orchestra was primarily a dance orchestra. He was not the biggest fan of jazz music, but some of his early recordings were a bit improvisational and "hot".

Eddy Duchin was a member of Leo Reisman's orchestra; it was Reisman who gave Duchin his big break.  Mitch Miller was also a member of his Orchestra for a time.

Leo Reisman died in 1961, at the age of 64.

You can hear Leo Reisman 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! - Sreaming Online from King of Prussia, PA. - Commercial Free!

Podcast: Episode 41 - A Little Dab of Kenton, Basie and Goodman

The Big Band and Swing Podcast

The Big Band and Swing Podcast -  Episode 41: A Little Dab of Kenton, Basie and Goodman - 

Hey there!  In this episode we listen to some Stan Kenton, Ina Ray Hutton, Frank Sinatra, Lionel Hampton and more.  We also learn that Brylcream may make your hair disturbingly healthy.  

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!

Stan Kenton

Picture of Stan Kenton

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

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

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


Listen to the song "Eager Beaver" by Stan Kenton

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


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

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

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

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

Podcast: Episode 40 - Big Bands and Beer

The Big Band and Swing Podcast

The Big Band and Swing Podcast -  Episode 40: Big Bands and Beer - 

Hi again!  This episode features music from Duke Ellington, Vaughn Monroe, Artie Shaw, Lucky Millinder and many more.  Ronnaldo sings a song in this one?  What?  You can't be serious! 

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!

Free Music Download

Woody Herman

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

- 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.

December Birthdays

Pic of Big Band Birthdays

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Erskine Hawkins

Picture of Erskine Hawkins

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

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


Listen to "Tuxedo Junction" by Erskine Hawkins

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

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

Listen to Erskine Hawkins right here on Swing City Radio.

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

Podcast: Episode 39 - Bunnies and Wells

The Big Band and Swing Podcast

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

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

Listen to The Big Band and Swing Podcast

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

Bonus Podcast: A Big Band Christmas

The Big Band and Swing Podcast

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

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

Listen to The Big Band and Swing Podcast

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

Happy Thanksgiving 2020

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  Swing City Radio is so thankful to have you all listening as much as you all do.

Below, I've included a couple of Thanksgiving related videos.  The first video is a short clip of the history of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.  The second video centers on how to properly cut a turkey.  (Just in case you wanted to know.)


Watch: "What is the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade"


Watch: "It's Carving Time"

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

Christmas 2020 - Programming

Big Band Christmas

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

On Christmas Eve at 6pm (5-GMT) we will begin to play ONLY Christmas music. This will continue to 6pm on Christmas Day.  You will be able to tune in to Swing City Radio on Christmas morning and Christmas afternoon and hear great Big Band Christmas songs.  

So, have us playing in the background while eating Christmas dinner, opening presents, spending time with family and so on.

We will return to normal programming at 6pm (5-GMT) on December 25th.

also...

I'll keep you posted about a possible "Ronnaldo Live! - New Years Eve Special" that I've been working on. Most us will be stuck at home because of the lockdowns so I thought it might be fun to ring in 2021 live on the air together with all of you, taking your requests and listening to the Big Bands.

I'm still working on the details so I will keep you posted as we get closer.

~ Ronnaldo

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

Charlie Spivak

Picture of Charlie Spivak

Charlie Spivak had a great band in the 40's and is best known for his trumpet playing.  Charlie Spivak was a fantastic musician.

It was in the early 1930's where Charlie's career started to take flight.  He spent 3 years with Ben Pollack, a year with the Dorsey Brothers and then another year with Ray Noble's Band. He played side by side with many of the future icons of the Big Band Era. By the mid 30's he was serving as a studio musician for names like Glenn Miller, Raymond Scott, Jack Teagarden and Bob Crosby.

In 1940, Charlie Spivak formed his own band with the financial backing and encouragement of his friend Glenn Miller.  After some initial failures Charlie found success through most of the 40's.

Spivak was known for the sweet tone of his trumpet and his lead parts. Charlie became known as "The Man Who Plays The Sweetest Trumpet In The World".  Not a bad nickname to have, huh.


Listen to "It's Been a Long, Long Time" by Charlie Spivak

You can hear the Charlie Spivak Orchestra right here on Swing City Radio. "My Devotion", "It's Been a Long Time" and "Stardreams" are just a few of the tracks you can hear by him.  And that's not counting the large amount of songs he shows up on as a session player.

Swing City Radio: Playing Your Big Band and Swing Music Favorites from the 1930's, 40's and Today! - Commercial Free!

Podcast: Episode 38 - Soundies and Ironized Yeast Tablets

The Big Band and Swing Podcast

The Big Band and Swing Podcast -  Episode 38: Soundies and Ironized Yeast Tablets

Hey there lovers of Big Band music! This episode features music by Larry Clinton, Louis Jordan, Ginny Simms, Frank Sinatra and more. We also listen to an old radio ad promoting Ironized Yeast Tablets. 

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!

Watch: Kim Cypher - Crazy Times

Pic of Kim and Mike Cypher

Kim Cypher, a Cheltenham UK based saxophonist, vocalist and composer, will release her new single "Crazy Times" on November 20th, 2020. Kim is joined by her husband, Mike Cypher,  on this track and he handles all of the drums and percussion.  Kim Cypher's music can be regularly heard on "The Modern Block" which airs weekdays at 3pm (GMT-5) on Swing City Radio and features tracks by Modern Swing artists.

This Latin-Jazz track is inspired by the world-wide Covid-19 lockdowns; "Crazy Times" is a track and music video that demonstrates the power of music to bring people together, raise spirits and create a moment of escapism in these crazy times. Kim and Mike Cypher, composed, performed, produced and directed the single and it's accompanying video. This song is very upbeat and a lot of fun!

Watch the video:

Over the last few months I have expressed concern for unsigned and local musicians.  The bulk of their income comes from live performances.  With local bars, pubs and venues closed because of Covid-19 restrictions, many artists find themselves struggling just to keep their heads above water financially. Artist "branding" is also an issue. The word "branding" can sometimes be viewed as a negative, or corporate word in the music industry but it is what it is.  Musicians spend YEARS establishing their name, music, style and image (all of which are considered their "brand").  All of that hard work is now at risk during these "Crazy Times!"

Kim and Mike Cypher are a perfect example: 

Picture of Kim and Mike Cypher
Photo by Ron Milsom

Mike and Kim made a brave decision approximately 10 years ago to give up their comfortable, professional "day jobs" to follow their musical dreams of being full-time professional musicians. Having worked incredibly hard, putting out 2 highly respected albums and 2 UK album tours with sell-out shows in many prestigious jazz venues, music is clearly in their hearts and souls.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, for the first time in their musical careers, they felt genuine concern and great sadness as their full calendar of gigs was wiped out and their identity as musicians was put into jeopardy. The couple found great determination to ensure “the music will play on in these crazy times”.

Throughout all of the uncertainty, "Crazy Times" evolved into a community project reflecting the power of music to bring people together and raise spirits, focusing on the importance of kindness, compassion and unity. There is no greater time for the music to play on!


Back in September, Kim emailed me an advanced copy of the single.  I sent her a simple response which was: "WOW, I love it! It has already found a place in my personal collection." 

I highly suggest you check this single and video out.

You can learn more about Kim and Mike Cypher at:

Crazy Times
All Photos above by: Ron Milsom

~ Ronnaldo

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

Squirrel Nut Zippers

Squirrel Nut Zippers

Squirrel Nut Zippers formed in 1993 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, by James "Jimbo" Mathus, Tom Maxwell, Katharine Whalen, Chris Phillips, Don Raleigh and Ken Mosher.  The band is still performing and recording today with a much different lineup, but they still retain that same spark.

The band's music is a mix of 1930s–era swing, blues, jazz and other styles. They found commercial success during the swing revival of the late 1990's with their 1996 single "Hell". During the late 1990's Squirrel Nut Zippers released many albums but none of them ever reached the popularity of "Hot" which featured their single.  After a hiatus of several years, the original band members reunited and performed in 2007, playing in the U.S. and Canada.


Listen to "Hell" by Squirrel Nut Zippers

"Nut Zippers" is a southern term for a variety of old bootleg moonshine. The band's name comes from a newspaper story about an intoxicated man who climbed a tree and refused to come down even after police arrived. The headline was "Squirrel Nut Zipper." It is also the name of a Squirrel nut caramel candy dating back to 1890.

This is a very talented band and I should note, in this author's opinion, Katherine Whalen was a highly under-rated member of this band.  Her vocals on song's such as "Put a Lid on It" and others had the flavor and feel of some classic Billie Holiday studio performances.  But that's just my humble opinion.


Listen to "Put A Lid On It" by Squirrel Nut Zippers

You can hear Squirrel Nut Zippers 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.

1942–44 Musicians' Strike

Pic of 1942–44 Musicians' Strike

The Musicians' Strike that started in 1942 and lasted until 1944 was one of the largest nails in the coffin of The Big Band Era -

On August 1, 1942, the American Federation of Musicians, at the instigation of union president James C. Petrillo, began a strike against the major American recording companies because of disagreements over royalty payments. This strike seriously hurt Big Band artists and helped bring on the demise of the era.  Beginning at midnight, July 31 1942, no union musician could make commercial recordings for any commercial record company.  That meant that a union musician was allowed to participate on radio programs and other kinds of musical entertainment, but not in a recording session. The 1942–44 musicians' strike remains the longest strike in entertainment history.

"Beginning at midnight, July 31 1942, no union musician could make commercial recordings for any commercial record company."

The strike did not affect musicians performing on live radio shows, in concerts, or, after October 27, 1943, on special recordings made by the record companies for V-Discs for distribution to the armed forces fighting World War II, because V-Discs were not available to the general public. However, the union did frequently threaten to withdraw musicians from the radio networks to punish individual network affiliates who were deemed "unfair" for violating the union's policy on recording network shows for repeat broadcasts.

"The strike had a big impact, since at the time, union bands dominated popular music. After the strike, and partly as a result of it, vocalists dominated popular music."

Petrillo had long thought that recording companies should pay royalties. As head of the Chicago local chapter of the union in 1937 he had organized a strike there. Petrillo was elected president of the American Federation of Musicians in 1940. When he announced that the recording ban would start at midnight, July 31, 1942, most people thought it would not happen. America had just entered World War II on December 8, 1941, and most newspapers opposed the ban. By July, it was clear that the ban would take place and record companies began to stockpile new recordings of their most popular artists.

Several months passed before any effects of the strike were noticed. At first, the record companies hoped to call the union's bluff by releasing new recordings from their unissued stockpiles, but the strike lasted much longer than anticipated and eventually the supply of unissued recordings was exhausted. The companies also reissued long deleted recordings from their back catalogs, including some from as far back as the dawn of the electrical recording era in 1925. One reissue that was especially successful was Columbia’s release of Harry James’ "All or Nothing at All", recorded in August 1939 and released when James' new vocalist, Frank Sinatra, was still largely unknown. The original release carried the usual credit, "Vocal Chorus by Frank Sinatra" in small type. It sold around five thousand copies. When Columbia reissued the record in 1943 with the now famous Sinatra given top billing, and "with Harry James and his Orchestra" in small type below, the record was on the best–selling list for 18 weeks and reached number 2 on June 2, 1943. In 1942, the song "As Time Goes By" became immensely popular after it was featured in the Warner Bros. film Casablanca. Rudy VallĂ©e recorded the song for RCA Victor in 1931, and the reissue of his 12 year old record became a number-one hit.

As the strike extended into 1943, record companies bypassed the striking musicians by recording their popular vocalists singing with vocal groups filling the backup role normally filled by orchestras.

One unexpected result of the strike was the decline of the importance in popular music of the big bands of the 1930s and early 1940s. The strike was not the only cause of this decline, but it emphasized the shift from big bands with an accompanying vocalist to an emphasis on the vocalist, with the exclusion of the band. In the 1930s and pre–strike 1940s, big bands dominated popular music; after the strike, vocalists dominated popular music.

During the strike, vocalists could and did record without instrumentalists; instrumentalists could not record for the public at all. As historian Peter Soderbergh put it, "Until the war most singers were props. After the war they became the stars and the role of the bands was gradually subordinated."

Before the strike began there were signs that the increasing popularity of singers was beginning to reshape the big bands. When Frank Sinatra joined Tommy Dorsey's band in 1940, most selections started with a Tommy Dorsey solo. By the time Sinatra left in 1942, his songs with the band began with his singing, followed by any solos by Dorsey or others.

The other major cause of the decline of the big bands was World War II itself—and the resulting loss of band members to the military, curtailment of traveling by touring bands because of gasoline rationing, and a shortage of the shellac used to make records.

If you'd like to learn more about this strike visit the full article here.

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 37 - Big Band Hits, Fits and Fear

The Big Band and Swing Podcast

The Big Band and Swing Podcast -  Episode 37: Big Band Hits, Fits and Fear

Hello again! In this episode of The Big Band and Swing Podcast we hear some classic tunes from Benny Goodman, Gene Krupa, Charlie Barnet, The Dorsey Brothers and many more. Ronnaldo also plays a "comforting" Atomic Bomb public service announcement. 

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!

Cherokee Soundie

Pic from Cherokee

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 this article we posted on the subject.  Watch the video below and enjoy!


Watch the Soundie of "Cherokee" by Charlie Barnet

...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.

Veterans: Thank You

Veteran's Day

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

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



Jerry Gray

Pic of Jerry Gray

Jerry Gray is widely known for his arrangement work during the Big Band and Swing era. He also led a successful band later in his career. Jerry's name will always be linked to two of the most famous bandleaders of all time, Artie Shaw and Glenn Miller. Gray wrote many of Miller's arrangements during the late 1930's and early 1940's.

In 1936, Gray joined Artie Shaw's Orchestra as lead violinist. There, he studied musical arrangement under Shaw and became a staff arranger for the band a year later. During his time with Artie Shaw he wrote and arranged some of the band's most popular arrangements, including "Carioca", "Any Old Time", and the Shaw classic "Begin the Beguine."

In November 1939, Shaw suddenly broke up his band and moved to Mexico. (Gotta love Artie Shaw!) Story has it that Glenn Miller called Gray the very next day, and offered him a job arranging for his band. This was a difficult decision for Gray because under Artie Shaw he enjoyed a lot of musical latitude where Glenn Miller was often more strict with his arrangers and featured a more commercial sound and framework.  But, thankfully, Jerry Gray joined up with Miller found that he was allowed more of the freedom then expected. He appreciated that, and the musical relationship and friendship that resulted between Gray and Miller was historic.

With Gray as an arranger and composer, the Glenn Miller Orchestra produced many of the most recognizable and memorable recordings of the Big Band and Swing Era. He arrangements included "Elmer's Tune", "Moonlight Cocktail", "Perfidia", and "Chattanooga Choo-Choo" and many others, while his compositions included "Sun Valley Jump", "The Man in the Moon", "Caribbean Clipper", "Pennsylvania 6-5000" and his most famous song, "A String of Pearls". And folks, that's the short list. So many of Gray's pieces became best-sellers that he has been described as more responsible for the band's success than Miller himself, although publicly, Gray always described the relationship as mutually beneficial.

 
Listen to "A String of Pearls" by Glenn Miller (Composed by Jerry Gray)

At this time in history World War II was at full focus in America and the rest of the world.
Gray was again jobless when Miller broke up his band in 1942 to enter the Army Air Forces. Captain Miller used his connections and clout to have Gray posted in his unit; and in early 1943, Gray rejoined his old boss. There, he became became chief arranger for the "Band of the Training Command", better known today as the Glenn Miller Army Air Forces Orchestra.

It was Jerry Gray who conducted the orchestra's first concert in Paris after Miller's airplane disappeared over the English Channel. When the men returned to the U.S. in 1945, Gray assumed full leadership of the AAF Orchestra until its final performance in November of that year.

Gray was passed over for the job of leading the postwar Glenn Miller Orchestra, reportedly because the Miller Estate felt he did not have the pop-star qualities they wanted in a new leader. Instead, they  hired Tex Beneke whose talents as vocalist and lead tenor sax player in Miller's civilian band provided a much more colorful front for the band. In 1945, Grey was an arranger for the Tex Beneke - Glenn Miller Orchestra.

In 1949, Jerry Gray expressed frustration with musicians which he felt were cashing in on the Miller name even though their connections with the band were thin or non-existent. (This didn't include Beneke. They continued to have a good relationship.) He later accepted a request from Decca Records to lead his own Miller-esque orchestra. The result was what he called "Jerry Gray and the Band of Today", an orchestra featuring his old Miller hits along with new songs. For a number of years the Gray and Beneke bands co-existed, each staffed by many former Miller musicians plus other well-known performers.


Listen to "Crew Cut" by Jerry Gray

Listening to the Gray and Beneke orchestras provides an interesting contrast. Gray was arguably closer in spirit to the Miller legacy but never quite achieved the same level of popularity because he was less of a showman than Beneke.  (The Miller Estate was right after all.) But, overall, with all the artists that joined in post-war rush to capitalize on the Miller name, it was Jerry Grey that was responsible for upholding the flavor and integrity of the Miller style.  In my humble opinion, history and Big Band fans alike should be thankful to Jerry Gray for that.

In the 1960's, Gray finally settled down in Dallas, where he conducted the house band at the Fairmont Hotel.

You can hear many of Jerry Gray's songs here on Swing City Radio, with, of course, the vast amount of Glenn Miller songs he was responsible for arranging.

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.

Bumper Stickers

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Support Swing City Radio by purchasing a Bumper Sticker. The profits go directly to Swing City Radio and helps the station remain Commercial Free. Thank you so much for your support!

Click Here to Check Out This Great Bumper Sticker!

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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. Commercial Free!

Podcast: Episode 36 - Brown and Gray Smoke Rings

The Big Band and Swing Podcast

The Big Band and Swing Podcast -  Episode 36: Brown and Gray Smoke Rings

Hi there! This episode features music by Ray Anthony, Glen Gray, Les Brown, Harry James and so much more. We also hear an old advertisement from Chesterfield and learn that 30 years of tobacco research was behind their cigarettes. 

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!

Evelyn Dall: Videos

Pic of Evelyn Dall

Evelyn Dall was known in the UK as England's "Original Blonde Bombshell".  Originally from New York City, Dall began her career in short films and in supporting roles on Broadway.  In 1935, she moved to England to become the female vocalist for Bert Ambrose and his Orchestra.

Here's a video featuring excerpts from a 1941 British film "He Found a Star". Evelyn Dall sings the songs "Salome" and "Costa Rhumba" in this clip. I get such a kick out of "Salome".  I think I've watched it a dozen times and can't get the darn song out of my head.  :)

Evelyn Dall Video

Below is a peek into the personal life of Evelyn Dall.  Her fun, quirky personality shows through in this video.

Evelyn Dall Video

You can hear Evelyn Dall sing with Bert Ambrose and his Orchestra right here on Swing City Radio.

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

November Birthdays

Pic of Big Band Birthdays

Here is a list of November 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.

November 2
Bunny Berigan (November 2, 1908 – June 2, 1942)

November 5
Jan Garber (November 5, 1894 – October 5, 1977)

November 12
Jo Stafford (November 12, 1917 – July 16, 2008)

November 14
Martha Tilton (November 14, 1915 – December 8, 2006)

November 15
Johnny Desmond (November 14, 1919 – September 6, 1985)

November 16
Sonny Dunham (November 16, 1911 – July 9, 1990)

November 18
Johnny Mercer (November 18, 1909 – June 25, 1976)

November 19
Tommy Dorsey (November 19, 1905 – November 26, 1956)

November 21
Coleman Hawkins (November 21, 1904 – May 19, 1969)

November 24
Teddy Wilson (November 24, 1912 – July 31, 1986)

November 29
Hal McIntyre (November 29, 1914 – May 5, 1959)

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.

Fixed: iPhone App Issue

Update

UPDATED: Oct. 31, 2020 - The Swing City Radio iPhone App is now working again!  If the app doesn't automatically update on your phone, then simply delete the app and reload it to your iPhone. You will be able to hear your favorite Big Band music once again.  Thank you all for your patience.

If you ever notice something wrong with our station please take a few seconds and fill out this Issues Form.

I try to monitor every aspect of Swing City Radio on a normal basis, but I admit, things get past me sometimes.  So, I appreciate you taking the time and letting me know about station problems through the Issues Form. 

~ Ronnaldo

*** If you haven't tried our iPhone App - Check it Out!


Original Post: Oct. 29th, 2020

It came to my attention on Wednesday Night (October 28th) that our Swing City Radio iPhone App was not playing the radio feed.  Apparently, this may have been going on for over a week!  I am now aware of this issue and talked with one of my programmers this morning.  They are working on fixing the issue and it will be up and running ASAP.  I will post another alert once I've confirmed this has been fixed.  

...and I'd like to thank Bill for taking the time to let me know about this current iPhone issue.

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

Podcast: Episode 35 - I Can't Drive 35!

The Big Band and Swing Podcast

The Big Band and Swing Podcast -  Episode 35: I Can't Drive 35!

Hey there everyone! This episode features music by Bunny Berigan, Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman and more.  We also hear a classic live recording from Duke Ellington and learn all about Goodyear Lifeguard Tires. 

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!

The Midnight Serenaders

The Midnight Serenaders Artwork

The Midnight Serenaders are a Vintage Swing Band that is based in Portland, Oregon and perform at clubs and events throughout the Pacific Northwest. Led by vocalist/rhythm guitarist Doug Sammons and ukelele-strumming/vocalist Dee Settlemier, the Midnight Serenaders' catalog consists of specially chosen dusty gems from yesteryear, as well as original songs that contain their unique, vintage sound.  Sammons and Settlemier's vocals and strumming are backed up by a very talented cast of fine musicians including  Garner Pruitt, Henry Bogdan, Pete Lampe and others.

Pic of The Midnight Serenaders

The band formed in 2005, putting together a sound reminiscent of the small swing combos popular during the 1920’s and 1930’s mixed with a dash of Hawaiian flavor. The Midnight Serenaders have a great sound and I totally recommend listening them.


Listen to "Comes Love" performed by The Midnight Serenaders

You can currently hear tracks from their albums Magnolia and Sweet Nothin's right here on Swing City Radio.  The Midnight Serenaders are regularly played on The Modern Block.

Visit their Facebook page at: facebook.com/MidnightSerenaders

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!


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.

You Get a Mug! We Get Support.

Swing City Radio Mug

This mug is 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.

Click Here to Check Out This Great Mug! 

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 - Anthony, Mundy and Shore, I'll Buy a Chevy

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!

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