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This Week on Live at 5


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

Monday (02/17): Jerry Gray: Live from The Edgewater Beach Hotel - Jun 8, 1951

Tuesday (02/18): Woody Herman: Live from The College Inn -Mar 27 1945

Wednesday (02/19): Ella Fitzgerald: Live from The Roseland Ballroom - Mar 4, 1940

Thursday (02/20): Ray Herbeck: Live from The St. Francais Hotel -1945

Friday (02/21): Mildred Bailey: Live on the Air - October 20, 1944

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

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

George T. Simon

George Simon

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Birthday Wingy

Picture of Wingy Manone

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

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

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

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

Wingy passed away in 1984 at the age of 84.

You can hear many of Wingy Manone's songs right here on Swing City Radio.

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

Twice Blessed Dance Scene

Twice Blessed

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


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

Twice Blessed Poster

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

Judy Garland

Judy Garland on Swing City Radio

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ina Ray Hutton: Girl Time

Ina Ray Hutton

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


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

Watch Video of Chatanooga Choo Choo


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



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

Tell Your Friends

Swing City Radio

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

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

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

Click on a button below to post generic information about Swing City Radio:





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

V-Discs

V-Disc

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

List of Big Bands and Performers

Swing City Radio

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

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

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