Cherokee Soundie

Cherokee Soundie

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


...and of course you can hear Charlie Barnet right here on Swing City Radio.

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

Swing City Radio Mug

Swing City Radio Mug

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

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

Swing City Radio Mug Swing City Radio Mug

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

Swing City Radio Mug  Swing City Radio Mug

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

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

This Week on Live at 5


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Podcast: Episode 4

The Big Band and Swing Podcast Logo

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


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

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

Hal Kemp

Hal Kemp Album Cover

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

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

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

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

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

You can hear the many hits of Hal Kemp right here on Swing City Radio.

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

The Wizard of the Keyboard

Frankie Carle picture

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

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

You can hear the music of Frankie Carle right here on Swing City Radio.

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

Podcast: Episode 3

The Big Band and Swing Podcast Logo

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


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

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

On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe

Picture of On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe

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

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

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

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

Harvey Girls

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

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

Podcast: Episode 2

The Big Band and Swing Podcast

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


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

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

Podcast: Episode 1


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


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

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

The Big Band and Swing Podcast

The Big Band and Swing Podcast

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Message for Our Audience

Logo

Hey everybody Ronnaldo here...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Good Old Days

Good Old Days

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

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

The Birthday Bombshell

Ina Ray Hutton

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

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

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

Ina Ray Hutton


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

Will Bradley

Will Bradley

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

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

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

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

You can hear Will Bradley right here on Swing City Radio.

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

Happy Birthday Marion

Hutton

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

...And remember!  March is Glenn Miller Month here on Swing City Radio.

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

Chattanooga Gold

first gold record

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

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

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

You can hear live and studio recording of Glenn Miller performing Chattanooga Choo Choo right here on Swing City Radio.

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

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