Listen to: A 1940's New Year's Eve Celebration

Picture of New Year's Eve

To warm everyone up for tonight's "Swing City Radio - New Year's Eve Special", I decided to post a program entitled “Swing Around The Clock”.  This program was broadcasted worldwide by the Armed Forces Radio Service to ring in the year 1946.  It contains some very good performances by some of the biggest names of the Big Band Era.

The audio for this video is fantastic.  It was posted to Youtube by Barry Papiernik and he always does such a great job with his YouTube creations.

Enjoy!  ...and I hope you all have a fantastic 2022.

Listen to: The Big Bands Celebrate New Year's Eve

Consider supporting Swing City Radio by becoming a Hepcat.  Learn more at: SupportSwing.com.

Swing City Radio: Playing Your Big Band and Swing Favorites from the Archives of Old Time Radio! - Listener Supported and Streaming Commercial Free.

Podcast: Collection of Favorites (2021) - Part 2

Picture of Big Band Podcast Logo

The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Collection of Favorites (2021) - Part 2 - 

Ronnaldo ends 2021 by playing some of his favorite tracks from the past year.  Includes vintage music from Jimmy Dorsey, Glenn Miller and Stan Kenton.  Also, a suggestion for a new holiday is discussed. Deco Down Day.

* All music in this podcast are Creative Commons.  Artists are credited within the podcast.

Listen to: Collection of Favorites (2021) - Part 2

Consider supporting Swing City Radio by becoming a Hepcat.  Learn more at: SupportSwing.com.

Swing City Radio: Playing Your Big Band and Swing Favorites from the Archives of Old Time Radio! - Listener Supported and Streaming Commercial Free.

History of the Song: "Begin The Beguine"

Picture of Artie Shaw

The classic song, "Begin The Beguine", is one of the most famous and popular recordings of the Big Band Era.  It was originally written by Cole Porter in 1935 while aboard an ocean liner.  Such a weird place to write a song.  On a cruise in the Pacific.

So what is a Beguine anyway?  A Beguine is a dance and music form, similar to a slow rumba.

The song was first introduced to the public later in 1935 by June Knight in the Broadway musical, "Jubilee".  Xavier Cugat recorded one of the first versions of "Begin The Beguine" with a much stronger Latin sound than later versions. It was recorded as an instrumental track, although Cugat's vocalist, Don Reid, sang the title at the beginning and the end of the song.  But the song gained little popularity.

In 1938, "Begin the Beguine" was recorded by Artie Shaw and His Orchestra.  Shaw and his lead arranger Jerry Gray, had put together an extended swing version of the tune which gave it a whole new "feel".  Their version was an instrumental as well and was released as a B-Side of another Shaw song, "Indian Love Call". "Begin the Beguine" later became one of the best-selling records in 1938, peaking at Number 3, and it launched Artie Shaw and his band to a new level of fame and popularity.

The instrumental version of "Begin the Beguine" was covered by all of the major bands of the era including: Harry James, Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller. Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald were among the vocalists that recorded versions of the song that included the original lyrics.

Listen to: "Begin The Beguine" by Artie Shaw and His Orchestra.

Consider supporting Swing City Radio by becoming a Hepcat.  Learn more at: SupportSwing.com.

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

Soundie: "Dreamsville, Ohio"

Picture of Buddy Rogers and Marilyn Maxwell

Today's Soundie is "Dreamsville, Ohio" and was filmed in 1942.  It features vocals by Buddy Rogers and Marilyn Maxwell.  The music is provided by Hal Bourne and His Orchestra.

The "plot" of this Soundie is road weary bandleader "Biff Morgan" (played by Rogers) along with his band "The Cats" are waiting for a 4am Greyhound Bus.  There's a bunch of waiting, a bunch of kissing and a whole bunch of dreaming.

This is a fun little Soundie with Rogers and Maxwell doing a good job with the vocals.  Enjoy!


Watch: "Dreamsville, Ohio" featuring Buddy Rogers and Marvel Maxwell

Consider supporting Swing City Radio by becoming a Hepcat.  Learn more at: SupportSwing.com.

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

Podcast: Collection of Favorites (2021) - Part 1

Picture of Big Band Podcast Logo

The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Collection of Favorites (2021) - Part 1 - 

This collection of vintage Big Band recordings features Ronnaldo's favorites that he played on the podcast this year.  Includes tracks from Raymond Scott, Ben Pollack, Harry James, Jerry Gray and more.

* All music in this podcast are Creative Commons.  Artists are credited within the podcast.

Listen to: Collection of Favorites (2021) - Part 1

Consider supporting Swing City Radio by becoming a Hepcat.  Learn more at: SupportSwing.com.

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!

Bob Chester

Picture of Bob Chester

Bob Chester led a band that was billed as "The New Sensation of the Nation" from the mid-1930's to the mid-1940's.  They had a Glenn Miller-influenced sound to them, but in later years, managed to create a style of their own.

Like most bandleaders, Chester began his career as a sideman.  He gained a lot of experience playing tenor sax in the orchestras of Irving Aaronson, Ben Bernie, and Ben Pollack.  In 1935, Bob Chester put together his first band based in the Detroit area but it proved unsuccessful.  About a year or so later he tried again, this time based on the East Coast, and that band did quite well. 

By 1939, Bob Chester and His Orchestra had already signed with Bluebird Records and briefly had it's own radio show during the fall of that year. His band also managed to land some minor hits with songs like "From Maine to California", "Wait Till the Sun Shines, Nellie", "Madeliaine", and "A Nickel to My Name".  Also, his recording of "With the Wind and the Rain in Your Hair" became a hit on a national level.

His band included some talented musicians over the years.  Names like Peanuts Hucko and Alec Fila immediately come to mind. Chester also featured some very good vocalists as well. His female singers included Dolores O'Neill, Kathleen Lane, and Betty Bradley. His male singers were Gene Howard, Peter Marshall, Bob Haymes, and Al Stuart.  Not bad at all.

In the mid-1940's, Chester dissolved his Orchestra because he was losing key bandmembers to the armed forces and the overall decline of the Big Bands was starting to take effect. Chester assembled another band for a short time in the early 1950s, but after it failed he retired from music and returned to Detroit.

Listen to: "Practice Makes Perfect" by Bob Chester and His Orchestra

You can listen to the music of Bob Chester and His Orchestra right here on Swing City Radio.

Consider supporting Swing City Radio by becoming a Hepcat.  Learn more at: SupportSwing.com.

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

Soundie: "He Plays Gin Rummy"

Picture of Gale Storm and Iris Dawn

Today's Soundie is a charming little song from 1942 called "He Plays Gin Rummy" and features vocalists Gale Storm and Iris Dawn.  The Ted Fio Rito and His Skylined Music provide the music. The credits listed on Youtube claim that this is from 1948 with Ivan Scott and His Orchestra providing the musical background, but my sources tell me otherwise.

Regardless, this is a cute little number and quite entertaining.  I'm not the biggest fan of colorized Soundies, but this still manages to retain it's charm.

I don't know much about Iris Dawn, other than the fact that she made appearances in a couple of Soundies.

Gale Storm, who's real name was Josephine Owaissa Cottle, was an actress who appeared in many films during the 1940's, as well as starring in over a half a dozen Soundies.  She later starred on two television program in 1950's and even landed a couple of Billboard hits as a singer.

Enjoy!

Watch: "He Plays Gin Rummy" featuring Gale Storm and Iris Dawn

Consider supporting Swing City Radio by becoming a Hepcat.  Learn more at: SupportSwing.com.

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

Podcast: Show 92 - Emily Brown At Sundown

Picture of Big Band Podcast Logo

The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Emily Brown At Sundown - Show 92 - 

Includes some great Big Band recordings by Harry James, John Kirby and Gus Arnheim.  We also learn what kept cars looking brand new.

* All music in this podcast are Creative Commons.  Artists are credited within the podcast.

Listen to: Emily Brown At Sundown (Show 92)

Consider supporting Swing City Radio by becoming a Hepcat.  Learn more at: SupportSwing.com.

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!

How Are Things in Glocca Morra?

Pic of Village

The song "How Are Things in Glocca Morra?" is such a beautiful tune. It's been recorded by so many iconic vocalists including Buddy Clark, Dick Haymes, Martha Tilton and covered by so many more.  The song evokes a sense of nostalgia and a longing for home. Glocca Morra sounds like such a wonderful little village with it's weeping willow trees and leaping little brook that run through it. But, how are things in Glocca Moora?  What's really going on there?

Well, sadly, Glocca Morra, Ireland, is a fictional place.  It's a shame, because it sounds like it would be a charming place to visit. The song was published in 1946.  The music was composed by a gentleman named Burton Lane and the lyrics were written by E.Y. Harburg. The original working lyrics were "There's a glen in Glocca Morra" but later changed to "How Are Things in Glocca Morra?" to evoke that nostalgia I mentioned before.  

The song was featured in the musical "Finian's Rainbow" and versions recorded by Buddy Clark and Dick Haymes found their way into the Top 10 on the Billboard Charts.  I've included Clark's recording below for your listening pleasure.  A funny side note:  In an episode of the television show "All In The Family", Archie Bunker refers to New York City as a "regular Sodom and Glocca Morra."  Such great writers.

Listen to: "How Are Things In Glocca Morra" by Buddy Clark

You can hear many different versions of "How Are Things in Glocca Morra?" right here on Swing City Radio.

Consider supporting Swing City Radio by becoming a Hepcat.  Learn more at: SupportSwing.com.

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

Soundie: "Here Comes the Fattest Man in Town"

Picture of Gloria Parker

Today's Soundie features the beautiful and multi-talented Gloria Parker.  This gem is called "Here Comes the Fattest Man in Town" and was filmed in 1946.  It also includes an appearance by the legendary Mel Blanc.

This is just one of a handful of great Soundies that showcases Miss Parker's many talents.  She also stars in "Broadway and Main", "Four Letters", "Penthouse Party" and "Wise Men Say".  Unlike many other Soundies, these were well produced and Parker herself composed the music and wrote the lyrics.  Her backup musicians in this performance include members of the house band from the Edison Hotel in New York.

Gloria Parker was much more than a pretty face that looked good on film.  She worked as a songwriter, bandleader, musician and actress.  A complete entertainer. She performed with her orchestras playing the marimba, piano, organ, violin, viola, vibraphone, xylophone, guitar, drums, all types of Latin percussion instruments and, of course, glass harp or what many people call "musical glasses".  Now for the record, I've seen many people "play" musical glasses in the past, but Gloria's performances are simply amazing.

Her radio program "The Gloria Parker Show", which aired from 1950 to 1957, featured her all-female "Swingphony", the largest big band led by a woman.  During her career, she also led "Gloria Parker and the Coquettes" and "Glorious Gloria Parker and Her All-Girl Rumba Orchestra." 

Enjoy!

Watch: "Here Comes the Fattest Man in Town" by Gloria Parker

Consider supporting Swing City Radio by becoming a Hepcat.  Learn more at: SupportSwing.com.

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

Podcast: Show 91 - Mr. Zip and Tomato Soup

Picture of Big Band Podcast Logo

The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Mr. Zip and Tomato Soup - Show 91 - 

Features vintage Big Band music by Bea Wain, Frank Sinatra, Tony Pastor and more.  Ronnaldo plays a bunch of Soundies and we hear an old ad from Campbell's Tomato Soup.

* All music in this podcast are Creative Commons.  Artists are credited within the podcast.

Listen to: Mr. Zip and Tomato Soup (Show 91)

Consider supporting Swing City Radio by becoming a Hepcat.  Learn more at: SupportSwing.com.

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!

Lillian Lane

Picture of Lillian Lane

You may not recognize the name Lillian Lane, but during her career she managed to lend her voice to some of the biggest bands of the era. Lillian appeared on the scene as a solo vocalist with Claude Thornhill's Orchestra in 1941, she was also a member of the "Snowflakes" vocal group which featured with Thornhill.

In late 1942, Lane moved on to replace Anita Boyer in Jerry Wald's Orchestra, but then only months later, settled in with George Olsen's band for about a year.  By July of 1944, Lane had joined Gene Krupa's band and recorded many sides with them.  She was replaced by Anita O'Day in 1945 and Lillian found her way into the bands of Randy Brooks and Artie Shaw.

1946 was the year that Lane joined up with Tex Beneke and his Glenn Miller "ghost band".  She received increased attention with Beneke and in early 1947, she joined the ranks of Benny Goodman's Orchestra and scored a hit with the song "I Want To Be Loved".

From 1948 on, she recorded mostly as a solo artist and would show up in the liner notes of many reformed orchestras and tribute bands.  As you can see, Lillian rarely settled into a band for longer than a year.  Was it because she didn't have the "staying power" of some of the other featured female vocalists of the time, or was it because of her talent, that she was always being lured away to join the next big name orchestra?  You can decided that.

Listen to: Benny Goodman's "I Want To Be Loved" featuring Lillian Lane on vocals.

You can hear the beautiful voice of Lillian Lane right here on Swing City Radio.

Consider supporting Swing City Radio by becoming a Hepcat.  Learn more at: SupportSwing.com.

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

Soundie: "The Singing Telegram Song"

Picture of The Singing Telegram

Today's Soundie is called "The Singing Telegram Song".  This was filmed in June of 1941 and features Johnny Downs on vocals along with Will Osbourne and His Orchestra.  Will and the band don't make an appearance in this one.

This is just a classic, simple story told through song.  An older, rich gentleman hires a singer (Downs) to deliver a message of love to a beautiful blonde bombshell (played by Etheldreda Leopold).  I could tell you the ending, but I don't want to ruin it for you.

The song itself is a catchy one and Johnny Downs does a good job with the vocals.  As a child, Downs was a member of "The Little Rascals" and would go on to have a decent career as an entertainer.

After viewing this, the biggest question I have is ... Did that older gentleman get a refund?

Enjoy! 

Watch the Soundie: "The Singing Telegram Song"

Consider supporting Swing City Radio by becoming a Hepcat.  Learn more at: SupportSwing.com.

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

Podcast: Show 90 - Swing and Kitchen Safety

Picture of Big Band Podcast Logo

The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Swing and Kitchen Safety - Show 90 - 

Ronnaldo plays some vintage recordings by Johnny Otis, Don Redman and Les Brown.  We also listen to some very important clips about Kitchen Safety.

* All music in this podcast are Creative Commons.  Artists are credited within the podcast.

Listen to: Swing and Kitchen Safety (Show 90)

Consider supporting Swing City Radio by becoming a Hepcat.  Learn more at: SupportSwing.com.

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!

Dorothy Collins

Picture of Dorothy Collins

Canadian born Dorothy Collins started singing on local radio stations at a young age.  She was recruited by Raymond Scott in 1942 as a featured vocalist for his band at the age of 15.  From that point on, Collins became a bit of a protégée of Raymond Scott's and years later, his wife.

Her vocal pitch, phrasing, and delivery were top notch and in the late 1940's and early 50's began to receive national attention from her great performances on the CBS radio show  "Lucky Strike's Your Hit Parade."  You can hear Dorothy's voice in many of those early Lucky Strike commercial spots as a spokeswoman for the company. In fact, she became known as "The Sweetheart of Lucky Strike."

When "Your Hit Parade" made the jump to television Dorothy also made the transition. Collins was truly a fantastic and versatile performer.  Her television credits also included The Steve Allen Show, The Bell Telephone Hour, and The Hollywood Palace.

As I stated above, Collins eventually went on to marry Raymond Scott in 1952 and they remained married into the mid 1960's.

"Singing in the Rain" performed by Dorothy Collins & Raymond Scott Quintet in 1955

You can hear the beautiful voice of Dorothy Collins backed by Raymond Scott on many songs featured right here on Swing City Radio.

Consider supporting Swing City Radio by becoming a Hepcat.  Learn more at: SupportSwing.com.

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

Soundie: "Boardwalk Boogie"

Picture of Will Bradley and His Orchestra

Today's Soundie features Will Bradley and His Orchestra performing "Boardwalk Boogie."  Such a great song.  The Soundie itself was filmed in 1941, and filmed quite well capturing a great band in it's prime as well as some very good dancing. While watching this you can feel the raw energy that defined the Will Bradley Orchestra.

There are some big names that appear in this clip including: Ray McKinley, Freddie Slack, Peanuts Hucko and, of course, Will Bradley himself.  This song was originally titled "This Little Icky Went to Town" but was later changed to "Boardwalk Boogie" for this Soundie.

Enjoy!

Watch: "Boardwalk Boogie" by Will Bradley and His Orchestra

Consider supporting Swing City Radio by becoming a Hepcat.  Learn more at: SupportSwing.com.

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

Podcast: Show 89 - Sweet Eloise with the Green Eyes

Picture of Big Band Podcast Logo

The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Sweet Eloise with the Green Eyes - Show 89 - 

Includes some vintage music by The Andrews Sisters, Glenn Miller, Stan Kenton and Tommy Dorsey.  We also learn about Jimmy Joy and His Orchestra.

* All music in this podcast are Creative Commons.  Artists are credited within the podcast.

Listen to The Big Band and Swing Podcast

Consider supporting Swing City Radio by becoming a Hepcat.  Learn more at: SupportSwing.com.

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!

Perry Como

Picture of Perry Como

Perry Como enjoyed a career that spanned more than fifty years.  His intimate vocal style and good looks made him one of the most popular "crooners" of the era.  It was also a career that came close to not happening at all because of Como's other passion of becoming a the best barber in his hometown of Canonsburg, Pennsylvania.

Como, by all accounts, was a fantastic barber.  But, there was no denying that he was also a great vocalist and musician.  Those talents were soon noticed by bandleader Freddy Carlone that asked Como to join his band in 1932.

In 1935, a spot opened up in the Ted Weems Orchestra, and Carlone himself encouraged Como to move on to Weems' band. This launched Como unto a national stage and during his time with Ted Weems, Como developed the vocal style that would define him for the rest of his career. 

Perry Como spent over seven years as Ted Weems' featured vocalist.  It was a very successful partnership, but as Como started raising a family, the constant touring and time away from his family weighed too heavy on him.  Como left the band in 1942 with the full intention of returning to his passions of being a barber.

Soon after Como's departure, he began to field offers to host radio shows which promised to keep his travel limited. He also signed a contract with the RCA Victor label and remained with them for 44 years.  From that point forward, Como would go on to become one of the most successful vocalists of his time, sell millions of records and become a major draw on both radio and television.

Listen to: "They Say It’s Wonderful" by Perry Como

You can hear the intimate vocal style of Perry Como right here on Swing City Radio.

Consider supporting Swing City Radio by becoming a Hepcat.  Learn more at: SupportSwing.com.

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

Soundie: "Let's Get Lost" by Lina Romay

Picture of Lina Romay

Today's Soundies features vocalist and actress Lina Romay singing a romantic little ballad called "Let's Get Lost". This well produced Soundie was filmed and released in 1943.  In this clip, the always beautiful and talented Romay shows why she was constanly fielding calls from Hollywood. She does a fantastic job with this song.

Romay started her music career singing with Horace Heidt's Orchestra then later moved on to be a featured vocalist with Xavier Cugat and his crew.   In the late 1940's, Romay left Cugat's band to focus more on her film career.

Enjoy!

Watch: Lina Romay sing "Let's Get Lost"

Consider supporting Swing City Radio by becoming a Hepcat.  Learn more at: SupportSwing.com.

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

Podcast: Show 88 - Cocktails and The Mole

Picture of Big Band Podcast Logo

The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Cocktails and The Mole - Show 88 - 

Features vintage Big Band recordings by Louis Prima, Freddy Martin, Kay Kyser and Benny Goodman.  We also listen to a couple of catchy Soundies.

* All music in this podcast are Creative Commons.  Artists are credited within the podcast.

Listen to The Big Band and Swing Podcast

Consider supporting Swing City Radio by becoming a Hepcat.  Learn more at: SupportSwing.com.

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!

John Kirby

Picture of John Kirby

John Kirby led a successful band in the late 1930's - early 40's, and was a fantastic double-bassist.  He also played trombone and tuba.

Kirby began his career in the late 1920's and by 1930, he landed a spot in Fletcher Henderson's great band as a tuba player.  As the tuba fell out of favor as a popular instrument, Kirby switched over to double-bass and later played in the bands of Chick Webb and Lucky Millinder.

In 1937, Kirby put together a sextet that later became known as The Onyx Club Boys and was promoted as "The Biggest Little Band in the Land".  Kirby and the band were famous for their Chamber Jazz style, which was a lighter, Classical influenced style of Jazz.  They scored a few hits including "Loch Lomond" and "Undecided". 

Listen to: "Loch Lomond" by John Kirby with Maxine Sullivan on vocals.

The most prominent vocalist for John Kirby's band was Maxine Sullivan, who later became Kirby's second wife.  As Kirby's career declined in the late 1940's, he drank heavily which led to an issue with diabetes.

Kirby planned a comeback in the early 1950's but died at the young age of 43.

You can hear the music of John Kirby right here on Swing City Radio.

Consider supporting Swing City Radio by becoming a Hepcat.  Learn more at: SupportSwing.com.

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

Watch: The Bob-Cats

Picture of The Bob-Cats

Today's Snader Telescription is from the early 1950's and features Dixieland favorites - The Bob-Cats.  Watch these legends perform "Who's Sorry Now".  Unfortunately, this was filmed after the departure of Bob Crosby, who at that time was either leading the Jack Benny Show studio orchestra or hosting Club Fifteen.

Even without the presence of Crosby, this Snader Telescription still manages to capture some big names in action including: Billy Butterfield, Jess Stacy, Ray Bauduc and Matty Matlock.  They were such a great Dixieland band and this video really captures what they were all about.  Enjoy!

Watch: The Bob-Cats perform "Who's Sorry Now"

Consider supporting Swing City Radio by becoming a Hepcat.  Learn more at: SupportSwing.com.

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

Podcast: Show 87 - Crosby and Keto

Picture of Big Band Podcast Logo

The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Crosby and Keto - Show 87 - 

This episode includes some vintage recordings by Red Nichols, Bing Crosby, Ina Ray Hutton and Bob Chester.  We also learn a little bit about the struggles of Mr. and Mrs. Chubby.

* All music in this podcast are Creative Commons.  Artists are credited within the podcast.

Listen to The Big Band and Swing Podcast

Consider supporting Swing City Radio by becoming a Hepcat.  Learn more at: SupportSwing.com.

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 Dinning Sisters

Picture of The Dinning Sisters

The Dinning Sisters were signed to Capitol Records as an answer to The Andrews Sisters.  They did sound quite similar at times, especially in their fast-paced, boogie-woogie style songs.  But, to label the Dinnings as a simple knock-off of The Andrews Sisters would not be fair. 

The Dinning Sisters were born in Caldwell, Kansas and raised in a small farm town in Oklahoma.  The singing group consisted of Lucille and her younger sisters, Jean and Ginger, who were twins.  In 1939, The Dinnings began to attract a following in the Chicago area due to their own radio program that aired on WENR.  They later gained national exposure while making appearances on the show "National Bar Dance."

In 1943, they signed their record deal with Capitol and released the hits: "Pig Foot Pete," "Down in the Diving Bell," "The Hawaiian War Chant," and "They Just Chopped Down the Old Apple Tree."  They also appeared in two Hollywood movies and filmed a handful of Soundies and Snader Telescriptions.

Lucille left the trio in 1946 and was replaced by Jayne Bundesen who sang along side the twins until 1952.

Listen to: "They Just Chopped Down the Old Apple Tree" by The Dinning Sisters

You can hear The Dinning Sisters right here on Swing City Radio.

Consider supporting Swing City Radio by becoming a Hepcat.  Learn more at: SupportSwing.com.

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

Watch: "Especially For You"

Picture of Bonnie Baker

Today's video is a Snader Telescription from 1951 and features Bonnie Baker performing "Especially For You." Baker was a vocalist for Orrin Tucker's Orchestra from the mid-1930's to the early 40's and was known for her sweet, girlish voice.  Bonnie, along with Tucker's band, were best known for their version of the 1917 song "Oh, Johnny, Oh!" which they turned into a hit in 1940.  She was also known as "Wee" Bonnie Baker, because of her petite, 4'11 height.

In 1942, Baker left Orrin Tucker's Orchestra to pursue a solo career and found some moderate success. Later on, in the 1950's, she became the voice of Chilly Willy, the adorable cartoon penguin.  Sadly, in 1965, Bonnie suffered a heart attack and gave up performing.

Enjoy this great Snader Telescription, which truly captures what Bonnie Baker was all about.

Watch: Bonnie Baker perform "Especially For You"

Consider supporting Swing City Radio by becoming a Hepcat.  Learn more at: SupportSwing.com.

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

Podcast: Show 86 - Two Jumps Especially For You

Picture of Big Band Podcast Logo

The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Two Jumps Especially For You - Show 86 - 

This episode features some vintage music by Benny Carter, Andy Kirk, Artie Shaw and more.  Ronnaldo drops some coins into The Panoram 2000 so we can listen to some Soundies.

* All music in this podcast are Creative Commons.  Artists are credited within the podcast.

Listen to The Big Band and Swing Podcast

Consider supporting Swing City Radio by becoming a Hepcat.  Learn more at: SupportSwing.com.

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!

Jimmy Joy and His Orchestra

Picture of Jimmy Joy

The Jimmy Joy Orchestra will never rank amongst the top bands of the Swing Era, but for a regional band, they did manage to attract a pretty good following.  The orchestra itself was started in the mid-1920's on the campus of the University of Texas.  They got their name from their leader’s association with Joyland Park in Galveston, TX, where many of their early concerts took place.

The bandleader's name was Monte Maloney.  In 1929, Maloney changed his name to Jimmy Joy.  Joy was quite the showman.  He was well known for his ability to play two clarinets at the same time.  Even though the band never broke through to the national level, Jimmy Joy was so popular in Texas that he was made an honorary Texas Ranger in the 1930's.  Joy was also made an honorary Kentucky Colonel after his orchestra played three seasons at the track as the Official Kentucky Derby Orchestra.

The majority of the orchestra's bookings and gigs were in the Midwest and Southern parts of the United States.  Jimmy Joy and His Orchestra, to their credit, remained active until the 1950's.  A pretty good run for a regional band.


Listen to: "Last Night's Gardenias" by Jimmy Joy and His Orchestra.

You can hear Jimmy Joy and His Orchestra right here on Swing City Radio.

Consider supporting Swing City Radio by becoming a Hepcat.  Learn more at: SupportSwing.com.

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

Watch: War Dance For Wooden Indians

Picture of The Raymond Scott Quintette

Today's video features The Raymond Scott Quintette performing the song "War Dance For Wooden Indians."  This originally appeared in the 1938 Hollywood film: "Happy Landing".  The clip really captures Raymond and the boys at their musical best and even includes some tap dancing Native Americans to round out the entertainment.

The film itself starred Sonja Henie, Ethel Merman, Don Ameche and Cesar Romero.  After reading the plot, I can't say I have much inspiration to watch the full film, but this Raymond Scott clip is fantastic.

Enjoy!


Watch: "War Dance For Wooden Indians" by The Raymond Scott Quintette from 1938.

Consider supporting Swing City Radio by becoming a Hepcat.  Learn more at: SupportSwing.com.

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

Podcast: Show 85 - Chicks, Chucks and a Consumer Pledge

Picture of Big Band Podcast Logo

The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Chicks, Chucks and a Consumer Pledge - Show 85 - 

This episode includes some vintage recordings by Duke Ellington, The Modernaires, Ella Fitzgerald and Ernst Van t'Hoff.  We also listen to an old Camel Cigarettes testimonial.

* All music in this podcast are Creative Commons.  Artists are credited within the podcast.

Listen to The Big Band and Swing Podcast

Consider supporting Swing City Radio by becoming a Hepcat.  Learn more at: SupportSwing.com.

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!

Jimmie Lunceford

Picture of Jimmie Lunceford

Jimmie Lunceford was born in Mississippi but spent the majority of his childhood in Denver, Colorado.  He grew up learning how to play a variety of instruments, but the alto saxophone became Lunceford's instrument of choice.

He led a popular and influential band from 1929 until his untimely death in 1947.  Lunceford's Orchestra made their first recordings in 1930 and toured throughout the early part of the decade.  In 1934, the band accepted a booking at the Harlem nightclub "The Cotton Club."  This is where Lunceford's reputation began to take-off.  The band's tight musicianship and the often outrageous humor in their music and lyrics, Lunceford's orchestra made an ideal band for the club. Lunceford's stage shows often included costumes, skits, and obvious jabs at mainstream white bands.

Jimmie Lunceford and His Orchestra were responsible for many hits in the mid to late 30's including the songs:  "Wham (Re-Bop-Boom-Bam)", "Lunceford Special", "For Dancers Only", "Uptown Blues" and "Stratosphere" to name just a handful. 

Even though Lunceford released some very good music in the 1940's, his band was in decline because he was constantly losing talented sidemen to better paying bands.  Lunceford sadly passed away in July of 1947 at the age of 45.  There has since been many rumors and allegations that Lunceford had been poisoned.

Listen to: ‘Tain’t What You Do by Jimmie Lunceford

You can hear the music of Jimmie Lunceford right here on Swing City Radio. 

Consider supporting Swing City Radio by becoming a Hepcat.  Learn more at: SupportSwing.com.

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

Watch: "People Like You and Me"

Picture of Marion Hutton and the Modernaires

Today's video features Glenn Miller and His Orchestra performing "People Like You and Me" along with the Modernaires.  This clip is from the 1942 film "Orchestra Wives" which was also the second, and last, movie to feature Glenn Miller.

Orchestra Wives was released at the height of the "Miller Craze" and included the classics: "(I've Got a Gal in) Kalamazoo", "At Last", "Serenade in Blue", as well as the song featured today, "People Like You and Me".

This movie finished up production just months before Miller announced he would be joining the Armed Forces.  Also, if you look hard enough, you'll notice a young Jackie Gleason portraying the band's bass player in this clip.

Enjoy!

Watch: "People Like You and Me" by Glenn Miller


Pic of Movie Poster

Consider supporting Swing City Radio by becoming a Hepcat.  Learn more at: SupportSwing.com.

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

Podcast: Show 84 - Soundies and Atomic Alerts

Picture of Big Band Podcast Logo

The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Soundies and Atomic Alerts - Show 84 - 

This episode features some vintage music by Cab Calloway, Bobby Sherwood and Ray Noble.  Ronnaldo plays selected clips from an old educational film called "Atomic Alert" and we also listen to a boatload of Soundies.

* All music in this podcast are Creative Commons.  Artists are credited within the podcast.

Listen to The Big Band and Swing Podcast

Consider supporting Swing City Radio by becoming a Hepcat.  Learn more at: SupportSwing.com.

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!

Freddy Martin

Picture of Freddy Martin

Freddy Martin's childhood was filled with challenges. He was bounced around by various relatives, but spent the majority of his younger years in an orphanage.  Martin started out as a drummer, then moved on to learn saxophone, the instrument that would define his career.

Martin led his own band while he was in high school, then played in various local bands after leaving school.  His playing style was heavily influenced by Guy Lombardo.  In fact, Lombardo had a chance to hear Martin's band and at one point recommended Martin to fill in on a date that Lombardo's band couldn't fulfill.  That event gave Freddy Martin the break he needed.

By the early 1930's, Martin was cutting records for both Columbia and Brunswick.  He became quite popular in the Hotel Ballroom circuit, and his band at the time had the "sweet" sound that was popular with the public.  

As the Swing Era took hold, Martin adapted with a bit of a "hotter" sound but retained his smooth style and his band rode the craze into the 1940's.  Freddy also had a great ear for vocalists.  During his career he employed singers Merv Griffin, Buddy Clark and Helen Ward.   His popularity as a bandleader led him to Hollywood where he and his band appeared in a handful of films, including Seven Days' Leave, Stage Door Canteen, Melody Time and a few others.

Martin continued to record throughout the 1950's and into the 60's.  You can hear the sweet, smooth, saxophone of Freddy Martin right here on Swing City Radio.

Listen to: On A Slow Boat To China by Freddy Martin and His Orchestra

Consider supporting Swing City Radio by becoming a Hepcat.  Learn more at: SupportSwing.com.

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

Watch: Dance With The Dolly...

Picture of The Andrews Sisters

Today's video features The Andrews Sisters singing the old catchy classic - "Dance With The Dolly With The Hole In Her Stocking."  This clip is from the 1945 movie titled "Her Lucky Night", which stared Martha O'Driscoll.  I've never seen the movie myself, but from what I've heard, it's simply awful.  Apparently, the only thing that saved this movie were the appearances by The Andrews Sisters.

The Andrews Sisters' version of "Dance With The Dolly With The Hole In Her Stocking" is great one. Their performance is both energetic and quirky, an Andrews trademark.  The part that shows them playing with dolls of themselves may have seemed like a good idea at the time, but just comes off a little silly and weird. 

Here is a quick plot summary from IMBb in case you are interested: "A fortune teller predicts Connie (Martha O'Driscoll) will find her true love sitting next to her in a movie theatre. Connie buys two tickets on an aisle and tosses one of them away...and hopes for the best."  - Sounds like a true Hollywood classic, huh?

All of that being said, it's still The Andrews Sisters in the prime of their careers so it's definitely worth watching.  And I'm sure you'll get a chuckle out of that awkward doll scene.  Enjoy!

Watch: The Andrews Sisters perform "Dance With The Dolly With The Hole In Her Stocking"


Her Lucky Night Movie Poster

Consider supporting Swing City Radio by becoming a Hepcat.  Learn more at: SupportSwing.com.

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

Podcast: Show 83 - Victory Gardens and Cabbage Patches

Picture of Big Band Podcast Logo

The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Victory Gardens and Cabbage Patches - Show 83 - 

This episode features recordings from Harry James, Woody Herman, The Andrews Sisters and many more.  We also learn a little bit about Victory Gardens.

* All music in this podcast are Creative Commons.  Artists are credited within the podcast.

Listen to The Big Band and Swing Podcast

Consider supporting Swing City Radio by becoming a Hepcat.  Learn more at: SupportSwing.com.

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!

Dean Hudson and His Orchestra

Picture of Dean Hudson

The story behind Dean Hudson and His Orchestra is a bit of a weird one.  The band was originally formed at the University of Florida in the mid 1930's and performed as the "Clubmen".  The first leader of the band was a student named Eli Katz, who used the name Dean Hudson as an alias. When Katz graduated, another band leader needed to be chosen, but under the condition that the new leader would assume the "Dean Hudson" fictitious moniker.  

1n 1936, the Clubmen chose Marion Brown to become the new "Dean Hudson" and the band recorded their first records as "Dean Hudson and the Florida Clubmen".  Marion Brown, who played trumpet and was a decent singer, retained the alias "Dean Hudson" for the rest of his career.

Listen to: "Holly Hop" by Dean Hudson and His Orchestra

The Clubmen name was dropped after a couple years, and they continued as "Dean Hudson and His Orchestra."  Though the band never became a huge name, they did attract a following.  Dean Hudson and His Orchestra recorded and performed throughout the 1940's and into the 50's.

Pic of Dean Hudson and His Orchestra

Consider supporting Swing City Radio by becoming a Hepcat.  Learn more at: SupportSwing.com.

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

A Little Jive Is Good For You

Picture of Martha Tilton

Today's Soundie features the beautiful, and quite talented vocalist, Martha Tilton.  This entertaining clip was filmed in August of 1941 and also includes some dancing by The Three Slate Brothers.  The swingin' music is provided by Ben Pollack and His Orchestra, but they don't make an appearance in the film.  It's a shame, because Pollack and his boys put together a nice performance in this one.

This Soundie was filmed shortly after Tilton had moved on from Benny Goodman's band to embark on a solo career.  She had major success from 1942 to 1949 as one of the first artists to record for Capitol Records.  She also recorded a handful of Soundies in her career.

In my opinion, this is a great Soundie that truly captures the perkiness and energy that made Martha Tilton so lovable.  The song itself is also top shelf, as long as you can get past the first two lines: 

"It makes no difference what your ailment is,
It may be gout it may be rheumatism"

Wow, what a weird way to open such a bouncy song.  Enjoy!

Watch: "A Little Jive Is Good For You" by Martha Tilton

Consider supporting Swing City Radio by becoming a Hepcat.  Learn more at: SupportSwing.com.

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

Podcast: Episode 82 - Now I Want A Magic Wand

Picture of Big Band Podcast Logo

The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Now I Want A Magic Wand - Episode 82 - 

This episode includes some vintage music by Benny Goodman, The Merry Macs, Glen Gray and Artie Shaw. We also listen to selected clips from an old social guidance film called "Cindy Goes To A Party".

* All music in this podcast are Creative Commons.  Artists are credited within the podcast.

Listen to The Big Band and Swing Podcast

Consider supporting Swing City Radio by becoming a Hepcat.  Learn more at: SupportSwing.com.

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!

Connect with Swing City Radio

Listen To The Weekly Podcast

Swing City Radio - 15oz Coffee Mug

Your Thoughts

Name

Email *

Message *