Charlie Barnet

Charlie Barnet Picture

Charlie Barnet was a popular bandleader and saxophonist who started recording in the 1930's but really didn't hit his stride until the 1940's.  Some of his well known recordings were "Skyliner", "Cherokee", "The Wrong Idea", "Scotch and Soda", "In a Mizz", and "Southland Shuffle".

Barnet came from an affluent family which wanted him to pursue a career as a lawyer but Charlie was drawn to music.

As I stated above, Charlie Barnet's music career went into full gear in the early 40's.  He released his hit "Cherokee" and at this time also released his "Redskin Rhumba" (which is one of my personal favorites by him.)

He was one of the first bandleaders to integrate his band. He was an outspoken admirer of Count Basie and Duke Ellington. Ellington recorded the Charlie Barnet composition "In a Mizz".

Listen to "Cherokee" performed by Charlie Barnet

Barnet's band was a notorious party band where drinking and vandalism were a common occurrence. The structure of his band was quite different from some of the other popular bands of the time. Other band leaders, Glenn Miller for example, enforced strict standards of dress and behavior, Barnet was more interested in having fun, according to his autobiography The Swinging Years.

In 1949, he retired, apparently because he had lost interest in music. He was able to retire when he chose because he was one of the few heirs in a very wealthy family. A non- musical but interesting fact was that Charlie got married eleven times.

Charlie was defiantly cut from a different cloth but I encourage you to listen to his music and catch his music 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.

Happy Birthday: Roy Eldridge

Picture of Roy Eldridge

Roy Eldridge, one of the finest trumpet players of the Big Band Era, was born on January 30th, 1911 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Happy Birthday Roy!

 - If you'd like to learn a little more about Roy Eldridge and hear a couple of his songs, then check out the Podcast Extra: 

Big Band Birthdays - January 30: Roy Eldridge


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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 Streaming Online from King of Prussia, PA. Commercial Free!

Watch: How To Be Well Groomed

Video - How To Be Well Groomed

Watch this very informative video "How To Be Well Groomed" from 1949.  Join brother and sister, Don and Sue as they prepare themselves for their school week and their upcoming weekend dates.  I can honestly watch these films all day long!

Watch: "How To Be Well Groomed" from 1949

If you are a fan of these tacky, old educational films - then check out After Dark, which airs every evening from 8pm to Midnight (EST).  Over the next few weeks, I will be sprinkling audio clips and snippets from these films throughout the show.  Check it out!

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

Check it out 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!

Podcast: Episode 46

The Big Band and Swing Podcast

The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Soundies and Some Jam - 

Episode 46 features some great music from Glenn Miller, Stan Kenton, Larry Clinton and more.  Ronnaldo also plays a bunch of Soundies and an All-Star Jam Session from 1946.

Listen to The Big Band and Swing Podcast

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

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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 Streaming Online from King of Prussia, PA. Commercial Free!

Become a Hepcat


Hey there everyone, I just want to thank all of you out there for listening to Swing City Radio and The Big Band and Swing Podcast. The response has been truly amazing and I really appreciate the positive emails and feedback I've received so far.

HEPCAT (noun)slang term from the 1940's meaning "a hip, cool, person that liked Swing and Jazz Music." Also: a stylish or fashionable person

Running a radio station and a podcast does cost a bit of money though.  So, please consider supporting Swing City Radio and The Big Band and Swing Podcast by becoming a Hepcat.  Hepcats enjoy access to all types of Bonus Content, Podcast Extras and other perks.  At only $3.00 monthly, think of it like you are buying me a cup of coffee every month.


Check it out at: SupportSwing.com

Thank you so much for your continued support, and thanks in advance for the coffee! :)

~ 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!











The Circus Around Harry James

Harry James Picture

Harry James was one of the most popular trumpet players and bandleaders of the Big Band Era.  He was constantly performing, recording and touring.  You can say his life was a bit of a circus!  But Harry was no stranger to a good circus, he spent his childhood travelling with them. 

Born to circus performer parents, James spent the majority of his youth on the road traveling with the Mighty Haag Circus. His father Everette was the circus bandmaster and the featured trumpet player.  His mother Myrtle was a trapeze artist and horse rider.  It has been reported in the past that she kept performing her high-wire routines until a month before Harry was born. 

Harry himself performed with the circus working as a contortionist when he was only 4 years old.  By the age of 5, he was a featured drummer and by age 9, he was trained by his father to play trumpet.  All of us fans of Harry's trumpet playing should be thankful that his father steered him away from the drums and to the trumpet.  It's also said that his father was a strict taskmaster. so it's no surprise that Harry developed his disciplined approach to his playing.  By the age of 12, he took over leadership of the second band in the Christy Brothers Circus, for which his family was then working. 

There's no question that Harry's childhood in the circus molded him into the great trumpet player and bandleader that he was.  But it came at a cost.  Harry James never got close to people.  Many of the members of his bands have commented later that they really didn't get to know him.  

James’ stunted personality most likely stemmed from the loneliness and insecurity of a childhood spent on the road with the circus. Starting at a young age, Harry needed an audience to feel special, important and loved. Without it, he believed he really wasn’t worth much. According Helen Forrest, who sang in Harry's bands for years, “He was at peace and he knew he was loved when he was playing the trumpet."

Haag Circus Ad

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Podcast: Episode 45

The Big Band and Swing Podcast

The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Mercer, Miller and The Revers-o-scope - 

Episode 45 includes some great songs from Johnny Mercer, Frank Sinatra, Liz Tilton and Tony Pastor.  Ronnaldo also unpacks an audio clip from 1944 which, in his opinion, is simply a ridiculous masterpiece.

Listen to The Big Band and Swing Podcast

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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 Streaming Online from King of Prussia, PA. Commercial Free!

Happy Birthday: Ray Anthony

Picture of Ray Anthony

Ray Anthony is a gifted Trumpeter, Songwriter and Bandleader who was born on January 20th, 1922 in Bentleyville, Pennsylvania.  Happy Birthday Ray!

 - If you'd like to learn a little more about Ray Anthony and hear a couple of his songs, then check out the Podcast Extra: 

Big Band Birthdays - January 20: Ray Anthony

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Happy Birthday: Ray Eberle

Picture of Ray Eberle

January 19th marks the birthday of vocalist Ray Eberle.  Ray was born January 19, 1919 in Mechanicville, New York.  Happy Birthday Raymond!

 - If you'd like to learn a little more about Ray Eberle and hear a couple of his songs, then check out the Podcast Extra: 

Big Band Birthdays - January 19: Ray Eberle


Podcast Extras are available for Hepcats!
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Something Old, New, Borrowed and Blue

Picture of Glenn Miller  - Chesterfield Show

Glenn Miller fans are no strangers to the famous Miller Medleys.  The majority of them followed the fun format of "Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue".  So, what's the story behind those classic compilations?

At the end of 1939, Paul Whiteman and his band ended their run on the Chesterfield Cigarettes radio series that was broadcast on CBS.  Glenn Miller and His Orchestra were chosen to take his place.  For the first 13 weeks of the new series Glenn Miller would also be joined up with The Andrews Sisters.

These shows were scheduled to be 15 minutes long.  The challenge the show producers faced over the first three months of the series was fitting in as much Miller Music as possible while providing time for at least one song for The Andrews Sisters.  Miller also demanded that his own vocalists Marion Hutton, Ray Eberle and Tex Beneke be featured on all of the programs. The solution: "Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue" medleys that were performed during the joint broadcasts with The Andrews Sisters.

The medleys really caught on and soon became a staple in Glenn Miller's live performances. Glenn continued the format until he broke up the band to join the military in the Fall of 1942.  While in the military, the format was used again by Glenn Miller and the Army Air Forces Band for the famous "I Sustain the Wings" broadcasts in 1943 and 1944.  He also used the medleys during various BBC broadcasts as well.


Some Great Examples of Glenn Miller Medleys

I believe there are over seventy different recorded "Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue" medleys floating around out there scattered throughout various record releases and old radio remotes.

You can hear many of these medleys right here on Swing City Radio.

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

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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 Streaming Online from King of Prussia, PA. Commercial Free!

Forgotten World War II Song Finally Released

Album Picture


On Friday, January 15th, 2021, the song “I’m Dreaming of No One But You” written by Leona Augustine, will finally make it's recorded debut.  Swing City Radio will be premiering the song a little after 12pm (Noon) EST on Friday the 15th.  We will replay the premiere shortly after 4pm on the same day.  “I’m Dreaming of No One But You” will then enter normal rotation on The Modern Block.

Leona Augustine’s song has a fascinating back story. The sheet music sat forgotten for decades until her grandson, Jacob Luecke, discovered it in a collection of old family papers in the Spring of 2020.

I encourage you to read the press release below as well as visiting: www.leonasdream.com or facebook.com/leonasdream to learn more about this interesting project.  It's quite apparent that Jacob put a lot of effort into making his grandmother's dream come true so please consider getting a copy of the song for yourself.

Picture of Leona Augustine

Forgotten World War II love song finally makes its recorded debut on January 15, 2021:

In 1942, a young woman wrote a love song. It was called “I’m Dreaming of No One But You” and was inspired by her future husband who had just left home for World War II. 

The song caught the attention of a famous Hollywood composer, who helped write the music. “I’m Dreaming of No One But You” was published, but never recorded. Over the years, the song was nearly forgotten. But now, nearly 80 years later, the song has been professionally recorded for the first time. The effort included contributions from musicians around the world.

“I’m Dreaming of No One But You” was written by Leona Augustine. She wrote the song as a young woman living on a Missouri farm. The original sheet music was composed by Bob Carleton, who had a memorable hit song in “Ja-Da” and later wrote songs for movies.

The song sat forgotten for decades until Leona Augustine’s grandson, Jacob Luecke, recently discovered the sheet music in a collection of old family papers. In the spring of 2020, he set out to record the song in a big band style similar to what was popular during the time of its writing. He ended up working with musicians from nine different countries to bring the song to life.

Jacob Luecke: “Grandma Leona died in 1984, when I was just two years old — so I never really knew much about her. It was amazing to discover that she was a songwriter, which is my hobby too. The first time I played the song, I could tell it was special,” said Jacob Luecke. “I’m excited to be able to share grandma Leona’s talent with the world. I am grateful to the many incredible musicians who contributed to this recording. I hope everyone enjoys listening to it!” 

The song will be released on January 15, 2021, on what would have been Leona Augustine’s 106th birthday. It will be available on all major streaming services.

For more information about this project, visit www.leonasdream.com or facebook.com/leonasdream.

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

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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 Streaming Online from King of Prussia, PA. Commercial Free!

Podcast: Episode 44

The Big Band and Swing Podcast

The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Monroe, Pied Pipers and Oats - 

Episode 44 features tracks from Vaughn Monroe, Artie Shaw, The Pied Pipers and others.  We will also listen to a great version of Tuxedo Junction by Harry James.  Ronnaldo reads a listener's review and we learn who is the Giant of the Cereals.

Listen to The Big Band and Swing Podcast

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

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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 Streaming Online from King of Prussia, PA. Commercial Free!

Happy Birthday: Gene Krupa

Picture of Gene Krupa

Gene Krupa, one of the top drummers of The Big Band Era, was born on January 15th, 1909 in Chicago, Illinois. Happy Birthday Gene!

 - If you'd like to learn a little more about Gene Krupa and hear a couple of his songs, then check out the Podcast Extra: 

Big Band Birthdays - January 15: Gene Krupa


Podcast Extras are available for Hepcats!
To become a Hepcat, simply join our Patreon for instant access to All Types of Bonus Content, Podcast Extras, Specials and so much more.  It's also a great way to support Swing City Radio and The Big Band and Swing Podcast.


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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 Streaming Online from King of Prussia, PA. Commercial Free!

Happy Birthday: Trummy Young

Picture of Trummy Young

Trombonist and vocalist Trummy Young was born on January 12th, 1912 in Savannah Georgia.  Happy Birthday Trummy!

 - If you'd like to learn a little more about Trummy Young and hear a couple of his songs, then check out the Podcast Extra: 

Big Band Birthdays - January 12: Trummy Young


Podcast Extras are available for Hepcats!
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The Many Talents of Dona Drake

Dona Drake

Dona Drake was a talented singer, bandleader, dancer and film actress in the 1930's and 40s.  Along with her many talents, Dona also compiled quite a collection of stage names through her career.

Born as Eunice Westmoreland in November of 1914, Dona performed under the following aliases:
  • Dona Drake
  • Una Novella
  • Rita Novella
  • Rita Rio
  • Una Velon
  • Una Villon
  • Rita Shaw

For the majority of her musical endeavors she used the names Rita Rio and Dona Drake, so throughout rest of this article I will refer to her by using one of those two names.  Confused yet? 😃

She began using the name Rita Rio in 1935, when she was featured at the Paradise Cabaret on Broadway. Besides singing and dancing, she sometimes played piano, trumpet, clarinet, saxophone, drums and occasionally led the orchestra. In 1936, she and another woman formed an all-girl orchestra as a publicity stunt entitled “Rita Rio and her Rhythm Girls.”

The bands she led in the late 1930's and early 1940's are hard for me to critique.  The band's line-up always seemed to be in flux. Some recordings are really impressive while others seem very stiff and unoriginal.  Now remember,  I'm talking about the band.  Rita Rio herself was a talented, beautiful, firecracker.  Her stage presence was top shelf and she truly had a gift when it came to combining her musical and acting experience into her performances. 


At some point in the early 1940's she settled on the stage name Dona Drake and toured the United States as "Dona Drake and her Girl Band".  During this time she was also starting to receive more offers from Hollywood and began her transition from bandleader to film actress.



Dona Drake was truly a great talent and I'm going to make it a point to check out some of her many film appearances. 

The Many Looks of Dona Drake...

If you think Dona Drake had a lot of aliases, well here's some news for you, she had even more looks.  Do a Google Images search, you'll be amazed.  Here's just a few:


Picture of Dona Drake

Picture of Dona Drake

Picture of Dona Drake

Picture of Dona Drake


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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 Streaming Online from King of Prussia, PA. Commercial Free!

Happy Birthday: Dick Jurgens

Picture of Dick Jurgens

Dick Jurgens, Bandleader and Composer, was born in Sacramento, California on January 9, 1910.  Happy Birthday Dick!

 - If you'd like to learn a little more about Dick Jurgens and hear a couple of his songs, then check out the Podcast Extra: 

Big Band Birthdays - January 9: Dick Jurgens


Podcast Extras are available for Hepcats!
To become a Hepcat, simply join our Patreon for instant access to All Types of Bonus Content, Podcast Extras, Specials and so much more.  It's also a great way to support Swing City Radio and The Big Band and Swing Podcast.


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Podcast: Episode 43

The Big Band and Swing Podcast

The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Kaye, Wain and Eckstine - 

Episode 43 features tracks from Earl "Fatha" Hines, Sammy Kaye, Bea Wain, Billy Eckstine and many more.  If you've been cold this winter, I've got an old ad just for you.

Listen to The Big Band and Swing Podcast

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

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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 Streaming Online from King of Prussia, PA. Commercial Free!

Happy Birthday: Red Allen

Picture of Red Allen

Trumpeter and vocalist Red Allen was born January 7, 1908 in New Orleans.  Happy Birthday Red!

 - If you'd like to learn a little more about Red Allen and hear a couple of his songs, then check out the Podcast Extra: 

Big Band Birthdays - January 7: Red Allen


Podcast Extras are available for Hepcats!
To become a Hepcat, simply join our Patreon for instant access to All Types of Bonus Content, Podcast Extras, Specials and so much more.  It's also a great way to support Swing City Radio and The Big Band and Swing Podcast.


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Watch: Artie Shaw in 1939

Picture of Artie Shaw

Artie Shaw truly put together some great bands through the years.  He had such a keen eye for talent.  Check out this clip from 1939 of Artie Shaw and His Orchestra performing "Jeepers Creepers".   Buddy Rich is beating on the drums and Tony Pastor handles the vocals on this one.

Watch: Artie Shaw and His Orchestra from 1939

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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 Streaming Online from King of Prussia, PA. Commercial Free!

Happy Birthday: Maxene Andrews

Picture of Maxene Andrews

Maxene Andrews, member of the famous Andrews Sisters, was born January 3, 1916.  Happy Birthday Maxene!

 - If you'd like to learn a little more about Maxene Andrews and hear a couple of her songs, then check out the Podcast Extra: 

Big Band Birthdays - January 3: Maxene Andrews


Podcast Extras are available for Hepcats!
To become a Hepcat, simply join our Patreon for instant access to All Types of Bonus Content, Podcast Extras, Specials and so much more.  It's also a great way to support Swing City Radio and The Big Band and Swing Podcast.


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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 Streaming Online from King of Prussia, PA. Commercial Free!

Xavier Cugat

Picture of Xavier Cugat

Xavier Cugat  was raised in Cuba and was a leading figure in the spread of Latin music.  In New York City he was the leader of the resident orchestra at the Waldorf–Astoria before and after World War II.

In the 1920s, he led a band that played often at the Cocoanut Grove, a club in Los Angeles. When Charlie Chaplin, Xavier's friend, visited the club to dance the tango, Cugat decided to add tangos to the band's performances. The tangos really took off and seeing how popular the dance was becoming, Cugat convinced the owner to hire dancers to give tango lessons. In 1928 he turned his music show into the film "Xavier Cugat and His Gigolos."

In 1931, Cugat took his band to New York to become the resident band for the Waldorf–Astoria hotel. For sixteen years, he led the Waldorf–Astoria Orchestra, shuttling between New York and Los Angeles for most of the next 30 years. The reason for the constant travel to California was that he worked for the Los Angeles Times as a cartoonist. His caricatures were syndicated to newspapers throughout the country.


Listen to Xavier Cugat's version of "Begin the Beguine"

One of his performance trademarks was to hold a chihuahua while he waved his baton with the other arm, but Cugat's career wasn't all about gimmicks, in 1943 he scored a hit with his song "Brazil" and Xavier played a leading role in the spread of Latin music within the big band community.  Many big names came through Cugat's band including Dinah Shore, Desi Arnaz, Yma Sumac and Abbe Lane.

Not music related by noteworthy, Xavier Cugat also had some high profile relationships including marriages to Abbe Lane and Charo.

Listen to Xavier Cugat on Swing City Radio.

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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 Streaming Online from King of Prussia, PA. Commercial Free!

The NYE Party was a Hoot!

Ronnaldo Picture

I just wanted to say a quick Thank You to all of you that tuned in for the Ronnaldo Live! New Years Eve Party.  It was so much fun playing your song requests, ringing in 2021 and just having fun on the air.  I'm so blessed to have an audience that is so passionate about Big Band music.  I have to admit though, I'm a much better podcaster and radio programmer than I am as a disc jockey.  Heck, the last time I was on the air for a four-hour stint had to be back in the early 90's.  But, it was a lot of fun and I hope you enjoyed it too.

A fun little thing we were doing on the air was building a list of Buzz Words and Catch Phrases that defined 2020.  Here's the final list of words and phrases that were texted in by you along with ones that I added:

- Maskne
- Flatten the Curve
- The 'Rona
- Doomscrolling
- The Bubble
- Social Distancing
- Blursday
- K-shaped recovery
- Contact tracing
- Essential workers and Frontline workers
- P.P.E.
- Remote learning
- Super-spreader
- Virtual happy hour
- Zoombombing
- Cancel Culture
- Uncertain Times

Happy 2021 Everyone!

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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 Streaming Online from King of Prussia, PA. Commercial Free!

Podcast: Collection of Big Band Favorites - Part 2

The Big Band and Swing Podcast

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

Hey there People of Swing! I'm going to be taking a small 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 just for you. Peggy Lee, Harry James and The Andrews sisters are just a few of the artists you'll hear in this episode. Enjoy the music and see you soon!

Listen to The Big Band and Swing Podcast

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

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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 Streaming Online from King of Prussia, PA. Commercial Free!

After Dark: Every Night at 8pm


After Dark features the Swingin' Sounds from all of your favorite Big Bands.   The show will now be on Every Night starting at 8pm (EST).

After Dark plays Your Favorite Classic Hits and Forgotten Tracks from the 1930s, 40's and 50's.  You'll hear Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, The Andrew Sisters, and many other icons from the Big Band Era.  You just might hear some old classic commercials too!



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

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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 Streaming Online from King of Prussia, PA. Commercial Free!

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