Happy Birthday: Mildred Bailey

Picture of Mildred Bailey

Mildred Bailey, vocalist and known as The Queen of Swing, was born February 27, 1907.  Happy Birthday Mildred!

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

Big Band Birthdays - February 27: Mildred Bailey


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!

Podcast: Episode 50

The Big Band and Swing Podcast

The Big Band and Swing Podcast - A Cheesy Powerhouse - 

Episode 50 includes songs from Raymond Scott, Artie Shaw, Ina Ray Hutton and Frank Sinatra.  Ronnaldo plays a very cheesy radio ad and we hear some great Soundies.

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.  

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!

Happy Birthday: Cee Pee Johnson

Picture of Cee Pee Johnson

February 22nd is the birthday of drummer, vocalist and bandleader, Cee Pee Johnson. Cee Pee was born on Feb 22, 1915 in New Orleans.

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

Big Band Birthdays - February 22: Cee Pee Johnson


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.


Become a Hepcat Button


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!

History of the Song: "Minnie the Moocher"

Picture of Cab Calloway


Folks, here's the story 'bout Minnie the Moocher.  Well, it's actually about the song "Minnie the Moocher" by Cab Calloway.  This classic from the Big Band Era is known mostly for it's scat style lyrics and was first recorded back in 1931.  It's hard to imagine that this song is now 90 years old!

An interesting little fact I read while researching the song was that those famous "Hi-De-Ho" scat lyrics came about because he forgot the lyrics.  Calloway admitted in a Billboard Magazine article that the "Hi-De-Hos" weren't in the early and raw versions of the song. One night while performing a live radio remote he forgot the lyrics and started to ad-lib.  Can you even imagine the song without the legendary scat included?    

So we all love to sing all of those "Hi-De Hi-De Ho" parts, but it's easy to miss all of the drug references contained in the song. The term "kick the gong around" was slang for smoking opium.  And let's not forget that Minnie was in love with Smokey even though he was kokey.  Yea, it sounds like Smokey had a bit of a cocaine habit.

Cab Calloway would go on to mention Minnie in many of his other songs including: "Minnie the Moocher's Wedding Day", "Ghost of Smoky Joe", "Kickin' the Gong Around", "Minnie's a Hepcat Now", "Mr. Paganini - Swing for Minnie", "We Go Well Together", and "Zah Zuh Zaz". 

So an obvious question you may have: Was there really a Minnie the Moocher?  There's a bit of a debate on that.  According to an article published in Jet Magazine in 1951, there was a real Minnie who had recently died and “was a familiar figure in downtown Indianapolis.” Her real name was known to be Minnie Gayton and she acquired the nickname “Moocher” by regularly begging for food. But there's a lot holes in that theory and Calloway himself never mentions that as a fact.

You can listen to "Minnie the Moocher" below.  I've also included the lyrics without the Hi-De-Hos to save space.  Enjoy!


Listen to "Minnie the Moocher" by Cab Calloway

Minnie the Moocher:
Folks, here's a story 'bout Minnie the Moocher
She was a red hot hoochie-coocher
She was the roughest, toughest frail
But Minnie had a heart as big as a whale

She messed around with a bloke named Smokey
She loved him though he was kokey
He took her down to Chinatown
And he showed her how to kick the gong around

She had a dream about the king of Sweden
He gave her things, that she was needin'
He gave her a home built of gold and steel
A diamond car, with the platinum wheels

He gave her his townhouse and his racing horses
Each meal she ate was a dozen courses
She had a million dollars worth of nickels and dimes
She sat around and counted them all a million times

Poor Min, poor Min, poor Min

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!

Watch: International Sweethearts of Rhythm

Picture of International Sweethearts of Rhythm

I posted this video today for those of you that might not be familiar with The International Sweethearts of Rhythm. Led by Anna Mae Winburn and Tiny Davis, they were the first integrated all women's band in the United States. During the 1940s the band featured some of the best female musicians of the day.

The video below is a collection of film clips that were put together of some performances by The International Sweethearts of Rhythm.  See for yourself how much this great band could truly Swing!


Watch video of: The International Sweethearts of Rhythm

If you are curious about other all-female bands that were performing in the Big Band Era, I suggest looking up: Ina Ray Hutton and Her Melodears, Lorraine Page and her Orchestra, Rita Rio (aka Dona Drake) and Her Band and The Darlings of Rhythm to just name a few.

You can hear the music of The International Sweethearts of Rhythm 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.  

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 49

The Big Band and Swing Podcast

The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Jitterbugs, It's a Good Day - 

Episode 49 features some fantastic music from Tommy Dorsey, Count Basie, Helen Forrest and more.  Ronnaldo plays an old clip that focuses on Jitterbugs and we hear a great Benny Goodman track from 1939.

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.  

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!

Happy Birthday: Charlie Spivak

Picture of Charlie Spivak

February 17th marks the birthday of trumpeter and bandleader, Charlie Spivak.  Charlie was born Feb 17th of 1905 or 1907 depending on who you ask.

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


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!

Happy Birthday: Patty Andrews

Picture of Patty Andrews

Today, February 16th, we celebrate the birthday of vocalist Patty Andrews.  Patty was born February 16, 1918 in Mound, Minnesota.

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

Big Band Birthdays - February 16: Patty 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.


Become a Hepcat Button


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 Wrong Idea by Charlie Barnet

Charlie Barnet Record

Listening to this song always makes me laugh.  "The Wrong Idea" was a song that Charlie recorded in 1939 and released to the public in 1940 as a B-Side to "The Right Idea".  What makes this song a classic is how he and Billy May poke fun at the music of bandleaders Sammy Kaye and Kay Kyser.

Sometimes you have to dig deep or read between the lines to find these jabs that musicians sometimes take at each other.  This one was right at the surface. On the 78 itself was the phrase "Sing and Sweat with Charlie Barnet" mocking the more famous phrase "Swing and Sway with Sammy Kaye". 

I'm a fan of both Sweet and Hot Bands and we play both here on Swing City Radio.  Regardless of your personal taste, this has to go down as one of the most entertaining musical "punch in the face" songs of the Big Band Era.  Just listen to the lyrics and music and judge for yourself.  Enjoy!

Listen to "The Wrong Idea" by Charlie Barnet

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!

Happy Birthday: Skeets Tolbert

Picture of Skeets Tolbert

We are all aware that Feb 14 is Valentines Day, so Happy Valentines Day to all of you. But, February 14th is also the birthday of Skeets Tolbert. 

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

Big Band Birthdays - February 14: Skeets Tolbert 


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.


Become a Hepcat Button


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: Wingy Manone

Picture of Wingy Manone

February 13th marks the birthday of bandleader and trumpet great, Wingy Manone.  Wingy was born on February 13, 1900 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

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

Big Band Birthdays - February 13: Wingy Manone 


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.


Become a Hepcat Button


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: Class in Swing

Picture of Artie Shaw

This is a pretty cool video!  This short film features Artie Shaw and His Orchestra in 1939, but the presentation is done in an educational manner.  It's kind of like being in Swing Music Class.  😎

The narrator describes the music, composition and style of a big band by using Artie Shaw and His Band as the chalkboard.  The film also features Helen Forrest on vocals and a young Buddy Rich on drums.

Check it out, it's a fun video. Enjoy!

Video: "Artie Shaw - Class in Swing" (1939 Short Film)

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 48

The Big Band and Swing Podcast

The Big Band and Swing Podcast - A Topical AND Tropical Episode - 

Episode 48 features some great tracks from Bob Chester, Buddy Rich, Glenn Miller and more.  Ronnaldo thanks some of the newest Hepcats and we take a quick look at some Big Band music with a Hawaiian flavor.

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.  

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!

Happy Birthday: Tex Beneke

Picture of Tex Beneke

Today we celebrate the birthday of vocalist, saxophonist and bandleader Tex Beneke. Tex was born Gordon Lee Beneke on February 12, 1914 in Fort Worth, Texas.

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

Big Band Birthdays - February 12: Tex Beneke


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.


Become a Hepcat Button


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: Chick Webb

Chick Webb Picture

Today we celebrate the birthday of legendary drummer and bandleader, Chick Webb.  Chick was born on February 10, 1905 in Baltimore, Maryland.

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


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!

Ben Pollack - Father of Swing

Picture of Ben Pollack

Ben Pollack was a fine drummer, but more importantly he was a bandleader that had a eye for finding and developing very talented musicians. His gift earned him the nickname the "Father of Swing."  He truly deserved that title.  

Here's a list of some of the musicians that passed through his bands from the mid-1920's to the 1940's: Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Bud Freeman, Freddie Slack, Harry James, Jack Teagarden, Jimmy McPartland, Muggsy Spanier, and Yank Lawson. I could list more but I think you get the point.

So do you think that some of those names listed above influenced the Big Band era at all?  :) Another thing to consider are the bandleaders that came from that first wave of bandleaders themselves.  Glenn Miller with Tex Beneke, Charlie Spivak, Ray Anthony, Hal McIntyre and so on.  Benny Goodman spun off Gene Krupa,  Bunny Berigan, Teddy Wilson and Lionel Hampton just to name a few.

I just threw a lot of names at you there.  One day when I have a chance,  I think I will map out a little "Family Tree" style of chart starting with Ben Pollack. I'm very curious on how many bands and artists I'll be able to include.  Heck, he even organized a band that was led by comedian, Chico Marx in the early 40's.

Listen to Ben Pollack and His Band perform "Got The Jitters"

Ben remained active well after the Big Band Era ended.  He even appeared as himself in the movie The Benny Goodman Story, and made a cameo in The Glenn Miller Story.  In 1971,  Pollack sadly took his own life after suffering a series of major financial losses.  He was only 67.

You can hear the great music of Ben Pollack and his many talented bands, 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.  

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 47

The Big Band and Swing Podcast

The Big Band and Swing Podcast - The Magic Touch of Kirk, Day and Goodman - 

Episode 47 includes some great music from Andy Kirk, Doris Day, Benny Goodman and more.  We also learn the secret behind the unmade-up look.

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.  

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!

Happy Birthday: Dolly Dawn

Dolly Dawn

Happy Birthday to big band vocalist Dolly Dawn.  Dolly was born on February 3, 1916 in Newark, New Jersey.  

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

Big Band Birthdays - February 3: Dolly Dawn

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.


Become a Hepcat Button


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!

Lola Ooh La La

Swing Jumpers Cover

Our favorite Big Band from Alaska, The Swing Jumpers, have a newer single out called "Lola Ooh La La".  You can learn a little more about the band and sign up for their mailing list at: http://www.swingjumpers.com.

Check out the video for the song!  They did a nice job.


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!

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