Podcast: Episode 60

The Big Band and Swing Podcast

The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Static and Clicks from Kalamazoo - 

Episode 60 features songs by Louis Jordan, Artie Shaw, Tommy Dorsey and more. Ronnaldo discusses cleaning up old audio and welcomes new Hepcats.

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Watch: "Perfidia" and "In the Mood"

Picture of Glenn Miller Orchestra

So how did some of the members of the World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra spend their past year in quarantine?  This video sheds some light on that question.

Watch The Moonlight Serenaders (the vocal group within the Glenn Miller Orchestra) perform a fun rendition of "Perfidia" over web cam from their homes around the country.

Watch: "Perfidia" performed by the The Moonlight Serenaders 
of the Glenn Miller Orchestra.

The band has since left their homes and have starting touring again.  For dates, locations and ticket information, check out their website at: glennmillerorchestra.com.  They put on a fantastic show and Nick Hilscher does such a great job leading the band!

Let's watch one more by the band.  This is "In The Mood".  Just imagine how hard it would be to fit all of these moving parts together online.

Watch: "In The Mood" performed by the The Glenn Miller Orchestra.

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!

Casa Loma Orchestra

Picture of Casa Loma Orchestra

The Casa Loma Orchestra was one of the top Dance Bands in the early to mid 1930's.  The band was active from the late 1920's to 1947 and then re-emerged in 1957.  The Casa Loma Orchestra had a few leaders over the years but the most notable was saxophonist, Glen Gray.

The band originally assembled under the name The Orange Blossoms in Detroit, Michigan.  By the time of their first recordings in 1929, they had changed their name to The Casa Loma Orchestra.

The business model and structure of this band was much different than most others.  Almost all other bands at this time had a "leader" for whom everyone worked. Casa Loma operated as a collective group.  In 1930, the Casa Loma Orchestra was incorporated in New York with the members becoming owners, shareholders, and board members.  The band members were hired on the grounds of musical competence and would have to follow a strict code of conduct and financial rules.  Members who broke the rules could be summoned before the "board", have their contract bought out, and be ejected from the band.

The band was led by a person that was hand-picked by the band itself.  Casa Loma's first bandleader was violinist Hank Biagini.  In 1937, the band overwhelmingly voted in favor of Glen Grey leading the orchestra, and Gray finally accepted the job.

Watch: The Casa Loma Orchestra in 1942.  This short film also includes some
fine dancing from famed lindy hoppers Jewel McGowan and Dean Collins.

The Casa Loma Orchestra released A LOT of music during their run in the 1930's and 40's.  They scored a boatload of hits and enjoyed a long run on radio including extended stints on Camel Caravan.

After 1947, the Casa Loma band had ceased touring, and Glen Gray retired. The later recordings on Capitol Records, beginning with Casa Loma in Hi-Fi in 1956 and continuing through the Sounds of the Great Bands series, were done with Gray leading a group of studio musicians in Hollywood. Several of the Casa Loma alumni would occasionally be featured as well. In all, some 14 high-fidelity and stereo recordings were made for Capitol Records under the name of Glen Gray and the Casa Loma Orchestra before Gray's death in 1963.

... and speaking of Casa Loma alumni, a few of the names that passed through the band over the years included: Pee Wee Hunt, Sonny Dunham, Kenny Sargent and Horace Henderson.  Keep in mind, the band maintained a stable collection of personnel that didn't change much because of the member ownership structure they had in place.

Interesting Note: In 1943, Eugenie Baird became "the first girl vocalist ever featured" with the Casa Loma Orchestra.  

You can hear the many hits of The Casa Loma Orchestra 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!

Happy Birthday: Bing Crosby

Picture of Bing Crosby

Birthday wishes go out to one of the most popular and influential stars of the 20th Century, Bing Crosby. Bing was born Harry Lillis Crosby Jr on May 3, 1903 in Tacoma, Washington.

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

Big Band Birthdays - May 3: Bing Crosby


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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!

Bobby Sherwood

Picture of Bobby Sherwood

Bobby Sherwood led a very good band that did quite well in the 1940's and had a career that spanned more than half a century.  He is best known for his work on the trumpet and guitar but Sherwood was a unique talent because he could play almost every instrument in the band, and play them well. Sherwood may not be remembered as a big name of the Swing Era, but he was very respected in the music business and released some very good records.

Bobby started his career at the age of 12 playing banjo in his parents' band.  During his teens, Sherwood spent his time teaching himself how to play multiple instruments and became a well rounded musician.  When he was 22 years old, he replaced Eddie Lang as the guitarist for Bing Crosby in 1933 and remained with Crosby until he left in the early 40's to form his own band.  He also did some arranging for Jimmy Dorsey and Artie Shaw during this time.

Throughout the 1940's, Sherwood released great recordings and even landed a few hits. He was also doing a lot of radio work including leading the house band for Eddie Cantor's radio program and as a regular on the Hillman Hour.  In the mid-1940s, he hosted his own radio program, "The Bobby Sherwood Orchestra". 

He did some acting in Hollywood for a bit, but for the most part, the latter part of his career was spent working as a disc jockey. Sherwood was still very involved in music and playing until his death in 1981.


Listen to: "The Elks' Parade" by Bobby Sherwood and His Orchestra.

Interesting Notes:  

Sherwood married Dorothy Virginia Gumm, the sister of Judy Garland, and worked as a bandleader for Judy Garland during sessions at Decca Records.

His sons Billy and Michael are both musicians.  Billy Sherwood definitely followed in his father's footsteps being able to play multiple instruments extremely well and is a heck of a singer.  The brothers have been big names in the Progressive Rock scene since the late 1980's and Billy is currently a member of Yes.  (I was a HUGE Yes fan growing up and still love and follow them today!)

You can hear many of Bobby Sherwood's songs 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!

Soundie: Hollywood Boogie

Picture of Thelma White and Her All Girl Orchestra

Today's Soundie comes courtesy of Thelma White and Her All Girl Orchestra.  The title is known to some as "Choo Choo" but the official name of this piece is "Hollywood Boogie".  This song really swings and it's fun to watch Thelma wiggle and glide across the stage very much like Ina Ray Hutton.

White was known more as an actress.  She was in many good films but is known mostly for her role in the cult classic film "Reefer Madness".  During World War II, White joined United Servicemen Overseas, a government program that provided entertainment for the American troops, and performed as the leader of this all female swing band.

Watch: "Hollywood Boogie" by Thelma White and Her All Girl Orchestra

Thelma White and Her All Girl Orchestra filmed a few Soundies and did many tours to support and entertain the American troops.  Unfortunately, during one of those tours to Alaska, she contracted a crippling disease while in the Aleutian Islands. Thelma was bedridden for five years and was told she never would walk again. Although she partially recovered and appeared in a few late 1940s films, her career was pretty much over.

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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