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.

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!

Connect with Swing City Radio

Recently Played on Swing City Radio

Listen on Amazon Home Devices

Listen To The Weekly Podcast

Support Station Sponsors

Your Thoughts

Name

Email *

Message *