Les Elgart

Picture of Les Elgart

Les Elgart, along with his younger brother Larry, are most remembered for their famous "Elgart Sound" which arose from the ashes of the Big Band Era in the mid-1950's. The style incorporated a unique blend of brass and reeds and it's popularity led to a string of best selling albums for the Elgart Brothers.  During that time, they also released the now instantly recognized "Bandstand Boogie", which was used by Dick Clark as the theme song for the ABC dance show "American Bandstand".

Les Elgart, himself, got his start playing trumpet in the bands of Raymond Scott, Charlie Spivak, and Harry James, occasionally finding himself alongside his brother Larry.  Les formed his own orchestra in 1945 and hired Nelson Riddle and Ralph Flanagan to write arrangements. The band enjoyed a little bit of success but failed to sustain any real popularity so Les disbanded the orchestra in 1949.
Les would end up freelancing in pick-up bands and doing contract work for the next few years. Finally, in 1953, after forming a second band, the "Elgart Sound", which had a familiar Glenn Miller touch to its style, caught on with the public.  In 1957, Les changed the name of his band to "Les and Larry Elgart and Their Orchestra".  The brothers eventually parted ways by the end of the decade and reunited again in the early 1960's. 

Listen to: "Bandstand Boogie" by Les Elgart from 1954

You can hear the music of Les Elgart right here on Swing City Radio.

Watch: "Jersey Bounce"

Picture of Benny Goodman

Today's film clip comes from the 1944 movie "Sweet and Low-Down."  It features Benny Goodman and His Orchestra performing the classic track "Jersey Bounce". The movie stars Linda Darnell, Jack Oakie and Lynn Bari.

"Sweet and Low-Down" was a fictionalized version of life with Benny Goodman and his band while entertaining at military camps and bases during World War II.


Watch: "Jersey Bounce" performed by Benny Goodman.

Podcast: Show 130 - Listening to Music and Sharing Meat

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The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Listening to Music and Sharing Meat - Show 130 - 

Features vintage music by Sam Donahue, Woody Herman, Lionel Hampton and others.  Ronnaldo also plays another Soundie and a couple of Red Nichols tracks from 1930.

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

Listen to: Listening to Music and Sharing Meat (Show 130)
Podcast Episode

Listen to more episodes of The Big Band and Swing Podcast at: BigBandPodcast.com

Mal Hallett

Violinist, Mal Hallett, trained and educated at the Boston Conservatory of Music.  During World War I, Mal joined Al Moore's band and spent time in France entertaining the troops.

In the 1930's, Hallett would go on to lead his own band.  His orchestra spent most of its time in the New England area but enjoyed a very nice level of success for a regional band.

When the Swing Era hit, Hallett was a bit older than most of the other swing leaders, and it's said that he sometimes had trouble connecting with the younger fans.  It's also important to add that Hallett battled alcoholism throughout his career and even suffered an injury that prevented him from continuing to play the violin.

Hallett passed away in 1952, but he managed to leave behind a very strong catalog of Big Band music.  His band will also be remembered for the amount of sidemen and vocalists that would go on to make an impact on the era including:  Gene Krupa, Jack Teagarden, Frankie Carle, Jack Jenney, Toots Mondello, Irene Daye and many others.  Let's just say that band was quite stacked with talent.

Listen to: "Life Of The Party" by Mal Hallett from 1937

You can hear the music of Mal Hallett right here on Swing City Radio.

Watch Duke Take the 'A' Train

Picture of Duke Ellington

Today's clip is from a 1943 musical called "Reveille with Beverly" released by Columbia Pictures.  It features Duke Ellington and His Orchestra performing "Take the 'A' Train".  

This same film also featured appearances by some other huge names from the era including: Count Basie, Frank Sinatra, The Mills Brothers, Bob Crosby, Freddie Slack, and Ella Mae Morse.

A very fun performance and a great version of the song.  Enjoy!

Watch: Duke Ellington perform "Take the 'A' Train" in the 1943 film "Reveille with Beverly".

Podcast: Show 129 - Some Big Names

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The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Some Big Names - Show 129 - 

Features vintage Big Band recordings by Count Basie, Glenn Miller, Louis Jordan and Harry James.  Ronnaldo also plays music performances by Stan Kenton and Sammy Kaye.

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

Listen to: Some Big Names (Show 129)
Podcast Episode

Listen to more episodes of The Big Band and Swing Podcast at: BigBandPodcast.com

Gail Reese

Picture of Gail Reese

Timing is sometimes more important than talent.  Gail Reese was the featured female vocalist for three of the big-name bands from the Swing Era but her name is often forgotten.

After getting her start in Dick Messner's band in 1936, she soon found herself in the band of Charlie Barnet.  Barnet's band was still trying to find itself in the mid 30's and her time with them didn't last long.

In 1937, Gail joined Bunny Berigan's Orchestra.  As a member of Bunny's band, Reese would go on to make her most memorable recordings and was the featured vocalist on the tracks "I Dance Alone", "Let 'Er Go" and a great version of "Sophisticated Swing", just to name a few.

In 1938, Reese joined Glenn Miller's new band.  She was a part of some of Miller's first radio broadcasts from the Paradise Restaurant in New York City.  She was soon replaced by Marion Hutton and sadly for Reese, she was not a part of the meteoric rise that Miller and his band experienced months later.  As I said before, timing is sometimes more important than talent.

By 1939, Reese had retired from the music business, got married and focused on raising a family.

Listen to: "Why'd Ya Make Me Fall In Love" by Glenn Miller featuring the vocals of Gail Reese.

You can hear the vocals of Gail Reese right here on Swing City Radio.

Watch: "Skyliner" by Charlie Barnet

Picture of Charlie Barnet

Today's video clip is "Skyliner" by Charlie Barnet and His Orchestra.  This Snader's Telescription was originally recorded in the early 1950's and Charlie delivers a fantastic version of one of his classics.

"Skyliner" is just one of the many Snader's Telescriptions Barnet took part in.  Others include: "Cherokee", "Andy's Boogie", "My Old Flame" and "Caravan". 

Take note of the production quality of this clip.  The majority of Soundies were usually done on a small budget and rushed.  Snader's Telecriptions were usually more thought out and the camera work was much better.  That being said, and as good as this clip is, I still prefer Soundies over Snaders for some reason.


Watch: "Skyliner" by Charlie Barnet and His Orchestra

Podcast: Show 128 - Birdseed and Dog Food

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The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Birdseed and Dog Food - Show 128 - 

Features vintage music by Raymond Scott, Will Bradley, Ralph Flanagan and Cootie Williams.  Ronnaldo thanks some new supporters and also plays a Soundie.

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

Listen to: Birdseed and Dog Food (Show 128)
Podcast Episode

Listen to more episodes of The Big Band and Swing Podcast at: BigBandPodcast.com

Jo Stafford

Picture of Jo Stafford

Jo Stafford began her career in the late 1930's and by 1955, she had achieved more worldwide record sales than any other female artist.  Ironically, Jo had originally underwent classical training to become an opera singer before following a career in popular music.

While still in high school, Jo joined up with her two older sisters to form a vocal trio called the Stafford Sisters.  The trio enjoyed some moderate success in radio and film.  In 1938, Jo left her sisters to become the lead singer of the vocal group, The Pied Pipers.  By 1939, bandleader Tommy Dorsey had hired The Pied Pipers to perform back-up vocals for his orchestra.

In the early 1940's, The Pied Pipers experienced a lot of success and exposure performing Dorsey.  Stafford was also used as a featured vocalist for Dorsey as well. 

The mid-forties saw Stafford move on from Dorsey and The Pied Pipers to embark on a solo career. (Note: Stafford would continue to make appearances from time to time with The Pied Pipers throughout the 40's.)  She also performed in MANY U.S.O. concerts for the soldiers during World War II and earned the nickname "G.I. Jo".

Starting in 1945, Stafford became a regular host of NBC's "The Chesterfield Supper Club".  From that point forward, Stafford was all over the radio and later, would have her own TV Show.  Her career would go on to span five decades.

Watch: "It Started All Over Again" by Jo Stafford and The Pied Pipers

You can hear the amazing voice of Jo Stafford right here on Swing City Radio.

Soundie: The Mel-Tones

Picture of The Mel-Tones

Today's Soundie is "Back Home In Indiana" by The Mel-Tones.  Unfortunately, it should be billed as "The Mel-Tones minus Mel" since Mel Tormé doesn't appear in this Soundie. An actor name Bernie Parke fills in and lip syncs Tormé's parts.

In researching this Soundie I have found two possible reasons for Tormé's absence.  Some say he was in the military at the time of filming, while others claim it was a contract restriction that kept him off camera.  Either way - he's not shown.

Take note of the quintet that are providing the music to this 1945 Soundie.  It looks like it contains Dave Barbour, Buddy Cole and Nick Fatool.

By the way, I'm sure you've noticed the image is in reverse.  This is a Soundie from an original reel and were produced this way to be shown on a Panoram.  I've covered this before in previous posts.  


Watch: "Back Home In Indiana" by The Mel-Tones

Podcast: Show 127 - The Feeling Is Mutual

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The Big Band and Swing Podcast - The Feeling Is Mutual - Show 127 - 

Features vintage recordings by Les Brown, Tommy Dorsey and Ozzie Nelson.  Ronnaldo also plays music performances from an old radio show called The Feeling Is Mutual. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

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

Listen to: The Feeling Is Mutual (Show 127)
Podcast Episode

Listen to more episodes of The Big Band and Swing Podcast at: BigBandPodcast.com

The V-Disc Episodes - Starting September 2022

Logo of The V-Disc Episodes

I'm happy to announce that "The V-Disc Episodes", a Podcast Extra of "The Big Band and Swing Podcast", will makes its debut on September 7th.  The initial release will include an introduction to the new series and the first episode.  If you have "Subscribed" or "Follow" The Big Band and Swing Podcast - these episodes will automatically show up in your podcast feed.

In case you are unfamiliar with the V-Discs Recordings, - they were a unique collection of records produced by the US Armed Forces during World War II and for a short time after.  They were made specifically for the US troops and military personnel that were serving all around the world. V-Discs provided soldiers with entertainment from home, and were considered a huge morale booster.

This special series of podcasts will focus on the fantastic music from this collection, disc by disc. I will be unpacking the history, the musicians, the STORY behind each one.  

To learn more about the series, be sure to check out the "Introduction" episode on September 7th.

Also, I'd like to thank so many of you out there that have encouraged me to do this series, your continued interest in this music is the primary force that drive me.  Thank you for your support.

Added to Playlist - Aug 2022

Picture of Fats Waller

I've been a busy little beaver over the last couple weeks and have added some great recordings to the station rotation from the archives of Old Time Radio including music by:

Fats Waller
(Radio Remote - Panther Room in Chicago - December 1940)
Songs include: "Whatcha Know Joe?", "Lila Lou" and a very interesting version of "Frenesi".

Harry James
(Victory Parade of Spotlight Bands - AFRS - May 1942)
Tracks include: "Music Makers", "Sleepy Lagoon" and a fantastic rendition of "The Devil Sat Down and Cried"

Ray Anthony
(Victory Parade of Spotlight Bands - AFRS - Jan 1952)
Songs are from two separate performances from January of 1952 and includes: "Solitaire", "Cook's Tour", "Brokenhearted" and many more.

I also added vintage music from: Gene Krupa, Frankie Carle, Chuck Foster, Les Brown and Louis Prima.  VERY GOOD STUFF!


Watch: "Smoke Rings" by Glen Gray

Picture of Glen Gray

Today's film short is called "Smoke Rings" and stars Glen Gray and His Casa Loma Orchestra.  It was released in July of 1943 by Universal Studios and features vocal performances from Pee Wee Hunt, The Pied Pipers and Eugenie Baird.  

The Casa Loma Orchestra formed in 1929. When Eugenie Baird was hired on as a lead female vocalist in the 1940's, it marked the first time a female vocalist was featured in the band. 

This is a great film and is filed with energy and fantastic music!  Songs included: "Can't Get Stuff in Your Cuff," "That's My Affair" and "Little Man with the Hammer" and more.

Please excuse the time strip on the bottom of the film.  I found this on the Periscope Film Youtube Channel.  If you haven't visited that channel yet, it's a fun place to find some of this old footage.


Watch: The Short Film "Smoke Rings" by Glen Gray from 1943

Podcast: Show 126 - Focus On The Basics

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The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Focus On The Basics - Show 126 -

Features vintage music by Frank Sinatra, Artie Shaw and Benny Goodman.  We also learn about The Basic Musical Library that was issues by the AFRS and Ronnaldo plays some tracks from the collection.

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

Listen to: Focus On The Basics (Show 126)

Listen to more episodes of The Big Band and Swing Podcast at: BigBandPodcast.com

Jimmy Mundy

Picture of Jimmy Mundy

Jimmy Mundy was best known for his classic arrangements for Benny Goodman, Count Basie, and Earl Hines.  The saxophonist / arranger first developed in skills in the 1920's playing with local bands in the Cincinnati, Ohio area.  In the early 1930's he got his big break when he wrote and sold some of his arrangements to Claude Hopkins.  Mundy was then hired by Earl Hines to play sax in his famous "Grand Terrace Orchestra" and this is where Jimmy developed the reputation of a top rate arranger.

By 1935, Mundy had attracted the attention of Benny Goodman. Goodman hired Mundy and by 1938, he along with Fletcher Henderson, were considered Goodman's principle staff arrangers.

In late 1938, drumming great Gene Krupa, departed Goodman's band to form his own outfit and Mundy followed.  Even though he was connected with Krupa, Mundy still continued to contribute arrangements to Goodman on a freelance basis.

Throughout the 1940's, Mundy led his own band on a limited basis, but he's most remembered in that decade for his compositions and arrangements he supplied to some of the biggest bands of the era including: Harry James, Count Basie, Artie Shaw, Charlie Spivak, Paul Whiteman and many others.

The band he personally led didn't make much of an impact, but they did manage to make some great recordings and their performances on Jubilee were legendary.

Listen to: "Fiesta In Brass" by Jimmy Mundy and His Orchestra

You can hear the music of Jimmy Mundy right here on Swing City Radio.

Watch: Symphony of Swing

Picture of Artie Shaw

Today's video is a short film called Symphony of Swing and features Artie Shaw and His Orchestra.  This was released by Warner Bros. and Vitaphone back in 1939.  The cinematography and editing were top shelf (for 1939) and it truly captures the essence of Artie Shaw and His Band at the time.

The songs included in this short are: "Alone Together," "Jeepers Creepers", "Deep Purple" and "Lady Be Good".  Helen Forrest and Tony Pastor were handling the primary vocal duties for Shaw during this time.  If you watch close, you can just make out a young Buddy Rich on drums.  He is not credited in the film.


Watch: Artie Shaw and His Orchestra in "Symphony of Swing" from 1939

Podcast: Show 125 - Woody, Cab and Jack

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The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Woody, Cab and Jack - Show 125 - 

Features vintage recordings by Glen Gray, Connie Haines, Billy Mills and Woody Herman.  Ronnaldo also plays music performances from The Abbott and Costello Show.

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

Listen to: Woody, Cab and Jack (Show 125)

Listen to more episodes of The Big Band and Swing Podcast at: BigBandPodcast.com

Basic Musical Library (AFRS)

Picture of Basic Musical Library

The AFRS Basic Musical Library (aka Basic Music Library) was a series of recordings of popular, jazz, and classical music that was distributed to every military radio station during World War II.  It became an audio/music library that allowed personnel at these military broadcast facilities to act as disc jockeys and to play the most popular songs and artists for their audiences - the American troops.

Swing City Radio plays MANY of the songs and artists that can be found in the "P" Series of this collection.  The "P" stands for popular.  Some of the many bands and singers represented in this fantastic collection include Bing Crosby, The Andrews Sisters, Frank Sinatra, Harry James, Count Basie, Cab Calloway, Louis Prima, and Peggy Lee to just name a handful.

The sources of these historic recordings mostly came from alternate takes of commercial recordings from the major record labels; radio broadcasts and remotes (often the dress rehearsals); concerts; and the AFRS’s own recording sessions. They were distributed to the broadcast facilities on 16-inch Transcription Discs.

Picture of 16 inch disc
Picture of "Basic Musical Library" - 16 inch Transcription Disc

Listen to Swing City Radio to hear some of these great recordings.  Enjoy! 

Soundie: It's Been a Long, Long Time

Picture of Stan Kenton

Today's Soundie is yet another one from Stan Kenton. "It's Been A Long, Long Time" was released to Panorams in December of 1945 and just one of the eighteen Soundies Kenton and His Band filmed through the years.  It features the beautiful June Christy on vocals along with the postwar lineup of the Band.

This Soundie was filmed very well but the audio is a bit low.  It still manages to capture Stan Kenton being Stan Kenton.  Enjoy!

Watch: A Soundie by Stan Kenton - "It's Been a Long, Long Time" from 1945

Podcast: Show 124 - The Great Tobacco Wars

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The Big Band and Swing Podcast - The Great Tobacco Wars - Show 124 - 

Features vintage music by Glenn Miller, The Boswell Sisters, Tony Pastor and Count Basie.  We also listen to old radio ads from the most popular cigarette companies of the 1940's.

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

Listen to: The Great Tobacco Wars (Show 124)

Listen to more episodes of The Big Band and Swing Podcast at: BigBandPodcast.com

Johnny Desmond

Picture of Johnny Desmond

Johnny Desmond was a talented vocalist that was popular during the 1940's and 50's.  He started off by forming his own singing group in 1939 called the Downbeats.  This vocal group quickly caught the attention of Bob Crosby and in 1940, Crosby hired them to work with his band.  Shortly after, the band changed their name to the Bob-O-Links.

In mid-1941, Desmond moved on to become the featured vocalist for Gene Krupa's band.  He ended up replacing Howard Dulaney and recorded over a dozen sides for Krupa.

In 1942, Desmond made a big life decision and enlisted in the U.S. Army.  He eventually became a member of Glenn Miller's Army Air Force Band.  Desmond made many, many radio broadcasts being featured on lead vocals while with Miller.  He was discharged from the military in November of 1945, shortly after the end of World War II.

The name recognition he achieved while serving with Miller's band helped him solidify a successful solo career after the war.  He also starred in quite a few radio shows as well.

You can hear the music of Johnny Desmond right here on Swing City Radio.

Listen to: "Shoo-Fly Pie And Apple Pan Dowdy" by Johnny Desmond from 1946

Watch: Air Mail Special

Picture of Count Basie

Today's Soundie features Count Basie and His Orchestra performing the Goodman classic "Air Mail Special".  This film was released in 1941 and Basie's version REALLY SWINGS.  Such a great performance for the camera.

Also featured in the film is a "last couple standing" dance battle.  Now call me cynical, but I have a strange feeling the winner was picked long before the dance started.  😀  Spoiler alert: Long time Basie vocalist, Jimmy Rushing paired up with Winnie Johnson, were crowned the winners.

A very fun Soundie with some GREAT music.  Enjoy!

Watch:  Count Basie perform "Air Mail Special".  1941 Soundie.

Picture of Jimmy Rushing

Podcast: Show 123 - Kool Smoke Dreams

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The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Kool Smoke Dreams - Show 123 - 

Features vintage recordings by Teddy Powell, Cootie Williams, The Mills Brothers and Les Elgart.  Ronnaldo also plays tracks from "Let's Go Clubbing" and the "Jack Pearl Show". 

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

Listen to: Kool Smoke Dreams (Show 123)

Listen to more episodes of The Big Band and Swing Podcast at: BigBandPodcast.com

Support Week 2022

Pic of Support Week

This week is Support Week at Swing City Radio and The Big Band and Swing Podcast.  If you dig the music you hear on this station and have room in your budget, then I just want to let you know that I can sure use YOUR support.

I've included links below that go to the station's Patreon Page and PayPal Page.  Please take a look when you have a chance.  All I'm asking is for you to just consider it.

No pressure, no pulling on the heart strings - like I said, if it's something that fits into your budget, then I would really appreciate it.

Pic of Hepcat


And as always, thank you so much for listening to Swing City Radio and The Big Band and Swing Podcast.

Lucy Ann Polk

Picture of Lucy Ann Polk

Lucy Ann Polk first came on to the scene as a member of the vocal quintet called the Four Polks, which included her sister and two brothers.  They weren't amongst the biggest names of the era, but did manage to have a nice run.  The Four Polks even filmed a couple of Soundies called "Miss You" and "The Old Oaken Bucket". They eventually changed their name to the Town Criers and performed with the bands of Tommy Dorsey, Bob Crosby, Les Brown and Kay Kyser. 

After the Town Criers disbanded in 1948, Lucy Ann returned to the Les Brown Orchestra in 1949 as a featured vocalist.  She found great success while with Les Brown, in a very similar way Doris Day did years before.  In the early 1950's, she won the Downbeat Reader's Poll as "Best Girl-Singer with Band" three or four times and finished among the Top 15 of Metronome Magazine's "Best Female Singer" Poll.

Les Brown's Orchestra featured many male and female vocalists over the years and, of course, the first one that comes to mind is the great Doris Day.  But, in my opinion, Lucy Ann Polk is right up there next to Doris.  Her voice fit the band so well.

In 1954, Lucy Ann left Brown's band in favor of a solo career. She enjoyed some moderate success for the rest of 1950's.

You can hear the vocals of Lucy Ann Polk with the Town Criers, the Four Polks and as a featured vocalist with Les Brown on Swing City Radio.  

Listen to: "Ill Be Around" by Les Brown featuring Lucy Ann Polk on vocals from 1951.

Watch: Beware My Heart by Vaughn Monroe

Picture of Vaughn Monroe and The Mood Maids

Today's video clip is called "Beware My Heart" and is performed by Vaughn Monroe and His Orchestra along with his beautiful "Moon Maids".  This was originally seen in the 1947 musical drama "Carnegie Hall".

The film clip and ballad itself both capture the essence and style of Vaughn Monroe.  What a fantastic piece of footage.

The film "Carnegie Hall" features appearances by some of the prominent music figures of 20th century performing within the legendary concert hall.  Mostly classical music of course, but does contain this little gem as well.


Watch: "Beware My Heart" by Vaughn Monroe from the 1947 film "Carnegie Hall".

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Podcast: Show 122 - In Search of Pep

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The Big Band and Swing Podcast - In Search of Pep - Show 122 - 

Features vintage music by both Tommy Dorsey and Jimmy Dorsey, Vaughn Monroe and Johnny Desmond.  We also follow young Ralph on his quest for better dietary health.

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

Listen to: In Search of Pep (Show 122)

Listen to more episodes of The Big Band and Swing Podcast at: BigBandPodcast.com

Playlist: Added in July 2022

Pic of Tommy Dorsey Show

This July, I've added some interesting music into the Swing City Radio rotation. I covered the music from The Abbott and Costello Show in a previous post.  There's more than sixty new tracks from that show now on the platform.

Also added this month so far:

Music from "The Tommy Dorsey Show":
Some select tracks from this show include "Snooty Little Cutie", "Backstage At The Bali" and a fantastic version of "Not So Quiet Please"

Music from "The Woody Herman Show":
Songs from the show include "A Kiss Goodnight", "Put a Ring on That Finger" and a very interesting rendition of "On the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe".  I'd like to add more from this series but I'm currently running into a quality issue.  I'll keep you posted if I stumble upon some more music from that show that has audio that I can work with.  Unfortunately, some of the material found in the dusty archives of old time radio were originally poorly recorded.

Music from "Fibber McGee and Molly":
I've added some very good Billy Mills tracks from this show including: "Ive Got A Feeling I'm Falling" and "Holy Smoke, Can't You Take a Joke".

Music from "The Dennis Day Show":
Some of the track highlights include Johnny Mercer performing "Lonesome Polecat" and an excellent performance of "Minnie the Moocher" by Cab Calloway.

I've also added a boatload of old commercial spots, PSA's and clips from those infamous, tacky education films to the "After Dark" playlist.  Keep an ear out for select clips from a film called "Eat For Health".  I think you'll get a kick out of those.  In fact, some of those made it onto the podcast.

And, believe it or not, I working on Christmas music but you won't get to hear them until after Thanksgiving.  😀


Watch: Rubber Dolly (My Wubba Dolly)

Picture of Helen O'Connell

Today's clip comes from a musical short called "Jimmy Dorsey & His Orchestra", which was released by Paramount Pictures in February of 1940.  It captures a young Helen O'Connell performing the song "Rubber Dolly" (sometimes referred to as: "My Wubba Dolly").  What a great clip!  Helen sounds amazing and Jimmy's band were at the top of their game at that point in time.

O'Connell looks stunning but take notice of that ridiculous pompom on her dress.  Rumor has it that the cut of her neckline was showing a little "too much" in the opinion of the studio, so they stitched that black pompom on as a fix.

The "Jimmy Dorsey & His Orchestra" short film this is from also includes the songs: "Contrasts" (Short Intro), "Beebe", "Only a Rose" sung by Bob Eberly and "John Silver".

I almost forgot to add that there is a nice intro for Helen in this clip as well.  Enjoy!

Watch: "Rubber Dolly" performed by Helen O'Connell with Jimmy Dorsey and His Orchestra from February of 1940.

Podcast: Show 121 - Whistle In The Pines

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The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Whistle In The Pines - Show 121 - 

Features vintage recordings by Peggy Lee, Fletcher Henderson and Bunny Berigan.  Ronnaldo plays a fact-filled, classic ad by Dash Soap.

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

Listen to: Whistle In The Pines (Show 121)

Listen to more episodes of The Big Band and Swing Podcast at: BigBandPodcast.com

Watch: Gimme Some Skin, My Friend

Picture of The Andrews Sisters

Today's clip is from a movie called "In The Navy" and features The Andrews Sisters in their prime performing the song "Gimme Some Skin, My Friend". 

"In The Navy" was released in May of 1941 and includes two additional Andrews Sisters songs,  "We're Off to See the World" and "Hula-Ba-Luau".  The film stars the comedy team of Abbott and Costello and was the second of three service comedies they filmed in that same year.  The other two movies were "Buck Privates" (released in January 1941) and "Keep 'Em Flying" (released November 1941).

This is such a great song and I know that many of you will just love the clip for the dancing alone. Enjoy! 

Watch: Gimme Some Skin, My Friend by The Andrews Sisters from 1941

Music from the Abbott and Costello Show

Picture of Marylin Maxwell

The comedy duo of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello were huge during the 1940's.  They released a string of VERY successful films and also starred in their own weekly radio show sponsored by Camel Cigarettes.

The Abbott and Costello Show showcased the comedy routines of the duo but also featured some great music.  Some of the bandleaders that led the show's orchestra included Will Osborne, Freddie Rich, Skinnay Ennis, Matty Matlock and Leith Stevens.  Singers that regularly appeared on the show were Amy Arnell, Connie Haines and Marilyn Maxwell.  Most of the music is top shelf.

The show also boasted some great guests including The Andrews Sisters and Frank Sinatra.

Listen for these great musical performances from this classic, long running show right here on Swing City Radio.

Podcast: Show 120 - Dreamsville

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The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Dreamsville - Show 120 - 

Features vintage music by Harry James, Cab Calloway, Benny Goodman and more.  We also learn a little bit about Family Life in the early 1950's.

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

Listen to: Dreamsville (Show 120)

Listen to more episodes of The Big Band and Swing Podcast at: BigBandPodcast.com

Watch: Truckin' by Ina Ray Hutton

Picture of Ina Ray Hutton

Today's video features Ina Ray Hutton and Her Melodears performing a great version of "Truckin".  This film is from the mid-1930's.  I'm guessing about 1936-37 but I could be wrong.

This energy filled clips captures Ina Ray and all of her talent. Just watch her as she glides across the floor waving that baton. She led this "All-Girl" orchestra until about 1939.  Starting in 1940, she led an "All-Male" orchestra which was pretty good too.  George Paxton had a heavy influence on the later band.


Watch: Ina Ray Hutton and Her Melodears perform Truckin'

Clyde Lucas

Picture of Clyde Lucas

Clyde Lucas got his start as a young trombonist and singer for a band called the Herb Wiedoeft Orchestra.  In the early 1930's he launched his own band and eventually became known as "Clyde Lucas and his California Dons".  During the early and mid 1930's, just before the Swing movement took over, the "Schmaltzy and Sweet" style was still the most popular on the airwaves and in the ballrooms in the United States.  Lucas embraced this style for a time and grew in popularity. The band also recorded background music for some of the early talkies.  His music was perfect for that.

By the time the 1940's rolled in, Swing had taken the country by storm Clyde Lucas attempted to adapt.  He dropped the "California Dons" and became known simply as, "Clyde Lucas and His Orchestra".  It was about this time that vocalist Gloria Wood joined the band, and they enjoyed some moderate success.

By the end of the 1940's, Clyde decided to call it quits and went on to become a professional golfer in the 1960's.

Listen to "Night Over Shanghai" by Clyde Lucas and his California Dons from 1937.

You can hear some select tracks by Clyde Lucas right here on Swing City Radio.

Podcast: Show 119 - Inflation and Morse Code

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The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Inflation and Morse Code - Show 119 - 

Features recordings from Art Mooney, Wingy Manone, Perry Como and Louis Jordan.  We also listen to Inflation warnings from the 1950's.

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

Listen to: Inflation and Morse Code (Show 119)

Listen to more episodes of The Big Band and Swing Podcast at: BigBandPodcast.com

Blue Barron

Pic of Blue Barron

Blue Barron, born Harry Freidman, led one of the more successful "Mickey Mouse" bands of the 1940's and 50's.  Billed as the band that played "The Music of Yesterday and Today", Barron's Orchestra was cut from the same cloth as the bands of Guy Lombardo, Sammy Kaye and Kay Kyser.  He even featured the same "singing song title" gimmick.  He ran the band as a business, and he was VERY good at it and made a boatload of money.

Blue Barron had a huge following for a time. During the early 50's, Barron sold out ballrooms all across the country and was constantly booked and on tour.

I recently cut up and touched up one of his appearances on "One Night Stand".  I hate to admit it, but I found myself liking many of the songs that I heard.  Hmm, maybe my tastes are getting a little more "Sweeter" as I get older. Nah, I refuse to believe that.  I think I was just in some weird mood.  😀

Anyway, you can hear some "select" songs by Blue Barron right here on Swing City Radio.

Listen to: "Cruising Down The River" by Blue Barron

Watch: Thanks For The Boogie Ride

Pic of Anita O'Day and Roy Eldridge

Today's Soundie is the classic "Thanks For The Boogie Ride" by Gene Krupa.  This 1942 release features Anita O'Day and Roy Eldridge on vocals.

As far as Soundies go, the producers appear to have spent some time on this one.  The same set was used for another classic Krupa Soundie, "Let Me Off Uptown".  The camera work is very good and manages to capture the high energy that Krupa performances often gave off.

This Soundie also contains a nice little dance scene that includes Anita O'Day and a motorcycle cop.  Also, the Roy Eldridge solo is fantastic.

~ Enjoy

Watch: "Thanks For The Boogie Ride" by Gene Krupa from 1942

Podcast: Show 118 - Got Any Stripe Gum, Chum?

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The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Got Any Stripe Gum, Chum? - Show 118 - 

Features vintage music by Jerry Gray, Lionel Hampton and Ray Anthony.  Ronnaldo talks a bit about the career of bandleader, Ben Selvin.

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

Listen to: Got Any Stripe Gum, Chum? (Show 118)

Listen to more episodes of The Big Band and Swing Podcast at: BigBandPodcast.com

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