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

Wilbert Baranco

Picture of Wilbert Baranco

Even if you are a huge fan of the Big Bands, you may not recognize the name Wilbert Baranco.  Baranco was a great pianist and bandleader who, in most cases, flew below the radar during the era.

He played along side some big names in Jazz during the 1930's and 1940's including Dizzy Gillespie, Curtis Mosby, Snooky Young and led a trio which included Charles Mingus.  He also served as the accompanist for Dinah Washington when she sang with The Lucky Thompson All-Stars. 

Baranco is best remembered for his post World War II band "Wilbert Baranco & His Rhythm Bombardiers" which was composed of former servicemen.  That talented band "brought the house down" on a few episodes of "Jubilee", and we play those recordings right here on Swing City Radio.

Listen to: Wilbert Baranco on the old AFRS show "Jubilee"

By the time the 1950's had arrived, Baranco left the industry to be a music teacher.

Playlist: Added in June 2022

Picture of Les Elgart

I've been hard at work behind the scenes "cutting up and cleaning up" some great audio to play on Swing City Radio and The Big Band and Swing Podcast.

Here are some of the highlights of what has been added to the playlist during the month of June 2022:

Les Elgart:
Tracks from a great "One Night Stand" performance from The Astor Room including: "The Varsity Drag", "Wedding Bells", "When Day is Done" and more.

Doris Day:
Songs from the AFRS Music Transcription Library #P-1807 including: "Would I Love You, Love You, Love You", "I'll Be Around" and a fantastic version of "Lullaby of Broadway".

Art Mooney:
Tracks from two different "One Night Stand" performances including: "Jersey Turnpike", "One Mint Julip" and "Night Train".  Great stuff!

Glenn Miller:
Classic Glenn Miller material from a November 1941 show at The Cafe Rouge.  "Dreamsville, Ohio", "It Happened In Sun Valley" and "V-Hop" are just a few of the songs from that show that I now have up on Swing City Radio.

Other music added to the playlist include songs by: Count Basie, Tiny Bradshaw, Dick LaSalle, Johnny Richards, Carlton Hayes, Freddy Martin and Skinnay Ennis.   Enjoy!

~ Ronnaldo

Podcast: Show 117 - On a Wing and a Prayer

Picture of Big Band Podcast Logo

The Big Band and Swing Podcast - On a Wing and a Prayer - Show 117 - 

Features recordings by Tommy Dorsey, Buddy Clark, Ambrose and more.  We also learn how to put sunshine into our wash.

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

Listen to: On a Wing and a Prayer (Show 117)
Podcast Episode

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

Harry Cool

Picture of Harry Cool

Harry Cool was a talented vocalist that is most remembered for the time he spent with Dick Jurgens and His Orchestra.  He also had a run with Will Osborne's Orchestra and went on to lead his own band and trio.

In 1940, Harry Cool got his "big break" when he replaced Eddy Howard as the featured vocalist for the Jurgens Band.  Cool can be heard on the Jurgens hits "A Million Dreams Ago" and "The Bells of San Raquel".

In 1942, Jurgens decided to disband his orchestra due to the 1942 Recording Ban and enlisted in the US Armed Forces.  Harry soon found himself featured as a vocalist for the Will Osborne Orchestra and recorded some sides and Soundies with them.

Later in the 1940's, Harry went off on his own and formed "Harry Cool and His Orchestra".  The band had some mild success and by the early 1950's Cool had slimmed the band down into "The Harry Cool Trio".

By the mid-1950's, with a family to support, Harry moved on from the bright lights of the stage and settled into a more stable line of work managing a Chicago nightspot called Mister Kelly's.

Listen to: "A Million Dreams Ago" by Dick Jurgens featuring Harry Cool on vocals from 1940.

You can hear the voice of Harry Cool right here on Swing City Radio.

Watch: Whittle Out a Whistle

Picture of Ruth Terry and The Music Maids

Today's video clip is from a movie called "Jamboree" which was released to the public in 1944.  This catchy little song is called "Whittle Out a Whistle" and features the vocals of actress Ruth Terry and The Music Maids.  Even though Terry was known more as an actress, she got her start singing with Clyde McCoy's Orchestra very early in her career and also appeared as a guest vocalist on The Bob Crosby Show.

The Music Maids were regulars on the "Kraft Music Hall" radio program and had many different members rotate in and out of the group through the years including: Denny Wilson, Jeanne Darrell, Alice Ludes, Patt Hyatt, Virginia Erwin, Alice Sizer, Bobbie Canvin and Dottie Messmer.  Along with their work on radio, the vocal group was also featured in a bunch of films throughout the 1940's as well.

The plot of the film "Jamboree" was: "Two bands vying for the same radio spot outwit themselves by impersonating each other."  I've never seen it. A written promo for the movie claimed it was "A Merry Musical Mix-up of Music...AND MOONLIGHT MAGIC!"

The film starred Ruth Terry, George Byron and Paul Harvey.  Honestly, I'm not sure how much I would enjoy this film, but this song performance is excellent and Ruth Terry's voice blends in very well with The Music Maids. 


Watch: "Whittle Out a Whistle" performed by Ruth Terry with The Music Maids from 1944.

Podcast: Show 116 - Rugged Romeo

Picture of Big Band Podcast Logo

The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Rugged Romeo - Show 116 - 

Features vintage recordings from The Dinning Sisters, Duke Ellington, Harry James and more.  We also learn what a pink toothbrush means.  Watch out!

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

Listen to: Rugged Romeo (Show 116)
Podcast Episode

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

The Norton Sisters

Picture of The Norton Sisters

In the early 1940's, Vaughn Monroe's Band started to make quite a name for itself.  It was also around this time that Monroe decided to add female backing vocals to his mix.  At different times throughout the 40's, he enlisted the help of both The Moon Maids and The Murphy Sisters. But, in my opinion, the vocal group that made the most impact and fit in so well with his style was The Norton Sisters.  

The Norton Sisters originally consisted of sisters, Betty, Dottie, and Grace Norton. An additional vocalist, Maree Lee, who had been with the Lee Sisters, joined the group a little later becoming the fourth member.

The Norton's became very popular while performing with Vaughn Monroe and His Orchestra.
But their success only lasted a few years.  In 1946,  Dottie and Grace both got married and left the group, which pretty much ended things.  Betty Norton stayed on with Vaughn Monroe as a featured vocalist for about a year, before leaving to work with Skitch Henderson and later, Hal McIntyre's Band. Maree Lee, became a part of the Moon Maids and they picked up where the Norton's left off.

Even though their time with Monroe was on the short side, they still managed to leave their mark on Monroe's sound and their impact can be heard in Monroe's early string of hits.

Listen to: "Love On A Greyhound Bus" by Vaughn Monroe with backing vocals by The Norton Sisters.

You can hear The Norton Sisters backing Vaughn Monroe on many songs right here on Swing City Radio.

Playlist: More GI Jill Added

Picture of GI Jill

I just wanted to let you all know that I've recently added more GI Jill intros to the "After Dark" rotation.  You can now hear her introduce songs by artists like Bunny Berigan, Dinah Shore, Hal McIntyre, Jimmie Lunceford and a few dozen more.

GI Jill (Martha Wilkerson) had such a unique, personable delivery that was so ahead of its time.  Her show, GI Jive, was among the most popular to ever appear on AFRS. 

You can hear the voice of "the girl next door" every night on Swing City Radio's most popular show "After Dark".  If you haven't listened in yet, I highly recommend it.  It streams daily from 8pm until Midnight(ET) and also features old Commercial spots and Public Service Announcement to give it the true feel of Old Time Radio.  Oh, and I shouldn't forget to mention all that great Big Band music rescued from the dusty archives of old radio broadcasts and transcriptions. Check it out.  Enjoy!

Big Band Records For Sale

Picture of Ronnaldo Records logo

Hey everyone.  About a few months ago I started selling used records on Discogs.  I decided to go with the highly creative name of "Ronnaldo Records".

I started this little online store for two reasons:
1. To help raise funds for Swing City Radio and The Big Band and Swing Podcast.
2. Because I always wanted to have my own record store.  Now I do.  😀

Many of you know that I have a passion for crawling around in the dusty corners of record stores looking for Big Band records that I can clean up and bring back to life.  I've been doing this for YEARS, collecting ALL types of music along the way.

If you'd like to check out the Big Band records I currently have listed for sale: Click Here

If you'd like to browse through all of my listings: Click Here

By the way, this is just something I do on the side, so I think you'll find that the records are priced VERY reasonable.  And don't forget to check back from time to time, because I'm always adding new titles when I have a chance.  

So, if you still listen or collect vinyl, please take moment to visit Ronnaldo Records.


Podcast: Show 115 - Hold Tight - Well, Alright!

Picture of Big Band Podcast Logo

The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Hold Tight - Well, Alright! - Show 115 - 

Features vintage music from Benny Goodman, The Andrews Sisters, Larry Clinton and more.  We also learn "who" is responsible for those little scratches we sometimes find on our cars.

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

Listen to: Hold Tight - Well, Alright! (Show 115)
Podcast Episode

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

Bob Crosby

Picture of Bob Crosby

Bandleader and vocalist, Bob Crosby, was such a fantastic performer and experienced a large amount of success and popularity during the Big Band Era.  He's best know for his Dixieland group "The Bob-Cats" and throughout his career he hosted many radio shows and starred on television as well.  Bob was also the younger brother of Bing Crosby.

Bob Crosby got his start as a vocalist for the "Rhythm Boys" in the early 1930's.  The Rhythm Boys also included the Dorsey Brothers and Anson Weeks.  By 1935, Crosby was already leading his own band and this was about the time Bob formed his band within a band, The Bob-Cats, that ended up becoming his most popular stamp on the era.

In the late 30's, Crosby began hosting the Camel Caravan, which helped cement his future in radio.  From that point forward, like his older brother, Bob became a staple on the airwaves.  His shows "The Bob Crosby Show" and "Club Fifteen" provide this station with so much great material.  

Crosby served 18 months with the US Marines during World War II.  Most of that time was spent touring the Pacific with bands on morale missions and entertaining the troops.

In the 1950's, Crosby replaced Phil Harris as the bandleader on the Jack Benny Program.

Listen to: "Big Noise From Winnetka" by Bob Crosby from 1940

Listen for the music and voice of Bob Crosby right here on Swing City Radio.

Watch: Sing, Sing, Sing

Picture of Benny Goodman Orchestra

To help celebrate the birthday of Benny Goodman, which was on May 30th, I thought I'd post a clip of Goodman and the band playing their shortened version of "Sing, Sing. Sing".  Goodman is in top form along with Gene Krupa and Harry James.

This clip is from a 1937 movie called "Hollywood Hotel" which starred  Dick Powell, Rosemary Lane, Lola Lane, Hugh Herbert, Ted Healy, Glenda Farrell and Johnnie Davis.

This is such a great performance of "Sing, Sing, Sing", but the film is most remembered for another song "Hooray for Hollywood".


Editor's Choice on TuneIn

Editor's Choice

So here's some cool news.  I was recently made aware that Swing City Radio was selected as an Editor's Choice among New and Emerging Stations over at TuneIn.  

For the month of June, the station will be included in the "Editor's Choice" section on the New & Emerging Broadcasters page, in a Facebook post that is visible to our millions of followers, as well as in an email that goes out to thousands of TuneIn listeners. 

How cool is that?  Feel free to let the editors over there know that they have good taste by selecting Swing City Radio as a favorite.  😀  Click Here.

Editor's Choice

Podcast: Show 114 - The Man With the Well Groomed Hair

Picture of Big Band Podcast Logo

The Big Band and Swing Podcast - The Man With the Well Groomed Hair - Show 114 - 

Features vintage recordings from Charlie Barnet, Eddy Howard and Jack Teagarden.  Ronnaldo also plays a couple of tracks from an old radio show called "Riding High" and we learn a little bit about the wonders of hair tonic.

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

Listen to: The Man With the Well Groomed Hair (Show 114)

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

Peanuts Hucko

Picture of Peanuts Hucko

Michael Hucko, known to the Big Band World as "Peanuts", started his career playing saxophone with the bands of Will Bradley, Joe Marsala and Tommy Reynolds in the late 1930's and early 40's.  He spent a short time with Charlie Spivak's Orchestra but left to enter the military during World War II.  While in the service, Peanuts joined Glenn Miller's famed Army Air Force Band.  It was also during this time that Hucko began playing the clarinet, the instrument he is now most associated with.

After the war, Peanuts played in the bands of Benny Goodman, Ray McKinley and Jack Teagarden.  In the 1950's he spent time as a sought out studio musician and spent a couple of years playing with Louis Armstrong and his All-Stars.

The 1960's saw Hucko finally lead his own band and also do some notable work with Frank Sinatra. The 1970's were filled with appearances on the popular Lawrence Welk television show and he also led the Glenn Miller ghost band during the 70's as well.

Note: Peanuts was married to vocalist Louise Tobin.

Listen to: "Blintzes Bagel Boogie" by Peanuts Hucko on V-Disc

You can hear the playing of Peanuts Hucko right here on Swing City Radio. 

Yank Bandstand

Picture of Yank Bandstand

Yank Bandstand was an Armed Forces Radio Services show that was solely focused on what we call today, The Service Bands.  A few of these bands featured some pretty big names, but most were made up of lesser known servicemen and women who happened to be musicians and singers.  Yank Bandstand provided a platform for some of these groups to be heard and included bands from the Army, Navy Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard. 

Over the next month, I will be adding many songs from these great shows to the Swing City Radio playlist. Some of them need to be cleaned up and shown some love, but many were well recorded and the audio remains in good condition.  I think you are really going to enjoy this music.  There was some true talent in many of these bands.

Keep an ear out for the music of Joe Stabile who led the Air Transport Command Band from Hamilton Field in California.  Great stuff.  Joe was the brother of bandleader Dick Stabile and a cousin of vocalist Dolly Dawn.


Podcast: Show 113 - Swinging In The Service

Picture of Big Band Podcast Logo

The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Swinging In The Service - Show 113 - 

Ronnaldo pays tribute to Memorial Day by featuring vintage music from some of the best bands that made recordings while serving with the military during World War II.

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

Listen to: Swinging In The Service (Show 113)
Podcast Episode

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

Return To the Big Skies: Miss Montana To Normandy

Pic of Return To the Big Skies: Miss Montana To Normandy

So I had the pleasure of view a great documentary the other night called "Return To the Big Skies: Miss Montana To Normandy".  What a great film!  It was directed and edited by one of our Hepcats - Eric from Montana - and he and his team did such a great job, I was really impressed.

In a nutshell, it's a film about a community coming together to restore an old plane from the World War II era named "Miss Montana".  The mission: To get this old DC-3 all fixed up and fly it over to Europe in time for the 75th Year anniversary of D-Day in Normandy, France.

With all of the negativity you see everyday on the news, it was REFRESHING to watch something positive.  So if you want to take a break from all the craziness going on in the world, check this film out, I really enjoyed it.

It's available to watch on Amazon Prime Video.

Here's a copy of the official movie poster:

Return To the Big Skies: Miss Montana To Normandy

What a great looking poster!  I can promise you that once I get a copy of this, it's going right up on the Swing City Studio wall.  So check out this film, I highly recommend it.

Bon Bon

Picture of Bon Bon

George Tunnell, known simply as Bon Bon, was a popular lead vocalist for Jan Savitt and His Top Hatters.  Born in Reading, Pennsylvania, which is located near Swing City Studios, he was among the first African American vocalists to perform with a white band.  

Bon Bon started out in the early 1930's fronting a vocal quartet called "The Three Keys".  He had some success with the quartet and even charted a hit with "Fit as a Fiddle", but it was with Jan Savitt's band that Bon Bon left his mark.  He recorded a number of tracks as a member of The Top Hatters and even managed to land a handful of hits.  Savitt's best selling songs, "Hi-Yo Silver", "720 In The Books" and "Make Believe Island", featured Bon Bon on vocals.

He left Savitt's band in 1941 to pursue a solo career and recorded songs like "I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire" and "Blow, Gabriel Blow" and enjoyed some moderate success.

Bon Bon went on to front the Tommy Reynolds Band in the 1950's but his career had slow down quite a bit by then.  He called it quits shortly after that and retired from music.  Bon Bon returned to live out his days in Pennsylvania and passed away at the age of 62 in May of 1975.

Listen to: "720 In The Books" by Jan Savitt featuring Bon Bon from 1939.

You can hear Bon Bon, as a member of Jan Savitt's band, right here on Swing City Radio. 

Playlist: Recent Song Additions

Picture of Les Brown

As you know, I'm constantly adding new music to the Swing City Radio playlist to keep the programming as fresh as possible.  Here are some new additions that I dug out of the archives of AFRS Transcriptions and cleaned up just for you to enjoy:

Les Brown - One Night Stand (1957)
Les Brown was still swingin' strong in the late 50's and these tracks recorded at The Hershey Ballroom are a perfect example of that.  Songs include: "At Sundown", "Lulu's Back In Town" and more.

Charlie Barnet - One Night Stand (1959)
These tracks were recorded at the Hollywood Palladium in December of 1959.  Barnet had slowed down quite a bit by this point but his music still sounds great.  Songs include: "Lemon Twist", "Moonglow", "Moten Swing" and others.

Eddy Howard - One Night Stand (1955)
These songs by Eddy Howard were recorded at the Aragon Ballroom in 1955.  Tracks include: "Caravan", "Love Every Moment You Live", "Easy To Love" and many more.

Also, keep an ear out for other tracks added to the Swing City Radio playlist this month by: Kay Starr, Johnny Richards, Ray Sinatra and Corky Corcoran.


Podcast: Show 112 - Thunder Rock and The Velvet Fog

Picture of Big Band Podcast Logo

The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Thunder Rock and The Velvet Fog - Show 112 - 

Features vintage music from Mel Torme with Artie Shaw, Randy Brooks, Hal McIntyre and more.  Ronnaldo also plays a classic Boogie Woogie recording from Will Bradley.

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

Listen to: Thunder Rock and The Velvet Fog (Show 112)

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

Charlie Christian

Picture of Charlie Christian

Charlie Christian's career was way too short but so impactful on Swing, Jazz and music overall.  He helped raise the electric guitar from just a background, rhythm section instrument into a featured solo instrument.  Christian is also considered one of the founding fathers of Bebop and Cool Jazz.

In 1931, at the age of 15, Christian began playing guitar.  By 1936, he was playing electric guitar and already making quite a name for himself. Christian had become a regional attraction throughout the Midwest of the United States and would jam with many of the big-name performers traveling through Oklahoma City.

His playing and style was brought to the attention of Benny Goodman. Goodman was uninterested in hiring Christian at first, because the electric guitar was such a new instrument at the time and he wasn't sure if Charlie's "sound" would fit in with the band.  But after hearing him play and jamming with Christian a few times, Goodman hired Christian to play with the newly formed Goodman Sextet in September 1939. 

Picture of Charlie Christian with Benny Goodman

By February 1940, Christian simply dominated the jazz and swing guitar polls and was elected to the Metronome All Stars.  In such a short time, Christian's playing style had won over the public. He paved the way for the modern electric guitar sound that was followed by so many others.

Unfortunately, Christian contracted tuberculosis in the late 1930's.  He was hospitalized at times, but refused to slow down his hectic lifestyle of recording, touring and late night jam sessions. In March of 1942, Christian passed away in the height of his career.  He was only 25 years old!

It's safe to say that Charlie Christian elevated the electric guitar and influenced a countless amount of musicians that followed. Christian once stated that "he wanted his guitar to sound like a tenor saxophone" which was so different at that time in music.  Such a fantastic musician whose candle burnt out way to quickly.

Listen to: "Rose Room" by the Benny Goodman Sextet featuring Charlie Christian on guitar from 1939.

You can hear a lot of Charlie Christian's work with Benny Goodman right here on Swing City Radio. 

Watch: "Jack Armstrong Blues"

Picture of Jack Teagarden and His All Stars

Today's video is a Snader Telecription that was made for television in the early 1950's.  It features Jack Teagarden and His All Stars performing "Jack Armstrong Blues".

This song clip shows why many regard Teagarden as one of the best trombonists of the Big Band Era.  The Snader Telescription itself is in good quality and sounds great.


Watch: Jack Teagarden and His All Stars perform "Jack Armstrong Blues" 

Podcast: Show 111 - Swing and Inflation

Picture of Big Band Podcast Logo

The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Swing and Inflation - Show 111 - 

Features vintage recordings from Bobby Sherwood, Jan Garber, Abe Lyman and many more Big Band artists.  Ronnaldo takes a closer look at the show "Treasury Star Parade".

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

Listen to: Swing and Inflation (Show 111)

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

Red Norvo

Picture of Red Norvo

Red Norvo was known as Mr. Swing and enjoyed a musical career that spanned over six decades.  Along with Lionel Hampton, Red helped establish the xylophone, marimba, and vibraphone as jazz instruments.

Norvo began his career in Chicago, IL in the mid 1920's playing for the famous "Collegians" in 1925.  Throughout the 1930's and 40's, Red played in the orchestras of Benny Goodman, Paul Whiteman, Charlie Barnet and Woody Herman.  He also led his own band at times, which proved very successful.

In 1933, Norvo married vocalist Mildred Bailey, and they soon became known as Mr. and Mrs. Swing.  The marriage lasted almost ten years and even after their divorce in 1942, the two remained friends and continued to record together. 

During the height of his career, Norvo also recorded tracks with Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday, Dinah Shore, Dean Martin and many others. He landed a bunch of charted hits and also managed to appear in a handful of films.

Listen to: "Says My Heart" by Red Norvo with Mildred Bailey on vocals from 1938.

You can hear the music of Red Norvo right here on Swing City Radio.

Watch: Jan Savitt and His Band

Picture of Jan Savitt

Today's video focuses on Jan Savitt and His Orchestra.  This fantastic short film was filmed in October of 1945 and released to the general public in March of 1946 by Warner Bros.

It focuses on some of the highlights of Jan Savitt's career up to that point, describes Savitt's jump from classical music into swing, and contains some great music by Savitt and his band.  You can definitely tell this was filmed by a major studio like Warner Bros. by the very good camera work and use of sets.  A big improvement over the Soundies we are used to watching here.


Watch: "Jan Savitt and His Band" from 1946

Podcast: Show 110 - Jill and Ronnaldo

Picture of Big Band Podcast Logo

The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Jill and Ronnaldo - Show 110 - 

Ronnaldo and the legendary G.I. Jill share the mic in this episode.  Features recordings by Stan Kenton, Lionel Hampton and Artie Shaw.  By the way, has anyone seen Jill's Request Book?

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

Listen to: Jill and Ronnaldo (Show 110)

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

Diane Courtney

Picture of Diane Courtney

Diane Courtney was a versatile vocalist whose singing career spanned from the early 1940's into the 1950's. Her presence was mostly felt on the radio, she didn't record many studio sides.  Courtney's two biggest radio gigs was for the "Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street" and "The Alan Young Show."  Her work and recordings on both shows were excellent and really showed off her range as a vocalist. 

Aside from her radio work, there isn't much of a catalog from Courtney to speak of.  There are some recordings she did with Nat Brandwynn and His Orchestra and a couple of songs she recorded in the late 40's as a solo artist that weren't very successful.

As far as I know, Diane Courtney turned to Film and Television in the 1950's to extend her career. She appeared in "Once Upon a Tune" in 1951 along with some smaller roles throughout the decade.  Courtney even made an appearance on "The Munsters" in the mid 1960's.

Listen to: "Magic is the Moonlight" by Diane Courtney from 1944

You can hear many songs by the talented vocalist, Diane Courtney, right here on Swing City Radio.

Soundie: "Anvil Chorus"

Picture of Al Donahue

Today's Soundie is "Anvil Chorus" by Al Donahue and His Orchestra.  This was filmed and released in 1943.  Donahue and his boys do some nice work in this one and it features some pretty good solos.  I'm not sure if Al got the memo that he was being filmed.  Throughout the majority of the Soundie he is facing the band and rarely acknowledges or interacts with the camera.

Also, Ive covered the reason that the film is in reverse in past posts.  But, in case you are newer to Soundies, this clip is from one of the original reels that was show on the Panoram.  While playing, the film images would bounce off a set of mirrors to appear on the Panoram screen in the correct direction.


Watch the Soundie: "Anvil Chorus" by Al Donahue and His Orchestra from 1943

Podcast: Show 109 - Smoke and Bopple Sauce

Picture of Big Band Podcast Logo

The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Smoke and Bopple Sauce - Show 109 - 

Features vintage music from The Dinning Sisters, Buddy Morrow, Les Brown and Duke Ellington.  We also hear an Esso ad that appeared in movie theaters in 1938.

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

Listen to: Smoke and Bopple Sauce (Show 109)

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

Henry Busse

Picture of Henry Busse

Henry Busse was a trumpet player whose career peaked just before the Swing Era officially began but still managed to remain quite popular into the 1940's.  

In 1917, Busse joined the Frisco "Jass" Band and then went on to form his own Busse's Buzzards.  In 1918, Busse joined up with Paul Whiteman's band as a co-leader.  Paul Whiteman eventually went on to become the sole leader of the band partly due to Whiteman's charisma, but also due to the fact that Busse was still learning to master the English language.  Henry still had a very strong German accent in those years, and post-World War I America wasn't the place to have a strong German accent.

He played with Whiteman for ten years and helped the band become one of the most popular dance orchestras throughout the 1920's.  It was such a talented band that also included both Dorsey Brothers and Bing Crosby.

In 1928, after mastering the English language and becoming more confident in the spotlight, Busse formed the "Henry Busse and the Shuffle Rhythm Band" which later became known as "The Henry Busse Orchestra".  This group was more of a sweet dance band than a jazz band and enjoyed some pretty good success in the 1930's and '40s.

You can hear the trumpet playing and shuffle rhythms of Henry Busse and his band right here on Swing City radio.  

Watch: Henry Busse and His Orchestra from 1940

Soundie: "Take The 'A' Train"

Picture of The Delta Rhythm Boys

Today's Soundie is "Take The 'A' Train" and features the wonderful harmonies of The Delta Rhythm Boys.  This was filmed in 1942 and is a fantastic rendition of the Duke Ellington classic.


Watch: "Take The 'A' Train by The Delta Rhythm Boys

Podcast: Show 108 - Tea for Two but Coffee for Me

Picture of Big Band Podcast Logo

The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Tea for Two but Coffee for Me - Show 108 - 

Features recordings by Jimmy Mundy, Gene Krupa, Hal McIntyre and more.  We also listen to a Snader Telescription and an old ad for None Such Coffee.

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

Listen to: Tea for Two but Coffee for Me (Show 108)

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

Kay Starr

Picture of Kay Starr

Kay Starr started her singing career at an early age.  When she was just 7 years old she won a bunch of talent contests held by a Dallas radio station. As a result, she was given a weekly 15-minute radio show where she sang country and pop tune accompanied by a piano.

At the age of 15, while living in Memphis, she was heard on the radio by Joe Venturi who needed a female vocalist for his Orchestra.  While performing with his band, Starr's parents insisted a midnight curfew for their daughter.

Word got around about Starr's talent and by 1939 she had recorded some sides with Bob Crosby and Glenn Miller.  She didn't really fit into Miller's band well.  She was hired as a "fill-in" for Marion Hutton who was dealing with some health issues at the time.  Starr can be heard on the Miller tunes "Baby Me" and "Love with a Capital You".  Overall, the key that Miller's band played in, didn't mesh well with Kay's vocal range.

Starr went on to finish high school and then moved on to Wingy Manone's band in 1943.  She also began to record as a soloist at that time as well.  Starr would record with some of the bigger names of the 1940's.

Watch: Kay Starr sing "Momma Goes Where Papa Goes" from 1950

Kay had a fantastic solo career!  She had many hits and appeared on the Pop, Country and Jazz top selling charts.  She remained active in music all the way up to 2016.

You can hear many of Kay Starr's big band era songs right here on Swing City Radio.

Soundie: Eager Beaver

Picture of Stan Kenton and His Orchestra

Today's Soundie is "Eager Beaver" by Stan Kenton and His Orchestra.  This was filmed on a stage set in 1945 and also features the dancing of Jean Ivory (Pictured Below).

I've always enjoyed watching Stan at work.  His passion for the music and his musical leadership really comes through on film. Plus, it's also great to see Ray Wetzel, Freddie Zito, Boots Mussulli and the other boys of Kenton's talented band in action. Enjoy!

Watch: "Eager Beaver" by Stan Kenton from 1945

Picture of Jean Ivory

Podcast: Show 107 - White Rain Smiles

Picture of Big Band Podcast Logo

The Big Band and Swing Podcast - White Rain Smiles - Show 107 - 

Features vintage music from the Archives of Old Time Radio including tracks by Bill Heathcock, Charlie Barnet and Eugenie Baird.  We also learn the secret behind getting your hair to appear "Sunshine Bright".

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

Listen to: White Rain Smiles (Show 107)

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

Playlist: The Treasury Star Parade

Picture of The Treasury Star Parade

Over the span of the last two weeks I have been listening to a lot of The Treasury Star Parade.  And of course, I spent much of that time cutting and cleaning up tracks so I can play them for you on Swing City Radio.  Very good Swingin' stuff from 1942 and 1943!

You can look forward to hearing some vintage performances by: Abe Lyman, Bob Crosby, Bobby Sherwood, Duke Ellington, Jan Garber, Kay Kyser, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Kaye, Tommy Dorsey, Vaughn Monroe and more. 

About the Show:
The Treasury Star Parade was sponsored by the United States Treasury Department during World War II and featured stars from the music industry and Hollywood. The show encouraged listeners to purchase War Bonds to help finance the war effort.  The shows ran 15 minutes and usually consisted of a musical act or some sort of play featuring Hollywood stars.  

The Treasury Star Parade was the predecessor to "Guest Star", a similar show also sponsored by the Treasury Department.

Keep an ear out for these great tracks.  They have been added into the general song rotation on Swing City Radio.


Jam from "Syncopation"

Picture of All-American Dance Band

Today's clip is from a 1942 film called "Syncopation" and it features some very familiar faces.  The film itself received mixed reviews and didn't do too well at the Box Office, but it does serve as an archive for some great music.

Prior to the making of the film, RKO held a contest for the readers of "The Saturday Evening Post" to vote on the musicians to make up the All-American Dance Band that were to be featured in the film.  The readers chose: Alvino Rey, Joe Venuti, Charlie Barnet, Benny Goodman, Gene Krupa, Harry James and Jack Jenney.  Vocalist, Connee Boswell was also chosen but unfortunately doesn't appear in this clip.  She was featured in another part of the movie.

This scene appears at the end of the film and is just an absolute "SCORCHER".  Enjoy!

Watch this clip of the "All-American Dance Band" from the movie "Syncopation"

Syncopation movie poster

Connect with Swing City Radio

Listen To The Weekly Podcast

Swing City Radio - 15oz Coffee Mug

Your Thoughts


Email *

Message *