Mark Warnow

Picture of Mark Warnow

During the 1930's and 40's, Mark Warnow was a featured name on the radio.   He enjoyed a lengthy and versatile career with the CBS Radio network and was sometimes described as "the busiest man in radio".

Warnow became the musical director at CBS in the early 1930's.  He would go on to conduct the orchestras of many of the network's most popular shows.  Most importantly, he led the orchestra on the CBS radio program "Your Hit Parade" from 1939 until his death in 1949.

In the 1940s, Warnow conducted and arranged for Frank Sinatra while the singer was still signed to Columbia Records, then owned by the CBS network. He also conducted the orchestra for the "Sound Off" Radio show in 1946.  Sound Off was sponsored by the U.S. Army and encouraged post World War II recruitment.  Warnow, surprisingly not busy enough during the decade, produced a Broadway musical-comedy called "What's Up?" in 1943 and also provided the musical soundtrack for many Hollywood movies.

It's also important to note that Warnow influenced The Big Band Era in another, huge way. He was the older brother of composer and bandleader Harry Warnow (better known as Raymond Scott), and is credited with steering his younger brother into a career in music. In 1931, he hired his younger brother as a keyboardist at CBS Studios, which provided Raymond the springboard to launch his career.

Sadly, Mark Warnow passed away at the young age of 49 of a heart attack.

Listen to: "I Don’t Want To Set The World On Fire" performed by Mark Warnow 
and His Orchestra also featuring Barry Wood and The Hit Paraders from 1942.

You can hear the music of Mark Warnow right here on Swing City Radio.

Soundie: "Smiles" by Larry Clinton

Picture of Larry Clinton

Today's Soundie is by Larry Clinton and His Orchestra, a track called "Smiles".  This was filmed in 1941, but not released to Panoram until December of 1943.  By the time of this release, Clinton's Orchestra had already disbanded and Larry was off serving in the military during World War II.

This is yet another straight forward Soundie by Clinton.  All of his Soundies were quite basic but still entertaining in my opinion.  Enjoy!

Watch: Larry Clinton and His Orchestra perform "Smiles"

Podcast: Collection of Favorites (2022)

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The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Collection of Favorites (2022) - 

Ronnaldo plays his favorite songs that were featured on the podcast this year.  Includes vintage recordings by Cab Calloway, Kay Starr, Raymond Scott and Glenn Miller.

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

Listen to: Collection of Favorites (2022)

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

Soundie: "Winter Wonderland" by the Dinning Sisters

Picture of Dinning Sisters

Today's Soundie is from 1945 and features the Dinning Sisters performing their version of "Winter Wonderland".  This just "popped" up on Youtube a few days ago so I don't know much about the history behind this clip.  But I love it and 'tis the season.  One thing I do know know about this Soundie, is that it is one of only three Christmas Soundies that were filmed.

Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

Watch: "Winter Wonderland" by the Dinning Sisters from 1945

Yank Lawson

Picture of Yank Lawson

Yank Lawson was one of the premiere Trumpeters of the Big Band Era.  He's most known for his work with Bob Crosby and the Bobcats, but also spent time in the orchestras of Benny Goodman and Tommy Dorsey.

Lawson began to build his name while in the Ben Pollack Orchestra in 1933.  In the mid-1930's he became a founding member of Bob Crosby's Bobcats.  Yank's trumpet played an intrical part of the Bobcat's Dixieland sound.

Yank Lawson also spent parts of his career as a highly sought out studio musician, and he also led his own Dixieland orchestra for a time.  Lawson would later move on to form the very successful "World's Greatest Jazz Band" with Bob Haggart.

Listen to a V-Disc featuring Yank Lawson from 1945

You can hear the fierce and fiery trumpet playing of Yank Lawson right here on Swing City Radio.

Consider Swing City Radio During the Holidays

Picture of Santa Ronnaldo

Hey there everyone.  I just want to wish you all a Very Merry Holiday Season and a Happy New Year.  I also want to thank you for tuning in to Swing City Radio and The Big Band and Swing Podcast throughout the year.  In my opinion, the station has never sounded better and I plan to continue to come up with content and other ways to keep Swing City Radio a unique place to listen to and learn about Big Band music.

If you enjoy all the programming and articles I deliver you throughout the year, please consider supporting my work by providing the station with a one time "gift" or by becoming a Hepcat Supporter.

I've made it simple to support Swing City Radio and The Big Band and Swing Podcast:

To provide a One Time "Holiday Gift" through Paypal simply go to: SwingCityGift.com

To become a Hepcat Supporter, please visit my Patreon Page at: SupportSwing.com

As always, thank you so much for listening and Happy Holidays to all of you and your families.  

~ Ronnaldo

Celebrating: A Big Band Christmas - Again! (2022)

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The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Celebrating: A Big Band Christmas - Again! (2022) -

Happy Holidays Everyone!  This show features vintage Big Band Christmas recordings by Bing Crosby, The Andrews Sisters, Peggy Lee and Glenn Miller.  This is a "regifting" of a special from 2020.

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

Listen to: Celebrating: A Big Band Christmas - Again! (2022)

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

Erskine Butterfield

Picture of Erskine Butterfield

Erskine Butterfield got his start in the 1930's playing piano for Noble Sissle and his Orchestra.  In 1937, Butterfield formed a band of his own and started to record for the Variety record label.  By 1938, he made the jump to Decca Records where he recorded over forty titles.  During the 1940's his band was known as "Erskine Butterfield and his Blue Boys".

Butterfield was drafted into the military in 1943.  He continued to play music during World War II and was even featured on a couple of V-Discs.  After World War II, Butterfield formed a trio and toured extensively, but his music didn't have the same amount of commercial appeal as it did in the past.

During his career, Butterfield made many appearances on The Nat King Cole Show, The Tony Martin Program and The Jo Stafford Show.

Listen to: "You Done Lost Your Good Thing Now" by Erskine Butterfield from 1941

You can hear the music of Erskine Butterfield right here on Swing City Radio.

Soundie: Reed Rapture by Stan Kenton

Pic from Reed Rapture

Today's Soundie showcases Stan Kenton and His Orchestra performing the song, "Reed Rapture".  There were over a dozen Soundies filmed of Kenton's band and visually, this one might be the most pleasing to the eye.  Normally, Soundies were quickly filmed and produced.  But, this one is filled with interesting camera angles, unique uses of silhouettes, and creative lighting.

The music itself is a perfect example of Kenton's role as a trail blazer throughout the era. This was released to Panoram in March of 1942.

Enjoy!

Watch the Soundie: "Reed Rapture" by Stan Kenton and His Orchestra from 1942

Podcast: Show 142 - Hot Dogs and a Milky Way

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The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Hot Dogs and a Milky Way - Show 142 - 

Features vintage Big Band recordings by The Andrews Sisters, Tony Pastor and Artie Shaw.  Ronnaldo also plays a Soundie by Will Bradley and His Six Texas Hot Dogs.

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

Listen to: Hot Dogs and a Milky Way (Show 142)

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

Buddy Morrow

Pic of Buddy Morrow

Trombonist, Buddy Morrow, led a very entertaining band of his own during the 1950's.  He got his start playing gigs with the bands of Artie Shaw, Vincent Lopez and Eddy Duchin but started to make a name for himself after joining Tommy Dorsey's band in 1938.

In the early 1940's he spent time in the bands of Tony Pastor and Bob Crosby.  When he joined the U.S. Navy, he paired up with Billy Butterfield to entertain the troops during World War II.  

After the war, Buddy joined Jimmy Dorsey's band for awhile and then went out on his own.  Buddy Morrow and His Orchestra enjoyed some moderate commercial success which is impressive, because at that time the genre itself was in such decline. 

After dissolving his band in the early 1960's, Morrow was still in high demand as a sideman and made many recordings with names like Count Basie, Artie Shaw and Sarah Vaughn.  He also spent time as a member of "The Tonight Show Band".  In 1977, Morrow took over the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra and led the band until his death in 2010.

Listen to: Night Train by Buddy Morrow and His Orchestra from 1952

You can hear the music of Buddy Morrow right here on Swing City Radio.

Louise Tobin's Soundies

Picture of Louise Tobin

Today, I'm posting two Soundies stitched together in one video.  They are the two Soundies that Louise Tobin filmed with Emil Coleman in 1945.  As I stated last week, Louise Tobin passed away on November 26, 2022 at the age of 104.  The Soundies are titled: " Just One of Those Things" and "June Comes Around Every Year".

As you'll notice, the credits are in reverse due to the fact that these were taken from the original film reels.  The quality of these are very good.

Enjoy!

Watch: Two Louise Tobin Soundies from 1945

Podcast: Show 141 - Riffs and Sniffs

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The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Riffs and Sniffs - Show 141 - 

Features vintage Big Band music by Andy Kirk, Duke Ellington and Hal Kemp.  We also listen to select audio clips from a charming little film called "Let's Have Fewer Colds".

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

Listen to: Riffs and Sniffs (Show 141)

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

The Passing of Louise Tobin

Pic of Louise Tobin

I'm sad to report that vocalist, Louise Tobin, passed away on November 26, 2022 in Carrollton, Texas at the age of 104.  She recorded with the orchestras of Ben Pollack, Bobby Hackett, Jack Jenney, Benny Goodman and Will Bradley.

Tobin was a great talent and possessed a beautiful voice, but the biggest impact she made on the Big Band Era was the part she played in discovering Frank Sinatra.  Tobin was listening to the radio in 1939 and heard a broadcast from a New Jersey venue called the Rustic Cabin.  A young Frank Sinatra was the emcee that night, Frank Sinatra, and his singing caught the ear of Louise. She told her then husband, Harry James he should tune in another night to hear Sinatra’s skill and style. James was impressed and hired Sinatra as part of his band.  That was the first major steppingstone to Sinatra’s meteoric rise to fame.  Tobin and James divorced in May of 1943.

Louise Tobin may have made more of an impact on the Era herself but she took time off from her singing career to raise her two sons she had with James.  She returned to performing in the 1960s, and later married famed clarinetist, Peanuts Hucko and toured alongside him for years.

Thank you Louise for the music you left behind for us.  Your voice will continue to touch so many of us. 


Listen to: Louise Tobin sing "There’ll Be Some Changes Made" with Benny Goodman from 1941.

Another Pic of Louise Tobin



The Madhattan Room Broadcasts of 1937

Pic of Benny Goodman

Over the holiday weekend I "cut up and cleaned up" over 70 tracks by Benny Goodman and His Orchestra performing at The Madhattan Room in NYC.  I got the sound quality sounding "pretty darn good" and I think you will enjoy them.  Many of these songs were never recorded by Goodman in the studio.

In the Fall of 1937, Benny Goodman had a season long engagement at The Madhattan Room in New York City.  Swing was about to explode onto the forefront of American culture and Benny Goodman and his talented orchestra were on the rise and leading the charge.

Goodman had also been featured at that same venue in the Fall of 1936 and in the Spring of 1937, but this engagement was different.  There was a national wide "buzz" around Benny Goodman at this point and CBS Radio planned on beaming live remotes of these gigs to their affiliates.

The Madhattan Room was located on the lower level of the Hotel Pennsylvania, which also contained the legendary Café Rouge.  The Madhattan Room wasn’t as glamorous or as large as the Café Rouge, but it had fine acoustics and its small size and low ceiling provided an intimate feel to the music.

Pic of The Madhattan Room

These broadcasts catch Goodman and his band, in my opinion, at their best. Martha Tilton had just joined during the summer and had fully adjusted into her lead vocal role. The band featured Gene Krupa, Harry James, Jess Stacy, Ziggy Elman, Art Rollini, Harry Goodman and other greats.  Teddy Wilson, and Lionel Hampton were also being featured in Goodman's trio and quartet.  In fact, this was pretty much the same lineup that appears in the famous Carnegie Hall Concert of 1938.

So keep in ear out for these great songs that have just been added to the Swing City Radio rotation.

Soundie: All Ruzzit Buzzit

Pic of Dallas Bartley and His Orchestra

Today's Soundie features Dallas Bartley and His Orchestra.  "All Ruzzit Buzzit" was released to Panoram in August of 1945 and is one of five Soundies that the band released during the mid-1940's.

Dallas Bartley was the former bassist for Louis Jordan's band, he formed his own band in the early 1940's.  As you can see, he always seemed to prefer to stay in the background.  His band had a very nice groove to it, but I feel that their vocalist lacked the energy and "pizzazz" to make their songs really jump.

Regardless, it's still an entertaining tune, and the dancers in the background silhouette make this a fun little Soundie.

Enjoy!

Watch: "All Ruzzit Buzzit" by Dallas Bartley and His Orchestra

Podcast: Show 140 - Gas and Jump Sauce

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The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Gas and Jump Sauce - Show 140 - 

Features recordings by Ted Heath, Hal McIntyre, Bunny Berigan and Charlie Barnet.  Ronnaldo plays some select audio clips from a 1947 educational film called "Gasoline For Everybody."

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

Listen to: Gas and Jump Sauce (Show 140)

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

Playlist Additions - Nov 2022

Pic of Let's Go To Town

Much like Santa's Elves are at this time of year, I was quite busy this past week as well.  I wasn't building toys for the children of the world, but I was restoring some great Big Band music from the archives of Old Time Radio. Here's a brief overview of what was added into the Swing City Radio rotation:

Music from the AFRS Show "Jubilee":
Some great tracks from artists like: Erskine Hawkins, Lucky Millinder, Benny Carter and Louis Armstrong.  Keep an ear out for "Let's Ball Awhile" and "Tuxedo Junction" by Erskine Hawkins.

"Make Believe Ballroom":
In February of 1940, Glenn Miller's Orchestra was the featured band for the show's 5th Anniversary on the air.  The fantastic performance includes versions of "Tiger Rag", "The Rhumba Jumps" and "Indian Summer".  The Andrews Sisters also made an appearance with "Ciribiribin".

Select performances from "One Night Stand": 
Excellent live recordings featuring: Bobby Sherwood (January 1947), 
Chuck Foster (August 1945), Carl Ravazza (August 1944) and two shows by Jerry Gray (October 1959 and January 1961).  Listen for great versions of "Restringing The Pearls".

Select tracks from "Let's Go To Town":
"Let's Go To Town" was a show that aired in the 1950's as a recruiting tool for The U.S. National Guard.  I've just started to make my way through the show's archives and have already restored and added tracks by Ralph Flanagan, Ray Anthony, Tony Pastor and Woody Herman.  Good Stuff!


Soundie: My Reverie

Picture of Larry Clinton

Today's Soundie features Larry Clinton and His Orchestra along with Peggy Mann on vocals performing "My Reverie". This was originally filmed in 1941 and by the time of it's release to Panoram movie-jukeboxes in October of 1943, Clinton's Orchestra had disbanded.

Picture of Peggy Mann

The production itself is pretty straight forward and basic, but it seems to work well with this Soundie. I really enjoy the job that Peggy Mann does with the vocals.  The original version of this Clinton classic from 1938 featured Bea Wain as the female lead, but Mann does a fantastic job.  She's also featured in two other Larry Clinton Soundies: "Deep Purple" and "The Night We Met in Honomu".

Enjoy! 

Watch: "My Reverie" by Larry Clinton and His Orchestra with Peggy Mann on vocals.

Station Mugs In The Wild

Picture of Swing City Radio Mug

Every now and then, listeners send me pictures of Swing City Radio station swag being used in the wild.  I have to admit, the photos bring a HUGE smile to my face.  These are two of my favorites.  If you'd like a mug of your own, click on the link I've provided below:



Picture of Swing City Radio Mug with Tea

I want to thank Rhonda, who listens in Pennsylvania and Madison, who listens in California for these great pictures!

Podcast: Show 139 - Meatballs and Bubble Gum

Picture of Big Band Podcast Logo

The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Meatballs and Bubble Gum - Show 139 - 

Features vintage Big Band recordings by Les Brown, Larry Clinton and Glenn Miller.  We also listen to a catchy little jingle promoting Nedick's Orange Drink.

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

Listen to: Meatballs and Bubble Gum (Show 139)

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

The Charioteers

Picture of The Charioteers

The Charioteers formed in 1930 but did not record their first record until 1935.  They were originally called the Harmony Four but changed their name to The Charioteers, inspired by their favorite song to perform, "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot".  They originally just focused on gospel music but later moved to Popular Music.

They didn't manage to land a hit until the 1940's.  But, gained a good amount of popularity through radio and live performances.  In fact, they were the studio chorus on Bing Crosby's radio program, "Kraft Music Hall", from 1942 to 1946.  The Charioteers also recorded with Pearl Bailey and Frank Sinatra.

Their biggest hits were: "On the Boardwalk in Atlantic City", "Open the Door, Richard" and "Ooh! Look-a-There, Ain't She Pretty?". All of them charted in the 1940's.

The vocal group lasted for over 25 years and at different times featured the voices of: Wilfred "Billy" Williams, Edward Jackson, Ira Williams, Howard Daniel, Herbert Dickerson, Peter Leubers and John Harewood.

Listen to: "Elmer's Tune" by The Charioteers

You can hear The Charioteers right here on Swing City Radio.

Soundie: I'm Tired Of Waiting For You

Picture of Ray McKinley and Lynn Gardner

Today's Soundie features Will Bradley and His Orchestra and was released to Panoram in May of 1942.  The song "I'm Tired Of Waiting For You" includes Ray McKinley and Lynn Gardner on vocals.

The Soundie itself was a pretty good production.  Ray and Lynn are in the middle of a relationship squabble that they appear to be working out by singing their feelings to each other.  During this "discussion" a constant parade of distraction parade in between them.  It's actually quite entertaining.

Somewhat lost in all this is that "I'm Tired Of Waiting For You" is very good song.  Ray and Lynn do a great job on the vocals and Will Bradley's band turns in a fantastic performance.  Sadly, that version of Bradley's Orchestra disbanded months later.

Enjoy!

Watch: "I'm Tired Of Waiting For You" by Will Bradley and His Orchestra

Podcast: Show 138 - Some of the Women That Really Swing

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The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Some of the Women That Really Swing - Show 138 - 

Features music by Ina Ray Hutton, The International Sweethearts of Rhythm, Vivian Garry and Ella Fitzgerald.  We also listen to select audio clips from a 1943 film called "Danger! Women at Work."

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

Listen to: Some of the Women That Really Swing (Show 138)

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

Willie Bryant

Picture of Willie Bryant

Bandleader and entertainer, Willie Bryant, was known as "The Mayor of Harlem" and was the long time emcee at the Apollo Theater. Bryant got his start in vaudeville and also led a very talented band between 1934 and 1938 that I wish they could have made many more recordings.

At different times, Bryant's orchestra featured names like Teddy Wilson, Cozy Cole, Benny Carter, Eddie Durham and Taft Jordan.

Once his orchestra had called it quits, Bryant moved into acting and disc jockeying. He went on to lead another big band between 1946 and 1948 but it made little impact.  In 1949, he hosted a show called Uptown Jubilee on early television and eventually became the famed Apollo Theater emcee throughout the 1950's.

Listen to: "Mary Had a Little Lamb" by Willie Bryant and His Orchestra from 1936

You can hear the music of Willie Bryant right here on Swing City Radio.

Soundie: "Loretta"

Picture of Ronnie Kemper

Today's Soundie features Ronnie Kemper and His Orchestra performing the song "Loretta".  This was released to Panorams in 1942.  Ronnie Kemper was once a vocalist for both Dick Jurgens and Horace Heidt.  Unfortantly, when Kemper finally decided to lead his own band, the Musicians Union Strike of 1942-43 prevented him from making any records. The other Soundie he recorded was "Knit One - Purl Two" also made in 1942. 

This song sounds very similiar to "Cecilia", a single he recorded with Dick Jurgens just a couple years before.  The dancer playing the role of Loretta in this clip is Billie Mayshell.  Well, at least I think it is.

Enjoy!


Watch: "Loretta" by Ronnie Kemper and His Orchestra from 1942


Podcast: Show 137 - Coax Me a Little Bit, Marie

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The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Coax Me a Little Bit, Marie - Show 137 - 

Features vintage recordings by Harry James, The Dorsey Bothers and Boyd Raeburn.  We also listen to a Soundie by Connie Haines and learn what product is stronger than dirt.

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

Listen to: Coax Me a Little Bit, Marie (Show 137)

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

Ray Noble

Picture of Ray Noble

Ray Noble enjoyed a lot of success both in England and The United States during the Big Band Era. In 1929, he became leader of the New Mayfair Dance Orchestra, an HMV Records studio band that featured members of many of the top hotel orchestras of the day. In the early 1930's, Noble had many hits that charted in England including "Turkish Delight", "By the Fireside" and "Goodnight, Sweetheart".

By 1934, Noble was ready to better establish himself in America.  He took Al Bowlly (vocalist) and his drummer Bill Harty to the United States. He then asked Glenn Miller to recruit American musicians to complete the band.  This was before Miller was leading his own orchestra.   The American version of Ray Noble's band had a successful run at the Rainbow Room in New York City with Bowlly as principal vocalist.

Noble and his orchestra appeared in the 1937 film A Damsel in Distress staring Fred Astaire, Joan Fontaine, George Burns and Gracie Allen. Ray himself also had a role in the film.  He would later go on to act in many different roles on radio, film and television.

In the 1940's, Ray found a steady home on the radio and provided music for many shows such as "The Chase and Sanborn Hour", "The Charlie McCarthy Show", "Burns and Allen"" and "On Stage with Cathy and Elliott Lewis".

In the late 1940's he became very popular again when he teamed up with vocalist Buddy Clark.  They had a string of hits together up until Clark's untimely death in 1949 due to a plane crash.

Listen to: "Cherokee" - Ray Noble's Original Version from 1938 

You can hear the great music of Ray Noble right here on Swing City Radio.

Soundie: "Basin Street Boogie"

Picture of Will Bradley and His Six Texas Hot Dogs

Today's Soundie features Will Bradley and His Six Texas Hot Dogs performing "Basin Street Boogie".  This film was released in April of 1942 to Panoram Jukeboxes across the nation.

The Six Texas Hot Dogs shown in this film were a small dixieland band led by trombonist, Will Bradley, and made up of members of his famous orchestra.  Drummer and vocalist, Ray McKinley, would go on (shortly after this filming) to be a featured member of Glenn Miller's AAF Band which entertained the Allied Troops during World War II.  It also looks like Billy Maxted is playing piano in this one having replaced Freddie Slack who had recently left to form his own band.

This Soundie showcases some great music and even contains some decent "Jitterbugs" dancing along to the song.  Enjoy!

Watch: "Basin Street Boogie" by Will Bradley and His Six Texas Hot Dogs

Podcast: Show 136 - In a Miller Mood and Obligations

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The Big Band and Swing Podcast - In a Miller Mood and Obligations - Show 136 - 

Features music by Andy Kirk, Duke Ellington and Tex Beneke.  We also listen to a rockin' version of The Dipsy Doodle by Glenn Miller and learn a little about "Obligations".

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

Listen to: In a Miller Mood and Obligations (Show 136)

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

Hal McIntyre

Picture of Hal McIntyre

As a teenager, Hal McIntyre, led his own small group which played a lot of local gigs. During these early years he managed to build up his reputation as a good saxophonist and clarinetist.  

In 1935, Benny Goodman offered him a temporary spot in his band playing alto sax.  The bad news was that it only lasted for ten days.  The good news was that it put Hal on the radar of Glenn Miller, who was then in the process of putting together an orchestra.

McIntyre was a founding member of the Glenn Miller Orchestra, where he played from 1937 to 1941.  Miller eventually encouraged McIntyre to start his own group again and even offered to bankroll the venture to get the new band off the ground.  In 1941, The Hal McIntyre Orchestra was formed and began to play dates.

Throughout the war years, McIntyre toured the major ballrooms of the U.S. and also played overseas to entertain the troops.  His band showcased some very good vocalists including Gloria Van, Ruth Gaylor, and Al Nobel.  McIntyre also featured a top rate bassist named Eddie Safranski and saxophonists Dave Matthews and Allen Eager.  The band itself never came close to the amount of success that Miller's band achieved, but did manage to leave a memorable mark on the era.

Hal McIntyre's Orchestra played well into the 1950's. Sadly, McIntyre was severely injured in an apartment fire in 1959, and died at a hospital a few days later cutting his career short.

Listen to: "This Is The Army Mister Jones" by Hal McIntyre from 1942.

You can hear the music of Hal McIntyre right here on Swing City Radio.

Watch: "Pete The Piper" - Susan Miller

Picture of Susan Miller

Today's Soundie is called "Pete The Piper" and features Susan Miller.  It was released to Panorams in March of 1941.  The lyrics are about an amazing flute musician who enchants everyone whenever he visits.  Ironically, in the Soundie, bagpipes seem to be the instrument of choice.  Dancer, Danny Hoctor, also appears and The Lorraine Page Orchestra provides the music.

This catchy little number is just one of five Soundies that Susan Miller took part in.  Miller appeared in some Hollywood films and had some stints on the radio with Rudy Vallée in the early 1940's.  She is also considered "Soundies" first singing star. 

Enjoy!

Watch the Soundie: "Pete The Piper" starring Susan Miller from 1941.

Podcast: Show 135 - Peppers and Sprays

Picture of Big Band Podcast Logo

The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Peppers and Sprays - Show 135 - 

Features vintage recordings by Bunny Berigan, Artie Shaw and Georgia Gibbs.  We also listen to a Soundie by The Three Peppers and hear an old radio ad from Gulf Spray.

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

Listen to: Peppers and Sprays (Show 135)

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

Just Added to the Playlist (Oct 2022)

Picture of Tex Beneke

Even with all of these great sporting events going on right now I still managed to find time to add some great music to the Swing City Radio rotation.

Some of the new additions include:

Tex Beneke - Live From The Click - Sep 5, 1947
This was recorded in Philadelphia at a time when Tex was leading many of the members of Glenn Miller's old civilian band. Tracks include: "The Echo Said No", "My Buddy" and "Bagatelle".

Picture of "Stand By For Music"

Various Artists from "Stand By For Music (AFRS)"
Includes some great recordings by The Bell Sisters, Frank De Vol, The Modernaires and The Skylarks.

Picture of "Something For The Girls"

Various Artists from "Something For The Girls (AFRS)"
"Something for The Girls" aired in 1944 and was aired on The Armed Forces Radio Service.  It was a program that featured music by various popular artists. The announcer would also interview members of The Waves, a female branch of the Navy, and was used as a recruitment tool.  List some great tracks from Raymond Scott and Benny Goodman.

Other additions to the rotation includes songs by:
Perry Como, The Satisfiers, The Pied Pipers, Larry Clinton and Vera Lynn.

Enjoy!

Soundie: "Count Me Out"

Picture of Henry "Red" Allen

Today's Soundie features trumpeter Henry "Red" Allen joined by J.C Higginbotham (trombone) performing "Count Me Out".  This was released to Panoram viewers in June of 1946.  Other notable names in this Soundie are bassist Benny Moten and Alvin Burroughs on drums.

Prior to leading this talented band, Henry "Red" Allen had played in the orchestras of Fletcher Henderson, Benny Goodman and Eddie Condon.  This clip really captures the energy he brought to his performances and it also showcases some terrific dancing.

Enjoy!

Watch: "Count Me Out" by Henry "Red" Allen from 1946

Podcast: Show 134 - Swinging and Flying

Picture of Big Band Podcast Logo

The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Swinging and Flying - Show 134 - 

Features music by Charlie Spivak, Frank Sinatra, Glenn Miller and Lionel Hampton.  We also listen to choice clips from an "amazing" film called "Flying a Kite".

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

Listen to: Swinging and Flying (Show 134)

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

Your Hit Parade


The radio show "Your Hit Parade" ran for 18 years and was broadcasted by both NBC and CBS.  It later made a jump to television where it enjoyed a 9 year run.  Every Saturday evening, the program offered the most popular and bestselling songs of the week.  During its 24-year run, the show had 19 orchestra leaders and 52 singers or groups.  The program was sponsored by Lucky Strike Cigarettes.

When the show first aired in April of 1935, the format of the 60-minute program featured between 7 and 15 songs played in a random format before presenting the number 1 song.  A few years later the format changed to the type of countdown show we are more familiar with today.  Listeners were informed that the song rankings were based on sheet music and phonograph records sales, the songs most heard on the air and songs most played on jukeboxes.  However, the exact procedure of this "authentic tabulation" always remained a secret.

The songs themselves would be sung by a stable of various regulars (vocalists) that were featured on the show. Some of the recognized names included: Buddy Clark, Frank Sinatra, Bea Wain, Bonnie Baker, Dorothy Collins, Joan Edwards, Georgia Gibbs, Dick Haymes, Johnny Mercer, Andy Russell, Dinah Shore, Ginny Simms and Martha Tilton.  The music was provided by the show's orchestra which was led by a variety of leaders over the years including names like: Al Goodman, Abe Lyman, Leo Reisman, Ray Sinatra, Harry Sosnik, Axel Stordahl and Raymond Scott.

Listen to an episode of: "Your Hit Parade" from December 6, 1947

The radio version of the program aired until January of 1953.  The fact that the show featured their "house" singers and bands performing the biggest hits of the day has resulted in a deep archive of unique and entertaining versions of so many classics from the Big Band Era. You can hear a wide selection of those tracks right here on Swing City Radio. 

Soundie: "You're a Shot in the Arm"

Picture of Connie Haines and Red Harper

Today's Soundies features Connie Haines and Redd Harper singing "You're a Shot in the Arm".  Hal Bourne and His Orchestra provide the music. This was released for Panoram machines in June of 1942.

This is a very catchy song and watching this just makes me love Connie Haines even more.  It's no wonder that Redd Harper's apartment contains about 30 framed pictures of her. Did you notice that most of the pictures are the same shot of Connie just duplicated over and over (shown below).  I'm always so amazed at the lack of thought and detail that went into the staging these Soundies. On the other hand, I think that's why I enjoy them so much. 

Picture of Redd Harper

Enjoy this fun and bouncy Soundie!

Watch: "You're a Shot in the Arm" by Connie Haines and Redd Harper from 1942



Podcast: Show 133 - Back Home with a New Hat

Picture of Big Band Podcast Logo

The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Back Home with a New Hat - Show 133 - 

Features vintage recordings by Ray Anthony, Benny Goodman, and Erskine Hawkins.  We also listen to a catchy little ad by Adam Hats and a great Soundie by The Mel-Tones.

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

Listen to: Back Home with a New Hat (Show 133)

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

Georgia Gibbs

Picture of Georgia Gibbs

Georgia Gibbs is known more for her body of work from the mid-1950's, but Georgia got her start in the heart of The Big Band Era.  She was blessed with a voice that had tremendous versatility and fantastic range.

Her professional career started at the age of 17 when she joined the Hudson-DeLange Orchestra in 1936.  Her stage name at the time was Fredda Gibson (her birth name was Frieda Lipschitz).  She was a featured vocalist with Hudson-DeLange for just under a year and then went on to do freelance work with some big name bands in the late 30's and early 40's.  Bands like Tommy Dorsey, Hal Kemp, Artie Shaw, and Frankie Trumbauer. It was also at this time that she settled on the name Georgia Gibbs.

Georgia built her name and reputation with her work on radio.  She found steady work on shows like Your Hit Parade, Melody Puzzles, and The Tim And Irene Show.  She was also a featured vocalist on the Camel Caravan radio program, hosted by Jimmy Durante, where she remained a regular performer until 1947. 

In the 1950's, she would go on to be a regular on many TV variety shows and landed a boatload of songs on the charts.  She remained in public eye well into the 1960's.

Listen to: "Ballin’ The Jack" by Georgia Gibbs from 1947

You can hear the beautiful voice of Georgia Gibbs right her on Swing City Radio.

Watch: "Concerto for Clarinet"

Picture of Artie Shaw

Today's film clip features Artie Shaw in his prime.  "Concerto for Clarinet" appeared in the Hollywood Musical Comedy "Second Chorus" which was released in 1940.  To learn more about the film click here.

Overall, just a fantastic performance by Artie and the boys.  Shaw had a way of making such a hard instrument to play, look so easy.  The camera work and sound are both excellent.

Enjoy!

Watch: Artie Shaw play "Concerto for Clarinet" from Second Chorus in 1940

Podcast: Show 132 - Idaho and the Other Great States

Picture of Big Band Podcast Logo

The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Idaho and the Other Great States - Show 132 - 

Features vintage music by The Merry Macs, Mildred Bailey, Jerry Gray and Duke Ellington.  Ronnaldo also plays a wacky ad from Old Spice and we learn a little about Gene Austin.

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

Listen to: Idaho and the Other Great States (Show 132)

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

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