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

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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)

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

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

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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)

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

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!

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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)

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

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

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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: BigBandPodcast.com

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