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: "Some Sunday Morning" by Hal McIntyre from 1945.

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 VallĂ©e in the early 1940's.  She is also considered "Soundies" first singing star. 


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.


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.


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

Connect with Swing City Radio

Join My Mailing List for Free

Listen To The Weekly Podcast

Listen on Amazon Home Devices

Your Thoughts


Email *

Message *