Station Updates - June 2023

Pic of Duz Soap

Here's a breakdown of some of the songs that I've added into the Swing City Radio rotation this week.  I've also included some information about programming change as well.  Hint:  It's New and Improved!

- Newly Added - 

Pic of Here's To Veterans

Select songs from "Here's To Veterans": - 

"Here's To Veterans" was produced and distributed by the Veteran's Administration to help promote services and provide helpful information to U.S. Military Veterans.  The successful series ran for a few decades or so.  Each transcribed episode lasted for about 15 minutes and it was shipped to local radio stations for airplay across the country. 

Most importantly for us, it contained some great music.  Keep an ear out for some great tunes by Ray Anthony, Stan Kenton, Tommy Dorsey, Tex Beneke, Glen Gray and more.

Pic of The Cocoanut Grove

Select songs from "Cocoanut Grove Ambassadors":

For those of you that like some of the more "sweeter" sounding Dance Bands from the 1930's, I have been adding select songs from a show called "Cocoanut Grove Ambassadors" that originally aired between 1931 and 1934.  The sound quality is excellent on most of these and features music by bandleaders Gus Arnheim, Jimmie Grier and Ted Fio Rito.

The Cocoanut Grove was a huge nightclub located in the famous Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, California.  For years it was the center of the music universe on the West Coast.  Along with the great music, the club was also famous for having a policy forbidding unwanted cameras. As a result, The Cocoanut Grove became a magnet for high-profile guests including many Hollywood celebrities who wanted to enjoy themselves away from the prying eyes of the press.

Pic of Instant Ralston Cereal

Vintage Radio Ads and PSAs:

To give the station a more "vintage feel", I've decided to now play Classic Radio Ads and old Public Service Announcements throughout the day's programming.  I truly feel that this will add to the listening experience.

Please keep in mind, these are for entertainment and educational purposes only.  Swing City Radio does not endorse any of these products and does not receive any compensation for airplay.  Heck, many of them don't even exist anymore.  😀  

Enjoy!

Doris Day and Harry James on 78rpm

Pic of Doris Day and Harry James on 78rpm

This month, I decided to showcase a 78rpm from my collection featuring Doris Day and Harry James.  This was originally a part of a 4 disc set called "Young Man with a Horn", but I found it at the bottom of a dusty pile, no sleeve, lost to time in a second-hand store.  I cleaned up the shellac so we can enjoy this great music together.  The two songs I've included are: "The Very Thought Of You" written by Ray Noble and an instrumental called "Melancholy Rhapsody".

Listen to: "The Very Thought Of You" by Doris Day and Harry James from 1950

"Young Man with a Horn" was an album that was released by Columbia Records in March of 1950 featuring trumpeter Harry James and vocalist Doris Day performing songs recorded for the soundtrack of the film "Young Man with a Horn".

The film was loosely based on the life of Bix Beiderbecke. The soundtrack was played by Harry James and His orchestra. Doris Day, who appears in the film as well, provided the lead vocals on many of the album's tracks.

Listen to: "Melancholy Rhapsody" by Harry James and His Orchestra from 1950

Enjoy!

Betty Bonney

Picture of Betty Bonney

As I wade through the archives of old radio performances and recordings from the 1940's, a name that pops up from time to time is a vocalist named Betty Bonney.  After singing with various regional bands, Bonney joined Les Brown's Orchestra in 1941.  She sang in the band's first major hit "Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio.”  Bonney recorded and toured with Les Brown until August of 1942 and then left the band to get married.

She returned in early 1943 as a featured vocalist in Jan Savitt's Orchestra.  This became the start of a carousel ride that would see Bonney sing for a bunch of major bands in a short amount of time.  During the years of 1943 through 1945, Bonney sang in the bands of Jan Savitt, Jerry Wald, Frankie Carle and Charlie Spivak.

Listen to: "I Got It Bad And That Ain't Good" by Les Brown 
featuring Betty Bonney on vocals from 1941.  

Throughout the rest of the decade Bonney appeared on Broadway, had a stint in Hollywood and did quite well in the nightclub circuit.  She also ended up doing a number of Soundies as well.

In 1950, after changing her name to Judy Johnson, she briefly joined Sammy Kaye's band.  She eventually made a move to television where she made many appearances on shows like "Arthur Murray's Dance Party" and "Your Show of Shows".

You can hear the voice of Betty Bonney featured with many different bands right here on Swing City Radio. 

Podcast: Show 168 - Round and Round The Music Goes

Picture of Big Band Podcast Logo

The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Round and Round The Music Goes - Show 168 - 

Features recordings by Artie Shaw, Jan Savitt, Jimmie Grier and Red Norvo.  We also listen to some classic spots featuring Pepsi Cola.

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

Listen to: Round and Round The Music Goes (Show 168)

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

Podcast: Show 167 - G.I. Journal

Picture of Big Band Podcast Logo

The Big Band and Swing Podcast - G.I. Journal - Show 167 - 

Features vintage recordings by Bing Crosby, Kay Kyser and The King Sisters.  We listen to some great music featured on the old radio show "G.I. Journal" and learn a little about Una Mae Carlisle.

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

Listen to: G.I. Journal (Show 167)

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

Podcast: Show 166 - Mother Goose Jumps Town

Picture of Big Band Podcast Logo

The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Mother Goose Jumps Town - Show 166 - 

Features music by Elliot Lawrence, Dick Haymes and Ralph Flanagan.  We also learn about Irium, the mysterious ingredient in Pepsodent Toothpaste.

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

Listen to: Mother Goose Jumps Town (Show 166)

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

Jimmie Lunceford

Picture of Jimmie Lunceford

Jimmie Lunceford was born in Mississippi but spent the majority of his childhood in Denver, Colorado.  He grew up learning how to play a variety of instruments, but the alto saxophone became Lunceford's instrument of choice.

He led a popular and influential band from 1929 until his untimely death in 1947.  Lunceford's Orchestra made their first recordings in 1930 and toured throughout the early part of the decade.  In 1934, the band accepted a booking at the Harlem nightclub "The Cotton Club."  This is where Lunceford's reputation began to take-off.  The band's tight musicianship and the often outrageous humor in their music and lyrics, Lunceford's orchestra made an ideal band for the club. Lunceford's stage shows often included costumes, skits, and obvious jabs at mainstream white bands.

Jimmie Lunceford and His Orchestra were responsible for many hits in the mid to late 30's including the songs:  "Wham (Re-Bop-Boom-Bam)", "Lunceford Special", "For Dancers Only", "Uptown Blues" and "Stratosphere" to name just a handful. 

Even though Lunceford released some very good music in the 1940's, his band was in decline because he was constantly losing talented sidemen to better paying bands.  Lunceford sadly passed away in July of 1947 at the age of 45.  There has since been many rumors and allegations that Lunceford had been poisoned.

Listen to: "Blues In The Night" by Jimmie Lunceford (1942) 
from my personal collection of Shellac 78's.

You can hear the music of Jimmie Lunceford right here on Swing City Radio. 

Podcast: Show 165 - The Wacky Dust at Number Ten Lullaby Lane

Picture of Big Band Podcast Logo

The Big Band and Swing Podcast - The Wacky Dust at Number Ten Lullaby Lane - Show 165 - 

Features vintage recordings by Liz Tilton, Geraldo and Harry James.  We also learn a little bit about a new Big Band compilation CD recently released and Avalon Cigarettes.

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

Listen to: The Wacky Dust at Number Ten Lullaby Lane (Show 165)
Podcast Episode

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

Podcast: Show 164 - Club Fifteen: Mmm Mmm Good

Picture of Big Band Podcast Logo

The Big Band and Swing Podcast - Club Fifteen: Mmm Mmm Good - Show 164 - 

Features Big Band music by Bob Crosby, The Pied Piper, The Modernaires and many more. We learn about the great music featured on the old radio show "Club Fifteen".

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

Listen to: Club Fifteen: Mmm Mmm Good (Show 164)
Podcast Episode

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

Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street

Picture of The Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street

The Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street was a fantastic show that first appeared on NBC's Blue Network in February of 1940. The show ran until 1944 and some of it's later episodes were also carried by Armed Forces Radio Services (AFRS).  The show was rebooted in the 1950's, but in my opinion, lacked the appeal of the first run. 

Last week, I spent a considerable amount of time "mining" the series: identifying, isolating, and cleaning up the audio of select tracks to add to the Swing City Radio Playlist. And I have to say, I feel that I've uncovered some true gems that I'm sure you will really enjoy, over 50 different tracks.  So be sure to listen for them on the station.

As I wrote above, the show itself was fantastic. "The Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street" was a satire of those old, stuffy, highbrow symphonic broadcasts that were so popular on 1930's radio.  The show featured Dixieland, Swing, Jazz and Blues music but introduced it in a comedic manner mimicking the dry, snobby way similar to those Classical Music Shows.  It was hosted by Gene Hamilton.  I rarely ever say this, but I enjoyed Hamilton's introductions just as much as the music itself.

"The Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street" featured two house bands which were both excellent. Henry "Hot Lips" Levine, a former member of the Original Dixieland Jazz Band, led an eight-member combo that handled the Dixieland songs and Paul Laval (who later changed the spelling to Lavalle) led a band that would perform the more swing based material.  Both of these bands were tight and talented and many of their show performances have been added to Swing City Radio.

The beautiful voice of Dinah Shore was discovered on this program. Some other vocalists featured were Delores O'Neill, Diane Courtney and Linda Keene.  I was also able to capture some very good guest appearances by Erskine Hawkins, Lionel Hampton, John Kirby and Toots Mondello.  The John Kirby appearance was especially good which included a great rendition of "Close Shave".

I plan on playing select tracks from this show on The Big Band and Swing Podcast in April, but until then, enjoy these classic Dixieland, Swing and Blues performances on Swing City Radio.

Here are two sides I have in my personal 78rpm Collection for you to enjoy:

The Dixieland Jazz Group Of NBC's Chamber Music Society 
Of Lower Basin Street performing East St. Louis Blues from 1941.

The Dixieland Jazz Group Of NBC's Chamber Music Society 
Of Lower Basin Street performing Aunt Hagar's Blues from 1941.

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