November 1942 image from the Library of Congress shows a family in Neffsville, Pennsylvania beginning their holiday feast.
With the start of the holidays, I will be reducing SSS operations for a week or so. Full posting will resume on Monday, December 8. Happy Thanksgiving!
Thursday, November 27, 2014
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
RetroPlanet's Planet Retro Blog posts a weekly "Retro History" item, and this week is full of all sorts of interesting anniversaries from the Swing Era, in a variety of areas.
World News & the American Experience:
World News & the American Experience:
1930 – Ruth Nichols becomes the first woman pilot on a transcontinental flight from New York to California. It took 7 days.
1942 – A tragic fire at the famed Cocoanut Grove nightclub in Boston, MA kills nearly 500 people.Movies & TV:
1940 – Woody Woodpecker is seen for the first time in the theatrical short Knock Knock.
1948 – Hopalong Cassidy premieres on TV.
Music & Radio:
Music & Radio:
1932 – Groucho Marx performs on radio for the first time.
1944 – The FBI in Peace and War is broadcast by CBS radio for the first time.
1949 – Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer, by Gene Autry, becomes the musical hit of the Christmas season.
1956 – Bandleader Tommy Dorsey dies at the age of 51. His records sold more than 110,000,000 copies.Arts & Entertainment:
1936 – The first issue of Life magazine, created by Henry R. Luce, is published.Technology & Inventions:
1944 – Johns Hopkins Hospital performs the first open heart surgery.
1948 – The Zoomar Lens is patented by Dr. Frank G. Back of New York City. It becomes a popular lens most often used in television production.
1948 – The first Polaroid camera is sold.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Monday, November 24, 2014
Friday, November 21, 2014
This Friday before Thanksgiving, we once again invite the great Tex Avery to tell the story of a simple Pilgrim looking for that first Thanksgiving Day meal, and throw in a pack of World War II era jokes to boot. From the Internet Archive, the 1945 animated short, Jerky Turkey.
This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Tain't What You Do (It's The Way That You Do It)" by Jimmie Lunceford and His Orchestra. Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.
Thursday, November 20, 2014
The Germantown Performing Arts Center has hosted its youth music education series - Peanut Butter & Jam - for 20 years now. On December 5 at 6:00 p.m., GPAC will ring and swing in the holidays with a special Peanut Butter & Jammies show, featuring big band holiday music and other swing with Jeremy Shrader and the New Memphis Hepcats. The swing kids can dress in their favorite jammies, and milk and cookies will be served afterward. I may just show up for the cookies!
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
This recent story on the BBC brought a smile to my face. While my interest in Swing music began when I was in high school, it was not always at the level it is today. For many years starting in the early 1990's, I was (and still am) a dedicated fan of Celtic music, the traditional music of the Celtic lands - Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Cornwall, the Isle of Man, Brittany, and Galicia (in Spain). The "craic" was grand at many a ceilidh and Celtic festival I attended, and I am honored to count among my acquaintances a few big names in the world of Celtic music. Imagine my surprise, then, to find that Erin's Isle has started to swing, with the Lindy Hop (rather than a jig or reel) prevailing on a few Irish dance floors.
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Monday, November 17, 2014
Thursday, November 13, 2014
I started posting images from the Nazi propaganda filmstrip, Der Atlantik Wall, right after the 70th anniversary of the Allied invasion of Normandy (D-Day) on June 6, 1944. My purpose in posting these photos was not only to provide what appears to be an inside look into the German military-industrial complex during World War II, but also to demonstrate the massive obstacles that Allied forces overcame during and after the invasion of Europe. We have now come to the end of the film, appropriately enough, during the week of Veterans Day. I omitted a few pictures as redundant or just boring, but otherwise, you have seen the entire filmstrip. We end with the last three photos: a U-boat tucked safely in its underground pen, an artillery emplacement firing, and the final frame of the film, the Nazi eagle. I hope you found these photos as interesting as I did.
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
WEVL is just a little over halfway through our Fall Pledge Drive, and included in our special programming is tonight's Swing Shift Shuffle Pledge Drive Special: "New For 1934!" All the songs in tonight's show were recorded in 1934, and many have never been played on the show before. Tune in at 6:00 p.m. for an 80 year trip back in time, and help WEVL reach its goal of $67,000. Thanks for listening and supporting WEVL!
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
The above photo, from the Library of Congress, shows an Army mechanic working on a truck. I once heard a theory that the four machines that won World War II were not guns, tanks, planes or other armaments, but rather the C-47 cargo plane, the landing craft, the bulldozer and the 2 1/2 ton truck. It was these machines that enabled men and supplies to get where they needed to be, and so the work this soldier performs on this truck is just as important as a front line soldier, because without food and ammunition, those at the front could not do much.
Today is also the 100th birthday of Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler, a/k/a Hedy Lamarr. Aside from being one of the most beautiful women to ever grace the screen, in 1942, she patented a method for remote radio control of torpedoes that led to technology we still use today in our smart phones.
Monday, November 10, 2014
Friday, November 7, 2014
Since the leaves are starting to change and the cool weather has finally arrived, this encore from 2011 seemed appropriate. In this 1934 animated short from Ub Iwerks, a young grizzly bear ignores the warnings of Jack Frost, and underestimates the chilling power of Old Man Winter. Carl Stalling, of future Warner Bros. fame, provided the musical score. From the Internet Archive, here is Jack Frost.
Thursday, November 6, 2014
Our tour of the Nazi propaganda filmstrip Der Atlantik Wall is starting its final leg, and after last week's scenes of U-boat pens, we now have fortified bunkers The top bunker even was apparently even named Batterie Todt after the Organization Todt that constructed it. There is no indication whether the artillery emplacement in the lower photo is the other side of this bunker or not.
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
According to Pappy's Golden Age Comics Blogzine, Rangers of Freedom was a short lived series about "teenagers in fancy outfits with sharks fins on their heads," whose constant enemy was the evil genius, Superbrain, complete with his oversized cranium. Pappy's posted this ROF adventure from 1940.
Tuesday, November 4, 2014
Monday, November 3, 2014
The Hollywood Revue posted its regular monthly preview of Turner Classic Movies programming. The Star of the Month is a group, specifically the stars of the silent era, such as Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, Gloria Swanson, Clara Bow, Mary Pickford, etc. The Friday Night Spotlight will be on road movies.