The Swing Shift Shuffle is a radio program of swing, big band, jazz, boogie woogie and other popular music from the 1930's and 40's that airs every Wednesday from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. (US Central Time) on WEVL 89.9 FM in Memphis, Tennessee, with a live webcast at In addition to the radio show, this blog is dedicated to all aspects of the Swing Era, including art, automobiles, cartoons, comics, history, movies, music, news, science, technology, and anything else that happened during that time. It also includes announcements about events in the Memphis/Mid-South area related to the Swing Era, such as classic movies, concerts, dances, lectures, etc. If you see something that fits the description, send it to me at If you would like more information about the radio show, just go to the Radio Show FAQ page.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

James Jones: Author & Summer Avenue Resident

James Jones, the author of the award winning novel From Here To Eternity, which served as the basis for the Academy Award winning film of the same name, wrote the work in the late 1940's while living the old Leahy's Tourist Court on Summer Avenue in Memphis.  Ask Vance posted this article relating the story. 

Growing up as I did in the Berclair neighborhood of Memphis, Summer Avenue was the nearest main street, and Leahy's always struck me as a bit of a time capsule, even into the 1980's.  Leahy's was an old fashioned tourist court, that included cabins and parking spaces for trailers/mobile homes.  By the 1980's, essentially all of Summer Avenue was commercial/industrial, with Leahy's - a quiet, residential community unto itself - quietly sitting in the middle. 

Leahy's continued until 2014, when the owner of the property could no longer afford the utilities and upkeep of the old property.  There was a fear that the residents would have their utilities disconnected.  That fate was avoided, but some residents moved out while things were uncertain.    An investor bought the property, began making repairs, and it remains as a trailer park in the middle of Memphis, although some of the quaint charm of Leahy's has been lost.

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