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 wevl.org. 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 tim@wevl.org. If you would like more information about the radio show, just go to the Radio Show FAQ page.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer

More than 15 years before Rankin Bass screened their animated version of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer on television, Jam Handy released this animated short of the same story directed by Max Fleischer.  From the Internet Archive, here is Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer

Sunrise Serenade: Jingle Bells

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Jingle Bells" by Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters.  Enjoy the video from YouTube.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

80 Year Old Bluebird Returns To The Water


In 1937, Sir Malcolm Campbell set a new world water speed record of 129.50 mph in his Bluebird K3 hydroplane, and the following year, he broke the 130 mph mark at 130.91 mph with the same boat.  Hemmings Motor News reported that now, 80 years after the vessel's last record, it has returned to the water.  After a 20-year-long restoration by current owner Karl Foulkes-Halbard, the Bluebird K3 managed a speed of 52 mph in a test on Bewl Water in Kent, U.K., in early September in Kent, U.K.

Sunrise Serenade: Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow" by Woody Herman and His Orchestra.  Enjoy the video below from YouTube.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Playlist For December 13, 2017

The playlist for the December 13, 2017 broadcast of the Swing Shift Shuffle has now been added to the playlist filing cabinet.  

Sunrise Serenade: Dese Bones Gonna Rise Again

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Dese Bones Gonna Rise Again" by the Golden Gate Quartet.  Enjoy the video from YouTube.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Portraits From 1940


Dull Tool Dim Bulb posted this series of four drawings with watercolor from around 1940.  The artist was a Ms. Lucy Moose, and these portraits show men in various poses.  Aside from being well dressed by today's standards (such attire would have been common for many men back then), all these gentlemen appear to be pretty relaxed.  Not a lot of action here.  These guys are just hanging out. 

Sunrise Serenade: Tuxedo Junction

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "Tuxedo Junction" by Glenn Miller and his Orchestra.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Monday, December 11, 2017

National Recovery Admnistration Sign

Here is another find from the Nashville Flea Market in October.  Straight from the New Deal, this is a metal National Recovery Administration (NRA) sign.  The NRA (no, not the National Rifle Association) was a federal agency created during the New Deal to help the country recover from the Great Depression, and businesses would hang these signs to show that they were participating in NRA programs.  It appeared to be original, and I have not found any reproductions available.  The asking price was $75.  Interestingly, I found another such sign in similar condition at another booth for $80.  I had not seen even one, much less two, of these signs prior to this occasion. 

Sunrise Serenade: When It's Christmas On The Range

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "When It's Christmas On The Range" by Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Whiz Wilson: Time Travelling Fix-It Man

As a time traveler, "Whiz" Wilson has a unique approach.  He does not just handle whatever problem he finds in the present time with the tools available, nor does he jump back in time to prevent the problem from arising.  Instead, he jumps to the future, borrows advanced weaponry, and returns to defeat his foes with technological superiority.  Pappy's Golden Age Comic Blogzine posted this story from 1941.

Sunrise Serenade: Stick To Your Knittn', Kitten

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "Stick To Your Knittn', Kitten" by the Four Vagabonds.  Enjoy the video from YouTube.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Playlist For December 6, 2017

The playlist for the December 6, 2017 broadcast of the Swing Shift Shuffle has now been added to the playlist filing cabinet.  

Sunrise Serenade: Swinging On A Star

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Swinging On A Star" by Bing Crosby.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Marlene Dietrich - No Highway In The Sky


Here is a set of publicity photos of Marlene Dietrich, posted on Vintage Everyday, taken during the filming of No Highway In The Sky in 1948.  One of my favorite films, in addition to Ms. Dietrich it starred James Stewart, Jack Hawkins and Glynis Johns.  Ms. Dietrich played a glamorous movie star (typecasting?) who becomes intrigued by a sincere but eccentric aviation engineer played by Stewart, who believes the aircraft in which they travel will crash at a specific time. 

Sunrise Serenade: I Want The Waiter (With The Water)

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "I Want The Waiter (With The Water)" by Ella Fitzgerald.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Monday, December 4, 2017

TCM In December

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The Star of the Month on TCM for December is Lana Turner, with her movies playing every Tuesday.  With the holidays upon us, there are plenty of chances for seasonal cheer with some favorite films, and I noticed a series of World War II films on Friday, December 8, including Casablanca and This Land Is MineFull schedule here.

Sunrise Serenade: This Time It's Love

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "This Time It's Love" by Cab Calloway and His Orchestra.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Playlist For November 29, 2017

The playlist for the November 29, 2017 broadcast of the Swing Shift Shuffle has now been added to the playlist filing cabinet.  

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

We here at the SSS wish you all a very happy, healthy and safe Thanksgiving!  I'll be taking my annual leave for a week or so, but I'll be back in December. 

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Playlist For November 22, 2017

The playlist for the November 22, 2017 broadcast of the Swing Shift Shuffle has now been added to the playlist filing cabinet.  

Sunrise Serenade: Oh Johnny, Oh Johnny, Oh!

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Oh Johnny, Oh Johnny, Oh!" by the Andrews Sisters.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Finds: 1940s RCA VIctrola Wireless Record Player

I'm adding a new series to the blog:  Finds.  Occasionally, I get the chance to hit the odd antique store, estate sale or flea market.  Whether I buy anything or not, I often see some pretty interesting items from the Swing Era, and I often learn something new when I do.  Case in point:  this 1940 RCA Victrola Wireless Record Player I found last month at the Nashville Flea Market.  Yes, you read that correctly - "Wireless" record player.  This unit has no speakers, and other than a power cord, no cables or cords to connect it to any other device.  How do you hear the music?  This device sends the audio from the record, via its own internal radio transmitter, to any nearby AM radio tuned to that frequency.  Yes, well before Bluetooth and Mr. Microphone, folks could hear their music transmitted wirelessly from one device to another.  Prior to finding this item, I had no clue that such things existed.  Apparently they were manufactured by several companies from 1939 to 1942.  
 
P.S. - If you're wondering what happened to it, I bought it on behalf of a friend of mine who restores antique radios.  Of course, he knew exactly what it was, and it has found a good home. 

Sunrise Serenade: Let That Be A Lesson To You

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "Let That Be A Lesson To You" by Benny Goodman and His Orchestra from the 1937 film Hollywood Hotel.  Enjoy the video from YouTube.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Sunrise Serenade: And Her Tears Flowed Like Wine

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "And Her Tears Flowed Like Wine" by Stan Kenton and His Orchestra with Anita O'Day on vocal.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line

Friday, November 17, 2017

Sunrise Serenade: Opus No. 1

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Opus No. 1" by the Gene Krupa Orchestra with Anita O'Day on vocals.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Sunrise Serenade: Ta-hu-wa-hu-wai

Toady's Sunrise Serenade was "Ta-hu-wa-hu-wai" by the Merry Macs.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Playlist For November 15, 2017 - Fall Pledge Drive Special: Recurring Themes

The playlist for the November 15, 2017 broadcast of the Swing Shift Shuffle - Fall Pledge Drive Special:  "Recurring Themes" - has now been added to the playlist filing cabinet.  

WEVL Fall Pledge Drive Speical Tonight: Recurring Themes

Tune into the Swing Shift Shuffle tonight for our WEVL Fall Pledge Drive Special entitled "Recurring Themes."  In modern popular music, it would be very unusual for one top recording artist to release a song, and then have another top artist release the same song within a relatively short period of time.  Such an occurrence was not unusual in the 1930s-1940s, however, as many different artists would record the same song, usually with different arrangements, and sometimes even writing lyrics to transform an instrumental hit into a vocal.  Tonight, I'll be playing popular songs from the Swing Era recorded by various artists in different styles, often not the performers most associated with the song today.  Tune in, swing out and make a pledge to WEVL for our Fall Pledge Drive.  As an appetizer, here is Artie Shaw and His Orchestra performing "In The Mood," a song primarily associated with Glenn Miller. 


Sunrise Serenade: Saint Louis Blues March

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Saint Louis Blues March" by Glenn Miller and His Orchestra.  Enjoy the video from YouTube.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Sunrise Serenade: Pennsylvania 6-5000

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "Pennsylvania 6-5000" by Glenn Miller and His Orchestra.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line

Monday, November 13, 2017

Sunrise Serenade: Till Then

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Till Then" by the Mills Brothers.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Sunrise Serenade: Pell Mell

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "Pell Mell" by Les Brown and His Orchestra.  Nothing says "swing" like a bass clarinet!  Enjoy the video from YouTube.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Playlist For November 8, 2017

The playlist for the November 8, 2017 broadcast of the Swing Shift Shuffle has now been added to the playlist filing cabinet.  

Rhodes Swing Night November 16

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Well, the poster says it all, which is what a poster should do.  Don't miss the Rhodes College Swing Dance Night, next Thursday, November 16 at 7:30 p.m. in the McCallum Ballroom of the Bryan Campus Life Center.  Free lessons with the Red Hot Lindy Hop at 7:00 p.m.

Sunrise Serenade: Victory Polka

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "Victory Polka" by the Andrews Sisters.  Enjoy the video from YouTube.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Sunrise Serenade: The Jumping Jive

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "The Jumping Jive" by the Andrews Sisters.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Bonneville Salt Flats


Posted on Rivet Head, this Kodachrome photo gives us a nice color look at some Bonneville Salt Flats racers in the late 1940s.  The featured racer is a classic "belly tank" car, made from a war surplus auxiliary aircraft fuel tank.

Sunrise Serenade: Lazy River

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Lazy River" by the Mills Brothers.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line

Friday, November 3, 2017

Hector's Hectic Life

This cartoon is another variation on a standard theme from the era.  The family pet is on its last chance.  Any more noise, messes, trouble, etc., and out it goes.  Then a cute little animal, or trio of animals in this case, show up to cause havoc.  The family pet struggles to protect the newcomer, while taking the blame for its damage.  Warner Bros did it.  MGM did it.  Here, from the Internet Archive, is Famous Studios' version:  Hector's Hectic Life.

Sunrise Serenade: Death Ray Boogie

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "Death Ray Boogie" by Pete Johnson.  Enjoy the video from YouTube.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Last Weekly Lindy Hop Of 2017 This Friday

Red Hot Lindy Hop's photo.
The last Red Hot Lindy Hop lesson and session at the Rumba Room in 2017 will be this Friday, November 3.  Free beginner lesson at 7:00 p.m.  Free admission before 7:00 p.m. and $5 thereafter.   

Beginning in 2018, the regular RHLH dances will be monthly rather than weekly.  Find out more here
303 South Main
Memphis, TN 38103

Sunrise Serenade: Don't Sit Under The Apple Tree

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Don't Sit Under The Apple Tree" by the Andrews Sisters.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween!


Happy Halloween from Yvonne DeCarlo, courtesy of Film Noir Photos.  Considering that one of Ms. DeCarlo's most famous roles later in life was Lily Munster in The Munsters, this image from earlier in her career seemed even more appropriate for Halloween.

Sunrise Serenade: New East St. Louis Toodle-Oo

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "New East St. Louis Toodle-Oo" by Duke Ellington and His Orchestra.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line

Monday, October 30, 2017

Sunrise Serenade: Jeepers Creepers

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Jeepers Creepers" by Louis Armstrong.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Sunrise Serenade: It's A Sin To Tell A Lie

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "It's A Sin To Tell A Lie" by Fats Waller and His Rhythm.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line

Thursday, October 26, 2017

David Niven In Raffles

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Streamline recently reviewed the 1939 version of Raffles, the story of an upper class cricket player, A.J. Raffles, whose nighttime persona is "The Amateur Cracksman," a brilliant jewel thief.  In the title role, David Niven manages to play cricket, hit all the high society parties, steal jewels, elude the police and give away the loot to those who need help.  The 1930 version of the same film starred Ronald Coleman in the same role.  I have seen both films, and both are enjoyable. 

Sunrise Serenade: Yes Indeed

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "Yes Indeed" by Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra with Jo Stafford and Sy Oliver on vocals.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Playlist For October 25, 2017

The playlist for the October 25, 2017 broadcast of the Swing Shift Shuffle has now been added to the playlist filing cabinet.  

Jimmie Lunceford Festival Going On Now


Well, this is what I get for not paying attention.  I just found out that the 2017 Jimmie Lunceford Jamboree Festival is going on right now through October 29.  There are events going on every night this week, including art shows, lectures, jam sessions and movies all over town celebrating one of the biggest musical talents to come out of Memphis.  Check out the site and see if you can join in the fun.

Sunrise Serenade: Anvil Chorus

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Anvil Chorus" by Glenn Miller and His Orchestra.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Live Music At The Lindy Hop

The Red Hot Lindy Hop lessons and sessions continue with live music by Will Lang at the Rumba Room this Friday night.  Free beginner lesson at 7:00 p.m.  Free admission before 7:00 p.m. and $5 thereafter.   

303 South Main
Memphis, TN 38103