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, October 30, 2013

75th Anniversary Of Orson Welles' War Of The Worlds Broadcast

Seventy-five years ago today, on Sunday, October 30, 1938, a young actor named Orson Welles broadcast a Halloween episode of the CBS radio drama The Mercury Theatre on the Air based on H.G. Wells' novel, The War of the Worlds.  Adapting the novel to the time, the broadcast opened as a series of radio news alerts reporting something strange happening in New Jersey.  The rest is history.  Although traditional urban lore suggests that the broadcast caused mass panic among radio listeners who thought the portrayed events were real, historians have cast significant doubt on those claims, indicating that press reports of panic at the time were exaggerated.

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