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.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Green Hornet Comic Book

My first encounter with the Green Hornet was neither the 1960's television show nor the comic book, but rather the 1938 serial.  Pappy's Golden Age Comics Blogzine posted this scan of the 1946 comic book version of the Hornet.

Sunrise Serenade: Coney Island Washboard

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "Coney Island Washboard" by the Mills Brothers.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Haunted Mouse

In this 1941 animated short, a starving cat races into a ghost town to find food, only to be harassed by a ghost mouse.  From the Internet Archive, here is The Haunted Mouse

Friday, January 28, 2011

March of Time 1939

I never thought about advertisements for documentaries or newsreels until I saw this image from Vintage Ads.  It is an ad for a 1939 episode from the March Of Time series.  Before the Pearl Harbor attack on December 7, 1941, and less than a generation after World War I, many Americans were not interested in another war, and the subjects for this film seem to suggest that position.

Sunrise Serenade: Chant Of The Jungle

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Chant Of The Jungle" by the Casa Loma Orchestra.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

E.L. Cord: The Maker of "Different" Automobiles

E.L. Cord made possible some of the grandest, most innovative vehicles to ever grace the American roads, or any other roads for that matter.  He took over a dying car company based in Auburn, Indiana; bought Duesenberg motors; and developed a new car, bearing his own name, with revolutionary front-wheel drive technology.  As a result, the Auburn, Cord and Duesenberg line of automobiles became legendary for their design, performance and luxury.  Modern Mechanix posted this article from a 1930 issue of Modern Mechanics that gives some contemporary insight into his success.  If you are ever in Auburn, Indiana, I highly recommend a visit to the Auburn, Cord & Duesenberg Museum, housed in the old A-C-D headquarters and showroom.  It is an exciting collection, even for someone who is not that interested in cars. 

Sunrise Serenade: Dinah

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

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Playlist For January 26, 2011

The playlist for the January 26, 2011 broadcast of the Swing Shift Shuffle has just been added to the playlist filing cabinet.

The Latest Wonder Drug? Beer.

A beer a day keeps the winter colds away!  At least that is what the Schlitz Brewing Company would have you believe in this 1936 ad posted on Modern Mechanix.  These guys had today's energy drinks beat by over half a century.
Schlitz, with Sunshine Vitamin D *, gives you the sunny source of health you need the whole year around. Beer is good for you— but Schlitz, with Sunshine Vitamin D, is extra good for you. It has all the old-time Schlitz Flavor and Bouquet brewed to mellow ripe perfection under Precise Enzyme Control, with new health benefits . . . and at no increase in price.

Sunrise Serenade: Seventh Avenue

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Seventh Avenue" by T. Sgt. Sy Oliver from a V-Disc.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Hop The Winter Blues Away!

The Red Hot Lindy Hop continues its weekly lesson and session this Friday with a lesson by Matt and Erin and music by Alexis.  Free admission before 7:00 p.m., and $5 at the door afterwards. 

Rumba Room
303 South Main
Memphis, TN 38103

U of M Swing every Monday, Fieldhouse Room 118 from 7:00 to 9:45 p.m.  Free taster lesson from 7:00-8:00 p.m. Topics vary from week to week and include East Coast Swing, Lindy Hop, Charleston, Blues and Balboa. All are welcome and no partner is required. Open practice from 8-9:30 pm. Improve your moves during this dance time. Ask questions, come practice your swing dancing and have fun with other Memphis swing dancers!

Sunrise Serenade: Rockin' Chair Swing

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

Monday, January 24, 2011

Startling Stories And Dazzling Covers

Golden Age Comic Book Stories has once again posted another great series of pulp science fiction and fantasy novel covers from the late 1930's into the 1950's.  All of these covers are from the Startling Stories series.  I really must take time to track down and read some of these things just to see if they live up to the covers.

Sunrise Serenade: Can Anyone Explain?

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Can Anyone Explain?" by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Prest-O Chang-O

An early prototype of Bugs Bunny appears in this classic Warner Bros. cartoon about two stray dogs that wander into a magician's house and encounter his tricks.  From the Internet ArchivePrest-O Chang-O

Friday, January 21, 2011

A Boy Powered Submarine

I will readily admit, nay - proclaim, that I designed a submarine when I was a boy, but the project never got through the budget process.  Modern Mechanix posted this 1932 issue of Science and Mechanics, which features this story of a submersible used by boys in Nebraska, complete with rudder, submerging planes, periscope and air vent.

Sunrise Serenade: Johnny Get Your Horn And Blow It

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Johnny Get Your Horn And Blow It" by Lionel Hampton.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Red Hot Lindy Hop At GPAC Exhibition Opening

The Red Hot Lindy Hop is doing double duty tomorrow.  In addition to the regular lesson and session at the Rumba Room downtown, they will also be appearing at the opening reception for the Germantown Performing Arts Center exhibition of Facing the Music:  Portraits of the Jazz Age.  The reception runs from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., and the exhibition runs through February 12.

Sunrise Serenade: The Lady In Red

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "The Lady In Red" by Louis Prima.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Playlist For January 19, 2011

The playlist for the January 19, 2011 broadcast of the Swing Shift Shuffle has just been added to the playlist filing cabinet.

Rhapsody In Boop This Sunday at GPAC

The Germantown Performing Arts Center presents Rhapsody in Boop this Sunday, January 23, 2011 at 2:00 p.m.

International recording artist and award-winning composer Kathy Kosins presents an afternoon of song celebrating the music of the legendary Betty Boop. Big band Jazz Orchestra of the Delta under the direction of Jack Cooper joins Kosins in new arrangements from the life and times of this American icon.

Sunrise Serenade: How Come You Do Me Like You Do?

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "How Come You Do Me Like You Do?" by Cab Calloway and his Orchestra.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Keep Warm With The Lindy Hop

The weekly Red Hot Lindy Hop lesson and session continues its usual groove this Friday with a lesson by Becky and Bill and music by Becky.  Free admission before 7:00 p.m., and $5 at the door afterwards. 

Rumba Room
303 South Main
Memphis, TN 38103

U of M Swing every Monday, Fieldhouse Room 118 from 7:00 to 9:30 p.m.  Free taster lesson from 7:00-8:00 p.m. Topics vary from week to week and include East Coast Swing, Lindy Hop, Charleston, Blues and Balboa. All are welcome and no partner is required. Open practice from 8-9:30 pm. Improve your moves during this dance time. Ask questions, come practice your swing dancing and have fun with other Memphis swing dancers!

Sunrise Serenade: I Want To Learn About Love

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "I Want To Learn About Love" by Ella Fitzgerald with the Daydreamers.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Benny Goodman And The VW Beetle

January 17 marks the anniversary of at least two significant introductions in American history.  According to The People History, on that date jazz was introduced to Carnegie Hall, and America met the Beetle. 
1938 U.S.A. Carnegie Hall

17th January, 1938 : The first jazz concert is performed at Carnegie Hall. Benny Goodman and his orchestra performed at this iconic New York City venue and the event included guests like Count Basie and other popular names of the day. It gave the genre credibility as a legitimate musical preference.


1949 U.S.A. Volkswagen Beetle

17th January, 1949 : The first Volkswagen Beetle ( The Peoples Car ) in the U.S. arrived from Germany, designed by Ferdinand Porsche at the request of Adolf Hitler.

Sunrise Serenade: Choo'n Gum

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Choo'n Gum" by the Andrews Sisters.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Popeye: The Paneless Window Washer

It has been too long since Popeye visited the SSS, so here he is in this 1937 animated short from the Internet ArchiveThe Paneless Window Washer.

Friday, January 14, 2011

More Homemade Streamliners

The Hemmings blog came across another homemade streamliner.  This vehicle was produced by San Diego boat builder D.H. Griffin sometime in the 1930's.  The car below was actually his second conveyance.  According to Hemmings, the three-wheeler
used an oak frame, but had a sedan body that seated four. Passengers could enter through one of two side doors or through a single front door. According to Cunningham, the sedan weighed 975 pounds, reached a top speed of 60 MPH, and returned 50 MPG.

Sunrise Serenade: Back To Back

Glenn Miller and his Orchestra return yet again for this morning's Sunrise Serenade:  "Back To Back."  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Margaret Whiting R.I.P.

During my show last night, I learned that Margaret Whiting, a singer who made her name in the 1940s-50s, passed away Monday, January 10, 2011 at the age of 86.  Prior to producing records under her own name, she sang with Freddie Slack, Billy Butterfield and Paul Weston.  NPR posted this memorial to her from Fresh Air

Sunrise Serenade: Guess I'll Go Back Home

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Guess I'll Go Back Home" by Glenn Miller and his Orchestra, with Tex Beneke on vocals.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Playlist For January 12, 2011

The playlist for the January 12, 2011 broadcast of the Swing Shift Shuffle has just been added to the playlist filing cabinet.

"Neither Rain, Nor Sleet, Nor Mutant Aliens . . . ." Wait, What?

From the "You're Making That Up" Department:  Pappy's Golden Age Comics Blogzine posted a 1940 issue of Speed Comics featuring "Mars Mason of the Interplanetary Mail Service."  I kid you not.  This comic book hero was a space travelling postal carrier.  Just think what postage rates would be for that home delivery!

Sunrise Serenade: King Porter Stomp

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "King Porter Stomp" by Glenn Miller and his Orchestra.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Back Into The Swing With The Lindy Hop

Shake the snow off your boots with the weekly Red Hot Lindy Hop lesson and session this Friday with a lesson by Kirk and Kimmie and music by Kimmie.  Free admission before 7:00 p.m., and $5 at the door afterwards. 

Rumba Room
303 South Main
Memphis, TN 38103

U of M Swing every Monday, Fieldhouse Room 118 from 7:00 to 9:30 p.m.  Free taster lesson from 7:00-8:00 p.m. Topics vary from week to week and include East Coast Swing, Lindy Hop, Charleston, Blues and Balboa. All are welcome and no partner is required. Open practice from 8-9:30 pm. Improve your moves during this dance time. Ask questions, come practice your swing dancing and have fun with other Memphis swing dancers!

Sunrise Serenade: I'm Sorry For Myself

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "I'm Sorry For Myself" by Glenn Miller and his Orchestra, featuring Marion Hutton and Tex Beneke on vocals.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Streamlined Design Overload

The blog Dieselpunk is a great source for images of design from the Art Deco/Streamline era, but this poster for a 1935 Auto Show in Prague, Czechoslovakia is over the top.  I have no doubt that the Czech auto manufacturer Tatra, known for its aerodynamically designed vehicles, had a big presence at that show.

Sunrise Serenade: On The Sunny Side Of The Street

Considering the blanket of snow Memphis and the Mid-South received last night, the lyrics of this morning's Sunrise Serenade might serve as appropriate driving instructions.  Just direct your feet "On The Sunny Side Of The Street" by the Benny Goodman Sextet with Peggy Lee on vocals.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Little Lulu: Bargain Counter Attack

If you have need to return any Christmas presents, this Paramount cartoon from 1946 might make you think twice.  From the Internet Archive, here is Little Lulu in Bargain Counter Attack.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Movie Series Images

Film Noir Photos began a series featuring photos and posters from movies with multiple sequels, and it began with The Thin Man series starring William Powell as Nick Charles, Myrna Loy as his wife Nora, and Asta, their wired-haired terrier. 

This publicity shot is from the last of the series, Song of the Thin Man (1947), with Powell, Loy and Dean Stockwell (Dune, Quantum Leap, Battlestar Galactica) as Nicky, Jr.  Like Film Noir, I agree that this film was the weakest in the series, but I too have a soft spot for this movie.  One of the funniest moments in film is when the beautiful Myrna Loy says "I'm a mudhen." 

Sunrise Serenade: How Come

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "How Come" by Anita O'Day.  Enjoy the song in the video below from YouTube.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Stylin' With Stetson

As the proud owner and wearer of several fedoras, including a Stetson, I had to repost this 1947 Stetson advertisement from Vintage Ads.

Sunrise Serenade: Pack Up Your Sins And Go To The Devil

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was the slightly irreverent "Pack Up Your Sins And Go To The Devil" by Ella Fitzgerald.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Playlist For January 5, 2011

The playlist for the January 5, 2011 broadcast of the Swing Shift Shuffle has just been added to the playlist filing cabinet.

Golden Gate, FM Radio, Elizabeth Taylor And A Fair Deal

It appears that January 5 is another one of those dates that history likes to revisit.  The People History posted the following series of historical events that occurred on this date. 

5th January, 1933: Work is started on The Golden Gate Bridge across the San Francisco Bay

5th January, 1940: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) listened to a demo of FM radio on this day. In 1941, FM transmitting took place for the first time.

5th January, 1943: Elizabeth Taylor started her first acting role while signed on with MGM when she was 11 years old.  On this day (January 5th), her first appearance was in Lassie Come Home. However, her first ever film debut was with Universal Studios when she was only 10 years old (There’s One Born Every Minute).

5th January, 1949: President Harry S. Truman gave his “fair deal speech”. He expressed his thoughts on how every American should expect a “fair deal” from the U.S. government. His talk was in response to the New Deal policies that were set in place by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Sunrise Serenade: Love With A Capital U

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Love With A Capital U" by Glenn Miller and his Orchestra.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Hop Into The New Year

The weekly Red Hot Lindy Hop lesson and session returns from its holiday break this Friday with a lesson by Jaredan and Michelle and music by Jaredan.  Free admission before 7:00 p.m., and $5 at the door afterwards. 

Rumba Room
303 South Main
Memphis, TN 38103

U of M Swing every Monday, Fieldhouse Room 118 from 7:00 to 9:30 p.m.  Free taster lesson from 7:00-8:00 p.m. Topics vary from week to week and include East Coast Swing, Lindy Hop, Charleston, Blues and Balboa. All are welcome and no partner is required. Open practice from 8-9:30 pm. Improve your moves during this dance time. Ask questions, come practice your swing dancing and have fun with other Memphis swing dancers!

Sunrise Serenade: Romance Runs In The Family

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Romance Runs In The Family" by Glenn Miller and his Orchestra.  Click on the song title for a sample clip from emusic, or click here for the album page. 

Monday, January 3, 2011

1930's Science Fiction Artwork By Basil Wolverton

Golden Age Comic Book Stories posted a series of black and white science fiction artwork by Basil Wolverton.  The panels from the Meteor Morgan comic book have a nice, crisp Art Deco sci-fi style.

Sunrise Serenade: Coffee In The Morning (Kisses In The Night)

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was certainly appropriate for the first Monday of the new year:  "Coffee In The Morning (Kissess In The Night)" by the Boswell Sisters.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Swing Shift Cinderella

Happy New Year! This party girl definitely had to be back by midnight, to catch the bus to her job at the aircraft factory.  Here is one of Tex Avery's classics, Swing Shift Cinderella