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.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Betty Boop: So Does An Automobile

Betty Boop turns mechanic in this 1939 animated short.  Lots of car gags, some period and others timeless.  I like the truck "truckin' on down."  From the Internet Archive, here is Betty Boop in So Does An Automobile

Friday, July 29, 2011

Memphis Postcards Part 5

Here are more images from the continuing series of antique Memphis postcards.  The Doughboy still stands in Overton Park, but the Auditorium was demolished a few years ago to make way for the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts. 

Sunrise Serenade: Paswonky

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "Paswonky" by Fats Waller.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Multichannel Broadcasting On One Frequency In 1946

Although based on different technology, pulse time modulation, as discussed in this November 1946 Popular Science article posted on Modern Mechanix, provides a similar result to modern digital radio, at least as far as several distinct broadcasts associated with one station. 

Sunrise Serenade: Floatin' Down To Cotton Town

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "Floatin' Down To Cotton Town" by Fats Waller.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Playlist For July 27, 2011

The playlist for the July 27, 2011 broadcast of the Swing Shift Shuffle has just been added to the playlist filing cabinet.

Buster Brown Comic Books

I remember having Buster Brown shoes as a kid, but the company stopped giving away comic books such as those posted on Pappy's Golden Age Comics Blogzine long before I laced up a shoe.  Pappy posts two stories from 1947 and 1948, both with an Egyptian flavor.


Sunrise Serenade: After You've Gone

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "After You've Gone" by Gene Krupa and His Orchestra.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Live Music At The Lindy Hop

This Friday's Red Hot Lindy Hop lesson and session at the Rumba Room features live music by the Old City Buskers from Knoxville.  Jaredan and Becky will provide the lesson.  Free admission before 7:00 p.m., and $7 at the door afterwards. 

Rumba Room
303 South Main
Memphis, TN 38103

Sunrise Serenade: Stand By For Further Announcements (And For More Good News)

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Stand By For Further Announcements (And For More Good News)" by Lionel Hampton and His Orchestra.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Advertising Advertising

Even advertising agencies have to advertise.  Dieselpunk posted this image of a 1938 brochure cover for the London Transport advertising services.  If you wanted to put your advertisement in front of London commuters, these were the folks to call.  I thought it was interesting that the artist adopted a very 21st Century-style tag in the form of "Zero."

Sunrise Serenade: Free Wheeling

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "Free Wheeling" by Artie Shaw and His Orchestra.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Tubby The Tuba

This animated short is a George Pal "Puppetoon" in Technicolor from 1947.  Mr. Pal's work apparently influenced Messrs. Rankin and Bass, who made all those great animated Christmas specials in the 1960's (Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer, etc.).  In addition to the great animation, which seems pretty advanced for the late 1940's, the music has a very rich, almost feature film style of arrangement.  From the Internet Archive, here is Tubby The Tuba

Friday, July 22, 2011

Memphis Postcards Part 4

Here are two more images from the continuing the series of antique Memphis postcards.  The top image does not claim to be any specific place in Memphis, just a field of cotton in bloom.  The theme of Memphis as the major cotton trading market appears on a few of the postcards.  Please bear in mind that these cards were probably printed in the early to mid 1930's, and reflected the economic and social status quo of the time.  The scene in the bottom image is easily recognizable, as several of the more prominent buildings remain.

Sunrise Serenade: Russian Lullaby

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Russian Lullaby" by Stan Kenton.  Click on the song title for a sample from Amazon.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Evans Auto-Railers

This 1930 print ad posted on Dieselpunk made me curious about the Evans Auto-Railer, and I found a late 1930's newsreel excerpt on YouTube about the vehicle.  Although it apparently did not succeed as a bus, the concept is still very much alive in maintenance vehicles at rail yards. 

Sunrise Serenade: She's Funny That Way

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "(I Got A Woman Crazy For Me) She's Funny That Way" by the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra.  Click on the song title for a sample clip courtesy of emusic.  Click here for the album page.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Playlist For July 20, 2011

The playlist for the July 20, 2011 broadcast of the Swing Shift Shuffle has just been added to the playlist filing cabinet.

Blues On The Bluff - Saturday, July 23

In case you have not heard, the 23rd annual Blues on the Bluff is this Saturday, July 23, 2011.  This event is a major fundraiser for WEVL FM 89.9, home of the Swing Shift Shuffle.  In addition to great music, food, people and views, there will be an even bigger silent auction than last year; with special packages from various WEVL programmers, including yours truly.  Discount advance tickets available online.  See you there!

Sunrise Serenade: My Guy's Come Back

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "My Guy's Come Back" by Benny Goodman and His Orchestra with Liza Morrow on vocals.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Cool Red Hot Lindy Hop And Live Music Next Week

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

Rumba Room
303 South Main
Memphis, TN 38103

Next week:  Live music with the Old City Buskers from Knoxville

Sunrise Serenade: Limehouse Blues

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was an encore from March:  "Limehouse Blues" by the Mills Brothers.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Rockefeller Center 1940

Dieselpunk posted this 1940 booklet, with its striking cover photo, about Rockefeller Center.  The building looks even more massive without all the other skyscrapers around it.

Sunrise Serenade: The General Jumped At Dawn

Today's Sunrise Serenade was appropriate for early risers:  "The General Jumped At Dawn" by the Golden Gate Quartet.  Enjoy this YouTube video from the 1944 film Hollywood Canteen. 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Ding Dog Daddy

Yes, this is a silly cartoon, but I remember enjoying it as a kid.  Seeing it again, I enjoy it even more because I now get all the historical and musical cues of the time.  From the Internet Archive, here is the 1942 animated short, Ding Dog Daddy.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Memphis Postcards Part 3

Since summertime is vacation season, and postcards are part of a vacation, here are two more of the antique Memphis postcards.  Other than the fact that the trees around the buildings on the Southwestern campus (renamed Rhodes College in 1984) are larger, the buildings and Lynx (Rhodes mascot) statues look much the same.  The bottom image is from the Memphis Zoo, but I am not sure if this building still remains.

Sunrise Serenade: My Blue Heaven

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "My Blue Heaven" by Glenn Miller and His Orchestra.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Boy Commandos To The Moon

Pappy's Golden Age Comics Blogzine reveals that, following in the footsteps of Jules Verne and others, the creators of Boy Commandos sent their heroes to the moon in 1947.

Sunrise Serenade: Flying Home

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Flying Home" by Red Norvo and His Orchestra from a V-Disc.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Playlist For July 13, 2011

The playlist for the July 13, 2011 broadcast of the Swing Shift Shuffle has just been added to the playlist filing cabinet.

The First Black Box?

This posting on Modern Mechanix, from the July 1937 issue of Popular Science, suprised me a little.  While I am not surprised that someone had the idea to record air to ground radio transmissions to aid accident investigations in 1937, I do find it interesting that they would use wax cylinders.  That technology seems out of date, even at that time. 
RADIO communications between plane pilots and airport dispatchers are now permanently recorded on wax cylinders by an electrical machine recently installed by the U. S. Bureau of Air Commerce at a California landing field. Reports made by pilots and orders given by dispatchers, kept on file in record form, are thus available to examiners investigating the causes of any accident to a plane.

Sunrise Serenade: Air Conditioned Jungle

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was certainly seasonally appropriate:  "Air Conditioned Jungle" by Duke Ellington and His Orchestra.  Enjoy this YouTube video of a 78 rpm version. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Red Hot Lindy Hop Live Music Line Up

The weekly Red Hot Lindy Hop lesson and session continues this Friday at the Rumba Room with a lesson by Shannon and Michael Q. and music by Michael Q.  Free admission before 7:00 p.m., and $5 at the door afterwards. 

Rumba Room
303 South Main
Memphis, TN 38103

I just noticed that Red Hot Lindy Hop has also released its live music line up at the Rumba Room for the next several months.  Lace up your dancing shoes!

July 29 - Old City Buskers
August 24 - J. Thomas and the Swinging Monkeys
September 30 - Jeremy Shrader's Quintessentials
October 28 - The Side Street Steppers

Sunrise Serenade: Harvard Blues

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "Harvard Blues" by Count Basie and His Orchestra.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Curb Appeal In 1937

Here is a new (or perhaps old) version of "curb appeal" posted on Modern Mechanix.  According to the July 1937 issue of Popular Science, a building firm wrapped one of its houses in 6000 square feet of cellphane, complete with a giant bow over the door. 

Sunrise Serenade: No Name Jive

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "No Name Jive" by Glen Gray and the Casa Loma Orchestra.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Superman: Destruction, Inc.

It is time for the Man of Steel to save the day again.  In this episode, which I have not seen before, Lois Lane gets caught while investigating some saboteurs, and Superman must save her and a munitions factory.  For someone who gets caught snooping so easily, Ms. Lane displays some very agile moves while evading the bad guys.  From the Internet Archive, here is the 1942 short, Destruction, Inc.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Memphis Postcards Part 2

Below is another scan from the set of antique Memphis postcards I picked up last year.  The Peabody Hotel is still around, as are the pillars at the Fairgrounds entrance; but the Shelby County Building burned a few years ago, and the Fairgrounds itself is now undergoing redevelopment.

Sunrise Serenade: Shoo Shoo Baby

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

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Picture Disc Records

Boing Boing posted an item about Vogue Picture Records, 78 rpm records with illustrations embedded in the vinyl.  The company only lasted a few years in the late 1940s.  I have seen similar records for children's songs during that time, but not popular tunes.  The image below is a Picture Record of "Sugar Blues" by Clyde McCoy and His Orchestra.  I saw a few other well known Swing Era artists on the Vogue Picture Record Collectors page (Shep Fields, Tommy Dorsey, etc.), as well as several performers who were unknown to me. 

Sunrise Serenade: There's Frost On The Moon

My unconscious is obviously feeling the heat, because this morning's Sunrise Serenade was the chilly "There's Frost On The Moon" by Artie Shaw and His Orchestra.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Playlist For July 6, 2011

The playlist for the July 6, 2011 broadcast of the Swing Shift Shuffle has just been added to the playlist filing cabinet.

First And Last Dance Swing Dance Music Video

Here is another entry from the 2011 Seattle Vintage Jazz Dance (SVJD) Swing/Jazz Dance Music Video Contest.  It starts in an ordinary way, but just keep watching.  I must confess that I would be best suited to the role of leader (i.e. the guy) in this video.  Enjoy First And Last Dance.

Sunrise Serenade: The Hut Sut Song

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "The Hut Sut Song."  This swingin' version is by Horace Heidt and the Musical Knights.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Beat The Heat With The Lindy Hop

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

Rumba Room
303 South Main
Memphis, TN 38103

Sunrise Serenade: Mister Five By Five

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "Mister Five By Five" by Freddie Slack and His Orchestra with Ella Mae Morse on vocals.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Independence Day!

I hope everyone has a happy and safe Independence Day.  These kids from the American Memory Collection at the Library of Congress are certainly in the Spirit of '76.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Bunker Hill Bunny

This short certainly seems like an appropriate cartoon for the Independence Day weekend.  From the Internet Archive, here is Bunker Hill Bunny

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Black Hood vs. Needlenoodle

Yes, I said "Needlenoodle," and I'm not making it up.  That was the villian's name in this 1946 Black Hood comic posted by Pappy's Golden Age Comics Blogzine.  Such a name could be a disadvantage in a brawl.  "Look out Needlenoo- . . . .  Oops!  Too late."  The Black Hood started as a masked vigilante character, but became more of a detective hero.  Pappy has some interesting insights into the transformation.   
A lot of comic book costumed heroes weren't selling after World War II, and the comic book industry was changing. The company known as MLJ Comics became Archie Comics, and replaced its original MLJ logo with the Archie Comics colophon on issue #17.* It could be that MLJ/Archie was trying to save the Black Hood comic by dropping the costume, and perhaps introducing villains that wouldn't be out of place in the Dick Tracy comic strip.

Sunrise Serenade: Fried Chicken O'Routee

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Fried Chicken O'Routee" by the always "vouterific" Slim Gaillard.  Click on the song title for a sample from emusic, or click here for the album page.