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, August 31, 2012

Customers Wanted

The concept of reusing footage from old shows in a "flashback" episode is not new, as demonstrated by this Popeye cartoon from 1939.  Popeye and Bluto own competing penny arcades on the boardwalk, and in their attempts to woo Wimpy as a customer, they give him free access to their nickelodeons featuring clips from their previous cartoons.  From the Internet Archive, here is Customers Wanted

Sunrise Serenade: Avalon

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Avalon" by Django Reinhardt.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Turner Classic Movies In September

It is time for The Hollywood Revue's monthly preview of programming on TCM.  The Star of the Month is Lauren "You know how to whistle, don't you?" Bacall, and she will grace the screen every Wednesday night.  In addition, TCM will be showing films from Mack Sennett studios on Thursday nights, including premiers of a lot of silent films featuring Fatty Arbuckle, Charlie Chaplin and Gloria Swanson. 

Sunrise Serenade Negra De Cabello Duro

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "Negra De Cabello Duro" by Oscar Aleman.  Enjoy the video from YouTube.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Playlist For August 29, 2012

The playlist for the August 29, 2012 broadcast of the Swing Shift Shuffle has been added to the playlist filing cabinet

Wonder Stories Science Fiction Covers

I cannot seem to get enough of these great science fiction covers.  Golden Age Comic Book Stories posted a series of Wonder Stories covers from 1930 through 1936.  I chose this 1931 cover because, while not in the best condition, it repeats a theme regarding robots that I have seen before, which raises a question.  If the frightening thing about robots is that they are cold, logical and without any humanity or emotion, why are they often depicted carrying off the babe?

Sunrise Serenade: Sepia Panorama

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "Sepia Panorama" by Duke Ellington and His Orchestra.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

End Of Summer Rag And Hop


The Tiger Rag happens tomorrow night and every Wednesday at the Madison Dance Studio inside Minglewood Hall at 1555 Madison Avenue at 8:00 p.m. You can also sign up for a series of dance classes taught every Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. More info here

The Red Hot Lindy Hop lesson and session continues this Friday night at the Rumba Room.  Free admission and lesson before 7:00 p.m., and $5 cover at the door afterwards.  The lesson will be by Kirk and Erin.  Dress like you are going out!
303 South Main
Memphis, TN 38103

Sunrise Serenade: Moon Ray

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Moon Ray" by Ella Fitzgerald.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Sentimental Journey On September 15

On Saturday, September 15, Forever Young Senior Wish presents "1940's Sentimental Journey," a musical tribute to veterans of World War II.  The event is open to the public, with free admission for WW2 veterans and a guest.  The Memphis Jazz Orchestra will be performing the music of Glenn Miller, the Andrews Sisters, Les Brown and more.  It all takes place on Saturday, September 15, 2012, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at First Assembly Memphis Church, 8650 Walnut Grove Road, Cordova, Tennessee.  For more information, visit wwiiamerica.com

Sunrise Serenade: The Wreck Of The Old 97

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "The Wreck Of The Old 97" by Muggsy Spanier and His Orchestra.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Symphony In Slang

This cartoon is a great Tex Avery short in which the language of a recently deceased soul renders him somewhat unintelligable to Saint Peter at the Pearly Gates.  From the Internet Archive and MGM, here is Symphony In Slang.

Sunrise Serenade: Handful Of Keys

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Handful Of Keys" by Fats Waller.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Captians Courageous Review

On MovieFanFare, guest blogger Kim Wilson wrote a great review of Captains Courageous (1937), starring Spencer Tracy, Freddie Bartholomew and Lionel Barrymore.  I really enjoyed this film about a very rich spoiled brat (Bartholomew) who learns some tough but valuable lessons after falling overboard off a luxury liner and into the nets of a Portugese fisherman (Tracy). 



Sunrise Serenade: Swanee River

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "Swanee River" by Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Playlist For August 22, 2012

The playlist for the August 22, 2012 broadcast of the Swing Shift Shuffle has been added to the playlist filing cabinet

Behind The Scenes Of Metropolis

And I am not talking about Superman's hangout.  This Metropolis was the 1927 cinematic masterpiece by German director Fritz Lang.  Yes, I know that 1927 was just a little before the Swing Era really began in earnest, but the imagery in Metropolis was an example of Art Deco design that truly flourished in the 1930's.  Besides, it is one of my favorite films, so there!  Paleofuture posted an article from the June 1927 issue of Science and Invention that reveals the science used to produce the film's still impressive special effects.

Sunrise Serenade: People Like You And Me

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "People Like You And Me" by Glenn Miller and His Orchestra.  Despite what the sign says on the recording studio door, here is Glenn and the gang performing in this YouTube video. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Hop Back To School


The Tiger Rag happens tomorrow night and every Wednesday at the Madison Dance Studio inside Minglewood Hall at 1555 Madison Avenue at 8:00 p.m. You can also sign up for a series of dance classes taught every Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. More info here

The Red Hot Lindy Hop lesson and session continues this Friday night at the Rumba Room.  Free admission and lesson before 7:00 p.m., and $5 cover at the door afterwards.  The lesson will be by Kirk and Amanda.  Dress like you are going out!
303 South Main
Memphis, TN 38103

Sunrise Serenade: Hello Ma

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "Hello Ma, I Done It Again" by Ella Fitzgerald.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line

Monday, August 20, 2012

Blackout, Avenger Of The Night

I must confess to a little puzzlement about this character, Blackout, posted on Four Color Shadows.  An American reporter caught in Germany when the U.S. entered the war, Jack Simms is beaten by the Gestapo until he is blinded.  He manages to escape and meet members of the German underground, one of whom is a doctor.  The doctor makes him a special pair of glasses that allow him to see, and he joins the underground to become Blackout.  Question is, what special powers do the special glasses actually bestow, if any?  The implication is that they allow him to see in darkness, and thus infiltrate and avoid detection, but the story never really says (as far I as could tell).  Other than that gap, a fun read.

Sunrise Serenade: Bugle Call Rag

It is a bit late in the day (server crash kept me offline until now), but this morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Bugle Call Rag" by Glenn Miller and His Orchestra.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Lion's Busy

Now here is one I do not remember seeing before.  It features a Mortimer Snerd-esque buzzard and an Irish lion.  From the Internet Archive, here is the 1948 Warner Bros. animated short, The Lion's Busy.
video

Sunrise Serenade: It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)" by Duke Ellington and His Orchestra.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

James Dean: Snapshot

Like my post about Marilyn Monroe, here is another person whose most recognized accomplishments ususally fall outside the temporal scope of this blog.  Yes folks, this bespectacled, reserved young lad is none other than the Rebel Without A Cause, James Dean.  Retronaut posted this and other photos of Dean in 1949 from a photo booth.

Sunrise Serenade: At The Woodchopper's Ball

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "At The Woodchopper's Ball" by Woody Herman and His Orchestra.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Playlist For August 15, 2012

The playlist for the August 15, 2012 broadcast of the Swing Shift Shuffle has been added to the playlist filing cabinet

"Greasemonkey On The Throne?"

With 2012 being the year of both the London Olympics and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, this post seemed timely. Included in one of its carspotting photo posts, this time from London during a 1962 mass transit strike, the Hemmings blog also posted a World War II British newsreel about then Princess Elizabeth's service in the Army as a driver and mechanic. I posted some color photos about this chapter in the Queen's life here. I agree with the post author Daniel Strohl's sentiment that he feels "better about the British monarchy knowing there’s a greasemonkey on the throne," although I am not sure I could comfortably refer to Queen Elizabeth II as a "greasemonkey."

Sunrise Serenade: Humoresque

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

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Rags And Hops Swing On


The Tiger Rag happens tomorrow night and every Wednesday at the Madison Dance Studio inside Minglewood Hall at 1555 Madison Avenue at 8:00 p.m. You can also sign up for a series of dance classes taught every Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. More info here

The Red Hot Lindy Hop lesson and session continues this Friday night at the Rumba Room.  Free admission and lesson before 7:00 p.m., and $5 cover at the door afterwards.  The lesson will be by Michael and Annabel .  Dress like you are going out!
303 South Main
Memphis, TN 38103

Sunrise Serenade: I Saw Stars

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "I Saw Stars" by Django Reinhardt and the Hot Club Quintet of France.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Monday, August 13, 2012

What You Don't Know Can Hurt You

This item from the April 1948 issue of Popular Science, posted on Modern Mechanix, is a cautionary tale (in hindsight) of why we should all be a little wary of the latest trend.  The article provides dozens of household uses for those leftover asbestos roofing shingles.  In 50 years, historians will wonder why we never saw the obvious link between smartphones and hair cancer.

Sunrise Serenade: Screaming Boogie

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Screaming Boogie" by Lionel Hampton and His Orchestra.  Enjoy the YouTube video below. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Betty Boop's Crazy Inventions

In this animated short from 1933, our heroine demonstrates the latest Rube Goldberg-esque technology.  From the Internet Archive, here is Betty Boop's Crazy Inventions.

Sunrise Serenade: Oh Babe!

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Oh Babe!" by Lucky Millinder and His Orchestra.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Tara, Swashbuckling Space Outlaw

It has occurred to me that the authors/artists of space-themed comic books during the 1940's must have reached a common conclusion about the evolution of the human race.  Specifically, these futurists apparently believed that human females would develop a thermal resistance that made them impervious to changes in temperature.  As evidence, I cite the fact that, no matter what the depicted situation or what their male counterparts were wearing, females in futuristic settings usually wear the equivalent of a backless, strapless minidress or a two piece bathing suit.  I wonder what led these writers to this conclusion.  Whatever the reason, they diligently relayed their findings to their curious readership of mostly young boys.  This 1948 issue of Tara, posted on Four Color Shadows, is an excellent example.

Sunrise Serenade: Dippermouth Blues

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

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Playlist For August 8, 2012

The playlist for the August 8, 2012 broadcast of the Swing Shift Shuffle has just been added to the playlist filing cabinet.

Screenland Magazine Covers

These scans of covers from 1941 issues of Screenland magazine, posted on Retronaut, provide a great window into popular culture of the day.  This issue features Vivien Leigh on the cover, Bob Hope's answer to the question "Who's Yehudi?" and the story behind the movie The Strawberry Blonde.

Sunrise Serenade: Oh Mama

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Oh Mama" by the Andrews Sisters.  Enjoy the YouTube video below. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tiger Rag Wednesday And Live Music Friday


The Tiger Rag happens tomorrow night and every Wednesday at the Madison Dance Studio inside Minglewood Hall at 1555 Madison Avenue at 8:00 p.m. You can also sign up for a series of dance classes taught every Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. More info here

The Red Hot Lindy Hop lesson and session features live music this Friday night at the Rumba Room with Jeremy Shrader.  Free admission and lesson before 7:00 p.m., and $7 cover at the door afterwards.  The lesson will be by Mike T. and Kimmie.  Dress like you are going out!
303 South Main
Memphis, TN 38103

Sunrise Serenade: When I Grow Too Old To Dream

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "When I Grow Too Old To Dream" by Bob Crosby and His V-Disc Bobcats.  Enjoy the YouTube video below. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Bantams On The Block

In the late 1920's, British automaker Austin started producing its small cars in the U.S.  After some initial success, American Austin fell victim to the Great Depression, and filed for bankruptcy.  A former Austin salesman bought the company, reorganized it under the name American Bantam, and began producing some very neat little cars in the late 1930's through 1941, when all domestic auto production ceased due to the war.  The Hemmings blog reports that three of them will be sold at auction in September in Canton, Ohio.
Bantam had several claims to fame.  The company designed what would become the original Jeep, before Willys stole the idea and the contract.  The Bantam also provided the inspiration for Donald Duck's car.  Its predecessor, the American Austin, played a pivotal role in the 1931 version of A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court starring Will Rogers, Maureen O'Sullivan (the original Jane) and Myrna Loy, when hundreds of the little vehicles emerge from quaint, medieval English cottages to rescue a princess. 

Sunrise Serenade: I Got A Right To Sing The Blues

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "I Got A Right To Sing The Blues" by Cab Calloway and his Orchestra.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Stage Door Cartoon

We will stay with Bugs this week with a play on the title of a popular movie from the Swing Era, Stage Door Canteen.  From the Internet Archive, here is the 1944 animated short, Stage Door Cartoon.

Sunrise Serenade: American Patrol

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "American Patrol" by Muggsy Spanier and His Orchestra.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Crime Noir Pulp Fiction Covers

Following up on its previous posting of pulp science fiction and fantasy covers, Golden Age Comic Book Stories posted a series of crime noir pulp fiction covers from the 1940's.  Proving once again that historical truth can be more amusing than satirical stereotype.  Take this cover for instance.  Just try to say it without any melodramatic tone in your voice.  "Simon Lash, Private Detective."  It is a challenge.

Sunrise Serenade: Cherokee

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Cherokee" by Charlie Barnett and His Orchestra.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Playlist For August 1, 2012

The playlist for the August 1, 2012 broadcast of the Swing Shift Shuffle has just been added to the playlist filing cabinet.

Ansel Adams' Los Angeles 1940's

Among the 1940's Ansel Adams photographs of Los Angeles, posted on Retronaut, I do not know which I find more interesting:  photos of the iconic LA landmarks like The Brown Derby restaurant; or the more anonymous pictures of daily life, like this gent selling Lockheed shirts, razor blades and comic books in what appears to be a small sundries stand.

Sunrise Serenade: A String Of Pearls

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