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.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Few Days Off

Sorry for the late notice, but at the last minute I decided to take just a few days off.  Never fear.  I will be back on the job Monday morning.  Have a swinging weekend!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Playlist For September 26, 2012

The playlist for the September 26, 2012 broadcast of the Swing Shift Shuffle has been added to the playlist filing cabinet

Turner Classic Movies In October

Is September almost over already?  Apparently so, because The Hollywood Revue posted its preview of the movies airing on TCM during October.  Classic horror movies take the forefront, and the star of the month is Spencer Tracy, so both combine at least once in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Sunrise Serenade: Do Unto Others

Late start today, so the Sunrise Serenade is more of a midafternoon melody.  Better late than never, and the Golden Gate Quartet was sticking around with "Do Unto Others."  Click on the song title for a sample from emusic, or click here for the album page.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Rags And Hops Continue


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 Becky and Kirk, with music by Becky.  Dress like you are going out!
303 South Main
Memphis, TN 38103

Sunrise Serenade: Swing Down Chariot

The Golden Gate Quartet are stuck in my head again.  This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Swing Down Chariot."  Enjoy the video below from YouTube.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Duke Ellington Comic Book

I have posted about Swing Era musicians appearing in comic books before, but this short but informative comic about Duke Ellington from 1948, posted on Four Color Shadows, is biographical rather than fictional.

Sunrise Serenade: Atom And Evil

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "Atom And Evil" by the Golden Gate Quartet.  Click on the song title for a sample from emusic, or click here for the album page.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Teacher's Pest

Here is a a Noveltoon from Paramount Pictures in 1950 featuring an adolescent owl as the hero outwitting a wolf.  From the Internet Archive, here is Teacher's Pest.
video

Sunrise Serenade: On Behalf Of The Visiting Fireman

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "On Behalf Of The Visiting Fireman" by Bing Crosby and Johnny Mercer.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Balton & Sons Neon Signs

As Vance Lauderdale noted in his post about this Balton & Sons neon sign display, "[i]sn't it too bad the old photo isn't in color?"  Vance explains that the company has been manufacturing signs in Memphis for more than five generations, and suspects that this photo depictes a Balton trade booth set up in the Shelby County Building at the old Tri-State Fair.

Sunrise Serenade: Undecided

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "Undecided" by Ella Fitzgerald.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Playlist For September 19, 2012

The playlist for the September 19, 2012 broadcast of the Swing Shift Shuffle has been added to the playlist filing cabinet

Salt Lake Racing 1946

The Southern California Timing Association is a sanctioning body that runs Land Speed Racing events at the El Mirage Dry Lake in California and the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.  The Jalopy Journal posted scans of a reprint of a book originally hand-made by Veda Orr for the 1946 lakes racing season.  Ms. Orr was the first and only female member of the SCTA at the time, and she prepared this book to document the competition that season.  It has some really cool pictures of early land speed cars, including Orr's own Class C roadster above. 

Sunrise Serenade: Smoke Rings

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "Smoke Rings" by Django Reinhardt and the Hot Club Quintet of France.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Rag And Hop Into Fall


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 Kimmie and Matt, with music by Kimmie.  Dress like you are going out!
303 South Main
Memphis, TN 38103

Sunrise Serenade: Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me" by Duke Ellington and His Orchestra.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line

Monday, September 17, 2012

Batman Meets . . . Kay Kyser?

In his 70+ year career, I am sure Batman encountered numerous celebrities, but the thought of the Batman teaming up with Swing Era bandleader Kay Kyser still surprised me a little.  In this issue of Detective Comics from 1948, posted on Four Color Shadows, Kay Kyser and the Caped Crusader must escape a dangerous gangster's trap.  How do they escape?  Batman and his utility belt, perhaps?  Nope!  The clever Kay Kyser saves the day with a clarinet.   


Sunrise Serenade: Simple And Sweet

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Simple And Sweet" by Glenn Miller and His Orchestra.  Click on the song title for a sample from emusic, or click here for the album page.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Tom Thumb

Here is a fun little (pun intended) 1936 "ComiColor" cartoon from Ub Iwerks.  From the Internet Archive, here is Tom Thumb.
video

Sunrise Serenade: Special Delivery

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "Special Delivery" by Anita O'Day with Stan Kenton and His Orchestra.  Click on the song title for a sample from emusic, or click here for the album page.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Jitterbuzz

I found Jitterbuzz a while back, and I have been trying to explore the site to give a decent description, but it has so much stuff I realized you just need to explore it yourself.  Its core is the swing dance and retro lifestyle in the Washington, D.C. area, but it covers a wide variety of swing era topics.  In my brief excursions through the site, I have found information including, but not limited to, transportation, jukeboxes, antique model airplanes, erector sets, collectibles, and a gallery of antique pencil sharpeners from the Early Office Museum.  It has plenty of stuff to fill your memory lane. 

Sunrise Serenade: You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby" by Bing Crosby.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Playlist For September 12, 2012

The playlist for the September 12, 2012 broadcast of the Swing Shift Shuffle has been added to the playlist filing cabinet

Behind The Scenes Of Frankenstein

So exactly what type of tea did Frankenstein's monster prefer?  Earl Grey?  Darjeeling?  Oolong?  Orange Pekoe?  Sassafras?  A "special blend?"  Retronaut posted a series of photos of the monster - a/k/a Boris Karloff in makeup - on the set of Frankenstein.

Sunrise Serenade: Riffin' The Scotch

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Riffin' The Scotch" by Benny Goodman and His Orchestra featuring Billie Holiday on vocal.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Both Rag And Hop At Minglewood This Week


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, but it is at Minglewood Hall.  Free admission and lesson before 7:00 p.m., and $5 cover at the door afterwards.  The lesson will be by Jaredan and Jasmine.  Dress like you are going out!

Sunrise Serenade: I Don't Know What I'd Do Without You

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "I Don't Know What I'd Do Without You" by Andy Kirk and his Orchestra.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Packard Weather Conditioning

Living and driving in the South, it is obvious why air conditioning did not remain merely an "option" on cars sold in the region for long.  Simply put, it is not optional, but mandatory for automotive travel during Southern summers, which essentially start in May and last until late September.  Such luxury was not "standard" in the 1940's, however, and the Hemmings blog notes that the 1940 Packard 180 pioneered the way for climate controlled comfort. 
Air-conditioned cars are a relatively recent innovation. Seventy-something years ago, production automotive air conditioning was called mechanical refrigeration. The car that made driving with the windows up on a hot day cool was the 1940 Packard 180. The mechanical refrigeration unit automatically switched to heating in winter, and as such was dubbed not an air conditioner, but rather a Weather Conditioner. The factory-installed technological triumph cooled, heated, dehumidified, and even filtered cabin air from pollen and dust and other unwanted weather-related items.

Sunrise Serenade: I'm Falling For You

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "I'm Falling For You" by Andy Kirk and His Orchestra.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line

Friday, September 7, 2012

In The Bag

Here is another adventure of the original Tom and Jerry (not the cat and mouse), this time in the old west.  These guys do not say much, and the gags can fall into the strange, sometimes violent category typical of many 1932 cartoons.  There is a nice "faux horns" rendition of "Ida," as well as a gag in which the villain robs his victims using a magnet which I believe shows up again in a color Bugs Bunny cartoon.  From the Internet Archive, here is In The Bag

Sunrise Serenade: I'm Goin' Down The Road

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "I'm Goin' Down The Road" by Burl Ives and the Andrews Sisters.  Enjoy the video from YouTube.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Spider Queen

Over twenty years before Spiderman, there was The Spider Queen.  This masked heroine was agile and acrobatic, and could shoot webs from her wrists (take THAT Peter Parker).  Good thing she was masked, however, because the cops would have probably arrested her for that outfit in 1941.  Four Color Shadows posted this scan of her final appearance. 

Sunrise Serenade: Boy Meets Goy

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "Boy Meets Goy" by the Benny Goodman Sextet.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Playlist For September 5, 2012

The playlist for the September 5, 2012 broadcast of the Swing Shift Shuffle has been added to the playlist filing cabinet

Radio Warning Lights

There was a time, only a few years ago, when programmers at WEVL (home of the SSS) had to dial a special number to insure that the FAA-required warning lights on our transmitter tower were functioning properly.  We no longer have to make that call to check, but the lights are still required.  I have never seen our tower lights up close, but I do not think they have the cool, Art Deco vibe of these neon tubes discussed in the November 1931 issue of Science and Mechanics, posted on Modern Mechanix

Sunrise Serenade: Chasing Shadows

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "Chasing Shadows" by Django Reinhardt and the Hot Club Quintet of France.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Rag And Hop Into Fall


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 Amanda and Jaredan.  Dress like you are going out!
303 South Main
Memphis, TN 38103

Sunrise Serenade: I Found A New Baby

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "I Found A New Baby" by Frank "Big Boy'' Goudie with Django Reinhardt.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Happy Labor Day!

Happy Labor Day from the music factory crew here at the Swing Shift Shuffle.  In observance of the day, we have this 1942 image from the Library of Congress American Memory Collection

Answering the nation's need for womanpower, Mrs. Virginia Davis made arrangement for the care of her two children during the day and joined her husband at work in the Naval Air Base, Corpus Christi, Texas. Both are employed under Civil Service in the Assembly and repair department. Mrs. Davis' training will enable her to take the place of her husband should he be called by the armed service.