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, December 31, 2012

January Turner Classic Movies Preview

As we approach the end of 2012, The Hollywood Revue serves up its monthly preview of movies on TCM in January 2013.  Loretta Young is the star of the month, in honor of her 100th birthday, with her films on Thursdays.  Tuesday nights will feature movies about large scale robberies, and TCM will celebrate Danny Kaye's 100th birthday on January 20 with 24 hours of his films. 

Friday, December 28, 2012

Dough For The Do-Do

Here is a cartoon I have not seen in some time. Porky Pig enters the Dali-esque surreality that is Wackyland in search of the last Do-Do. From the Internet Archive, here is the 1949 animated short, Dough For The Do-Do.
video

Sunrise Serenade: On The Atcheson, Topeka And The Santa Fe

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "On The Atcheson, Topeka And The Santa Fe" by Johnny Mercer.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Congo Jack

Apparently, Congo Jack was a big game hunter, who somehow ended up in a secret subterranian world ruled by "the green molemen."  Their queen, who was also of an emerald shade, took a liking to the "white man of the upper world."  Jealousy and trouble ensue.  Posted on Four Color Shadows.

Sunrise Serenade: Get On Board, Little Children

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "Get On Board, Little Children" by Freddie Slack and His Orchestra featuring Ella Mae Morse on vocals.  Enjoy the video below from YouTube.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Playlist For December 26, 2012

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

Hop Into The New Year

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

Sunrise Serenade: White Christmas

No doubt a result of predictions for winter weather in the Memphis area last night (which surprisingly came true), this morning's Sunrise Serenade was "White Christmas" by Bing Crosby.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

From everyone here at the SSS. 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Peace On Earth

Yes, some of the imagery in this film seems a bit dark for a Christmas cartoon, but the message is always relevant.  Bear in mind, this short was released in 1939, when Europe was either on the brink of or already at war, the U.S. was not interested in reliving the horrors of World War I, and the Japanese had not yet attacked Pearl Harbor.  From the Internet Archive, here is Peace On Earth.

The SSS will be shutting down for the long holiday weekend, but will return to full production on December 26.  Until then, have a very Merry Christmas.

Sunrise Serenade: Let it Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow.

It will still be a while in Memphis before we see it (if at all), and the folks in the Midwest have too much of it, but this morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow" by Woody Herman and His Orchestra.  Enjoy the video below from YouTube.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

It's The Law!

Another posting to show that nothing is really new.  There are numerous websites that mock apparently silly or outdated laws, but this May 1942 issue of American Magazine, posted on Modern Mechanix, was doing it well before the internet.  Frankly, I'll wager that many of the magazine's "interpretations" of the law turned a blind eye to context.  For example, the law supposedly prohibiting the use of water during a fire probably applied to everyone except the fire department, so fire fighters could have an adequate supply. 

Sunrise Serenade: Sleigh Ride

Today's Sunrise Serenade was Sleigh Ride, but I have been unable to confirm the artist.  Click on the song title for a sample from emusic, or click here for the album page.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Playlist For December 19, 2012 - Christmas Special!

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

Streamlined Scooter With Hydraulic Motor


When I first saw the title of the article, from the April 1946 issue of Popular Science posted on Modern Mechnix, I thought the scooter had a gas turbine engine.  On reading further, the engine was a normal piston arrangement, and the "turbine drive" actually referred to the transmission.  Essentially, the engine drove hydraulic pumps filled with oil, and the oil turned the driving wheel.  Whether this arrangement was more efficient, I do not know, but I would definitely have one for the styling alone.

Sunrise Serenade: Jingle Bells

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was Bing Corsby and the Andrews Sisters version of "Jingle Bells."  Enjoy the video from YouTube video.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Hop Into Christmas!

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

Sunrise Serenade: Dipsy Doodle

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Dipsy Doodle" by the Golden Gate Quartet.  Click on the song title for a sample from emusic, or click here for the album page.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Driving In A Blackout

This poster from Dieselpunk is an example of how looking at artifacts from the past can give us insight into common problems of the day about which we might not otherwise think.  Blackouts were essential during World War II to avoid giving enemy bombers glowing directions to their target.  This British poster reminds drivers to take it easy when driving during a blackout to avoid unnecessary injury to pedestrians. 

Sunrise Serenade: Is Christmas Only A Tree

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Is Christmas Only A Tree" by Bing Crosby.  Enjoy the video from YouTube.
 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer

Continuing the holiday spirit, here is another encore from Christmas posts past:  a Jam Handy animated short directed by Max Fleischer.  From the Internet Archive, here is Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer.  I learned recently that Gene Autry, who first recorded this song, did not want to record it.  His wife persuaded him, legend goes. 

Sunrise Serenade: First Snow Fall Of The Year

We are still waiting in Memphis, and probably have a while yet to wait, but this morning's Sunrise Serenade was "First Snow Fall Of The Year" by Bing Crosby.  Enjoy the video from YouTube

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Raffles

The Hollywood Revue has done another review of one of my favorite movies:  Raffles.  The ever smooth and well-spoken Ronald Coleman plays Raffles, a professional cricket player and "amateur cracksman" (i.e. burglar/safecracker), who tries to go straight for the sake of his new love, but who plans one last jewelry heist to help his desparate friend.  As THR notes, Coleman wraps up everything in one neatly tied silk bow (SPOILER ALERT):
When Crawshaw [bad guy] finally shows up, ready to kill, Raffles is so smooth that he manages to talk him down, return the necklace to the Melrose family, collect the reward money, confess to being the Amateur Cracksman, and escape to run off to Paris with Gwen.

Sunrise Serenade: Santa Claus Is Coming To Town

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" by Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Playlist For December 12, 2012

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

Dorothy Dandridge Soundie: Cow Cow Boogie

I cannot believe it has been over two years since I posted a soundie.  To make up for that wait, here is a really hep 1942 version of "Cow Cow Boogie" by Dorothy Dandridge from the Internet Archive.

Sunrise Serenade: I'm Beginning To See The Light

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "I'm Beginning To See The Light" by Harry James and His Orchestra.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Only Two More Hopping Days Until Christmas!

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

Sunrise Serenade: What Will Santa Claus Say?

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "What Will Santa Claus Say?" by Louis Prima and His Orchestra.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line

Monday, December 10, 2012

Patriotic Sin Taxes?

Manufacturers during World War II continued advertising even though some products may not have been as widely available as before the war due to conversion or rationing.  A recurring theme in such advertising was the company or product's contribution to the war effort.  In this 1942 ad for Chesterfield cigarettes, posted on Vintage Ads, the company reminds consumers that they tax they pay on their smokes "is doing its bit for Uncle Sam." 

Sunrise Serenade: You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby

This morning'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

Friday, December 7, 2012

Snow Foolin'

We continue the animated holiday fun with this 1949 cartoon.  No real story here, just a bunch of animals having fun with winter sports, followed by a sing along with "Jingle Bells."  From the Internet Archive, here is Snow Foolin'.

Never Before Published Story From December 14, 1941

Today is the 71st anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor that brought the U.S. into World War II.  Today's Washington Post carried a story written by Elizabeth P. McIntosh, a reporter for the Hono­lulu Star-Bulletin, on December 14, 1941, after seven days of war.  Her editors thought it was too graphic, and it was never published until now.  This first person account of that time is a chilling and fascinating literary time capsule:
Then, from the neighborhood called Punchbowl, I saw a formation of black planes diving straight into the ocean off Pearl Harbor. The blue sky was punctured with anti-aircraft smoke puffs. Suddenly, there was a sharp whistling sound, almost over my shoulder, and below, down on School Street. I saw a rooftop fly into the air like a pasteboard movie set.
For the first time, I felt that numb terror that all of London has known for months. It is the terror of not being able to do anything but fall on your stomach and hope the bomb won’t land on you. It’s the helplessness and terror of sudden visions of a ripping sensation in your back, shrapnel coursing through your chest, total blackness, maybe death.

Sunrise Serenade: Five O'Clock Whistle

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

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Vintage Hot Rod Video

Below is a neat little video, posted on The Jalopy Journal, featuring footage of early American hot rods.  From The JJ: 
Once I watched the entire video I realized that it’s mainly pre-war dry lakes footage that has been colorized, sandwiched in the middle with high res. scans of Don Cox’s Kodachrome photos as seen in The Birth of Hot Rodding. You may have already seen some of these film clips or the pictures, but the whole video is played to a few 78 rpm hot rod songs that really bring it all together nicely.

Sunrise Serenade: Christmas Night In Harlem

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "Christmas Night In Harlem" by Raymond Scott.  Enjoy the video from YouTube

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Playlist For December 5, 2012

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

Machinalia by Boris Artzybasheff

The next time you slam the door on your car or otherwise abuse an innocent piece of machinery, remember these anthropomorphic images from Boris Artzybasheff posted on Retronaut.  Just because they are not human does not mean they do not have feelings.

Sunrise Serenade: Here Comes Santa Claus

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Here Comes Santa Claus" by Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters.  Enjoy the video below from YouTube.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Holiday Hops And Rags


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

Sunrise Serenade: It Don't Mean A Thing

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

Monday, December 3, 2012

Comic Book Newstand Time Machine

I post a lot of comic book related items on the SSS, but I am not a comic book collector or expert.  I just think they are fun windows on the past.  That being said, the site I recently found is neat, neat, neat, NEAT!  On the Newstand section of Mike's Amazing World of Comics, you can enter any month and year going back to 1934, and it will generate a gallery of comic book covers that were available at that time.

Sunrise Serenade: You Don't Have To Be A Santa Claus

The SSS is back in full operation this morning, and my unconscious caught the holiday spirit during the time off because today's Sunrise Serenade was "You Don't Have To Be A Santa Claus" by the Mills Brothers.  Click on the song title for a sample from emusic, or click here for the album page.