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.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Hop Into May

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

The Tiger Rag progressive dance lessons and guided practice sessions are in full swing at the Madison Dance Studio in Minglewood Plaza, 1555 Madison Ave Memphis, TN 38104.  Learn more and register here

Sunrise Serenade: Green Eyes

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Green Eyes" by Jimmy Dorsey and His Orchestra.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line

Monday, April 29, 2013

TCM In May

It is time for the Hollywood Revue's monthly preview of Turner Classic Movies' programming, and the star of the month is a type of character rather than an actor, namely the "tough guy."  Expect a lot of Bogart, Cagney and Robinson. 

Sunrise Serenade: King Porter Stomp

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "King Porter Stomp" by Benny Goodman and his Orchestra.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Fast And Furry-ous

Here is one of the earlier animated shorts featuring everyone's favorite fast feathered friend, the Roadrunner; and his persistent but perilously pathetic pursuer, Wile E. Coyote.  From the Internet Archive, here is the 1948 cartoon, Fast And Furry-ous.
video

Sunrise Serenade: Chattanooga Choo Choo

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

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Submarine Car (No Convertable Option)


Long before James Bond had his submersible Lotus Elite, this gent in France built an operational submarine car, and the September 1936 issue of Mechanics And Handicraft, posted on Modern Mechanix, featured it in an article.

Sunrise Serenade: Rip Van Winkle

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "Rip Van Winkle" by Ella Mae Morse.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Playlist For April 24, 2013

The playlist for the April 24, 2013 broadcast of the Swing Shift Shuffle has been added to the playlist filing cabinet

Sunrise Serenade: I've Heard That Song Before

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "I've Heard That Song Before" by Harry James and His Orchestra.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Venue Change For Friday's Red Hot Lindy Hop

The Red Hot Lindy Hop lesson and session moves to Minglewood this Friday night.  Free lesson at 7:00 p.m.  Free admission before 7:00, and $5 cover at the door afterwards.  Lesson by Matt and Erin with music by Bethany.  Dress like you are going out!

Madison Dance Studio
Minglewood Plaza
1555 Madison Ave
Memphis, TN 38104

The Tiger Rag progressive dance lessons and guided practice sessions are in full swing at the Madison Dance Studio in Minglewood Plaza, 1555 Madison Ave Memphis, TN 38104.  Learn more and register here

Sunrise Serenade: Saturday Night Fish Fry

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "Saturday Night Fish Fry" by Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line

Monday, April 22, 2013

Satchmo Comic

I do not know if the account told in this brief comic about Louis Armstrong is true, but it makes a good story.  In this comic, posted on Four Color Shadows, "Pops" nearly misses an award ceremony because he started jamming with another trumpet player he heard. 

Sunrise Serenade: Don't Be Afraid To Tell Your Mother

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Don't Be Afraid To Tell Your Mother" by the Mills Bros.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line

Friday, April 19, 2013

Betty Boop: Let Me Call You Sweetheart

Once again, we journey into what (by today's standards) seems the weird world of early animation.  In this 1930 Betty Boop cartoon, she is working as a housekeeper, and takes a baby for a stroll.  While in the park, a lecherous cop played by Bimbo puts the moves on her, accidentally pushing the baby carriage down the hill into a mini-adventure for the precocious tot.  Throw in an ethnic stereotype, a sing-along of a romantic song featuring a very young Ethel Merman with a combination of texting abbreviations and rebuses for the lyrics, and some self-hatching chicks being chased by a singing cat, and there you have it.  From the Internet Archive, here is Let Me Call You Sweetheart

Gotta Go Places And Do Things

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Gotta Go Places And Do Things" by Cab Calloway.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Flying Wing Plane Of Tomorrow

Paleofuture had a neat article on Postwar Dreams of Flying in Style, featuring this excerpt from a Popular Science newsreel. Jack Northrop had been building flying wings for about 10 years at the time this film was released, but as bomber designs, not passenger carriers. His designs did inspire the B1 "Stealth" bomber, but it took modern fly-by-wire technology to make the flying wings a practical reality. Sixty-plus years later, and we still do not have flying wing passenger aircraft. Such a plane did play a major role in a late 1930's Dick Tracy serial, in which the criminal organization used their flying wing, imaginatively named "the Wing," to carry out their nefarious plans.

Sunrise Serenade: Forty-Seventh Street Jive

Today's Sunrise Serenade was doubtless a leftover from last night's Spring Pledge Drive Special:  "Forty-Seventh Street Jive" by Andy Kirk and His Clouds of Joy.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Playlist For April 17, 2013 - Spring Pledge Drive Special

The playlist for the April 17, 2013 broadcast of the Swing Shift Shuffle Spring Pledge Drive Special has been added to the playlist filing cabinet

Spring Pledge Drive Special Play At Home Edition!

Tonight is the Swing Shift Shuffle Spring Pledge Drive Special - "Night on the Town:  A musical tour of New York in the Swing Era," and you can join in the fun at home!  We will visit several areas of NYC, but we will be spending most of our time in Harlem.  You can follow along with this 1932 Night-Club Map of Harlem by Elmer Simms Campbell (1906-1971), the first African-American cartoonist to be published nationally (in Esquire, Cosmopolitan, The New Yorker and Playboy, among others).  Join us as we drop in at the Cotton Club, Savoy Ballroom, and other hot spots to hear some of the greatest performers in American music like Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, etc.  I hope you will join me for the show, and show your support of the SSS  and WEVL by making a pledge. 

Sunrise Serenade: Forty Second Street

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "Forty Second Street" by the Boswell Sisters.  Enjoy the video below, or click on the song title to watch on YouTube.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Live Music At The Lindy Hop

This Friday's Red Hot Lindy Hop lesson and session features live music from J. Thomas and the Swinging Monkeys, with a lesson by Jaredan and Jasmine.  Admission is $7. 

303 South Main
Memphis, TN 38103

The Tiger Rag progressive dance lessons and guided practice sessions are in full swing at the Madison Dance Studio in Minglewood Plaza, 1555 Madison Ave Memphis, TN 38104.  Learn more and register here

Sunrise Serenade: Massachusetts (We Are Boston)

Today's Sunrise Serenade was neither deliberate nor completely unconscious.  While reading the news about the bombings at yesterday's Boston Marathon, the word "Massachusetts" arose in my mind simply as context for the story.  Whenever I think of that word, my mind hears the chorus of "Massachusetts" by Anita O'Day with Gene Krupa and His Orchestra.  It seemed appropriate to post this song in solidarity with the people of Boston.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line

Monday, April 15, 2013

Green Lantern

I did not remember posting a Green Lantern story before, and this 1946 tale, posted on Four Color Shadows, appealed to me for two reasons.  For one, Green Lantern is not actually that green in this story, is he?  For another, the powers that GL possessed at this time were interesting.  The power ring gave him the ability to fly, "walk through walls," as well as "immunity to metals."  Unfortunately, it apparently left him vulnerable his "deadliest enemy . . . wood!"  Seriously, an old dude with a wooden cane knocks him flatter than a new driveway.

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.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Donald Duck: The Spirit Of '43

As the deadline for filing income tax returns nears, it is time for our annual reminder of a time when paying taxes was considered patriotic.  Walt Disney made this animated short, featuring Donald Duck, for the U.S. Government, so it fell into the public domain.  The cartoon's goal was to encourage people to save their money so they could pay their income taxes and support the war effort.  From the Internet Archive, here is the 1943 animated short, The Spirit Of '43

Sunrise Serenade: Ciribiribin

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

Thursday, April 11, 2013

WEVL Spring Pledge Drive And SSS Special

WEVL 89.9 FM is the home of the SSS, and the station begins its Spring Pledge Drive tomorrow morning.  There will be nine days of special programming, including a special edition of the SSS on Wednesday, April 20 - "Night on the Town:  A musical tour through New York City in the Swing Era."  As a listener-supported, noncommercial station, WEVL relies heavily on pledge drives to keep operating, so mark you calendars, set your dial, get ready to call with your pledge, and enjoy.  Thanks.

Sunrise Serenade: Milkman, Keep Those Bottles Quiet

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "Milkman, Keep Those Bottles Quiet" by Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Playlist For April 10, 2013

The playlist for the April 10, 2013 broadcast of the Swing Shift Shuffle has been added to the playlist filing cabinet

Travel Without Leaving Home

This article from the September 1936 issue of Mechanics and Handicraft, posted on Modern Mechanix, shows another example of how folks in the 1930's got away from it all.  This modern, streamlined RV even featured a built in canoe on the roof. 

Sunrise Serenade: Beale Street Mama

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "Beale Street Mama" by Cab Calloway and His Orchestra.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

One Last Hop Before Tax Deadline

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

The Tiger Rag progressive dance lessons and guided practice sessions are in full swing at the Madison Dance Studio in Minglewood Plaza, 1555 Madison Ave Memphis, TN 38104.  Learn more and register here

Sunrise Serenade: Smoke Rings

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was that old favorite of my unconscious, "Smoke Rings" by the Casa Loma Orchestra.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line

Monday, April 8, 2013

Look! It is "Hourman!" (Seriously!)

Once again, just when I think that the storylines for Golden Age comic books could not get any weirder, along comes "Hourman - Sixty Minute Crime Fighter," posted on Four Color Shadows.  Absenteeism was a big concern in war production during World War II, and Hourman adressed that concern by only fighting crime on his lunch hour, so he has to wrap everything up in sixty minutes to get back to his job.

Sunrise Serenade: Rose Room

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Rose Room" by the Benny Goodman Sextet.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Boom Boom

In this 1936 Leon Schlessinger Looney Toons animated short, Porky Pig is a doughboy in the trenches during (apparently) World War I.  As its title suggests, there are lots of gratuitous bullets, bombs and booms in this fairly violent but light-hearted (?) cartoon.  From the Internet Archive, here is Boom Boom

Sunrise Serenade: Walk With A Wiggle

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Walk With A Wiggle" by the Andrews Sisters.  The tune is basically "American Patrol" with some fun lyrics added.  Enjoy the video from YouTube

Thursday, April 4, 2013

New York Cafe In Memphis 1940's

Vance Lauderdale ran this neat photo of the New York Cafe on East McLemore circa 1940's on Ask Vance.  I just thought it was a nice little snapshot of Memphis history.  As a regular hat wearer, I love the fact that every customer is wearing a hat, and most are fedoras.

Sunrise Serenade: King Porter Stomp

Today'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.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Playlist For April 3, 2013

The playlist for the April 3, 2013 broadcast of the Swing Shift Shuffle has been added to the playlist filing cabinet

Happy 100th Duesy!

Although some automotive enthusiasts will argue the point (in a large enough group, anyone will argue), the claim of Duesenberg Motor Cars to the title "World's Finest Motorcar" is not easily dismissed.  The Hemmings blog posted a brief history of the American marque in recognition of the car's 100th anniversary. 

Sunrise Serenade: Mutiny In The Nursery

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

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Red Hot Lindy Hops On

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

The Tiger Rag progressive dance lessons and guided practice sessions are in full swing at the Madison Dance Studio in Minglewood Plaza, 1555 Madison Ave Memphis, TN 38104.  Learn more and register here

Sunrise Serenade: Blue Skies

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "Blue Skies" by Glenn Miller and His Orchestra.  Click on the song title for a sample from emusic, or click here for the album page.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Know Your War Planes (By Rhyme!)

Aircraft silhouette identification charts were common during World War II, ranging from posters to playing cards.  I even have a reproduction poster at home.  I had not seen this version, however, from the January 1942 issue of Mechanix Illustrated, posted on Modern Mechanix, where the identification is reinforced with a Dr. Suessish rhyme. 

Sunrise Serenade: And The Angels Sing

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "And The Angels Sing" by Benny Goodman and His Orchestra featuring Martha Tilton on vocals.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line