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, June 28, 2013

Bunker Hill Bunny

Since Independence Day is next week, we will start the patriotism with this cartoon.  From the Internet Archive, here is Bunker Hill Bunny.

Sunrise Serenade: No Name Jive

Today'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.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Blonde Phantom In The Future

Louise Grant, a meek and mild-mannered secretary to private eye Mark Mason, is in reality, the "Blonde Phantom," a heroine who saves the day in high heels and a bright red evening gown.  She maintains her secret identity because Louise wears her bright, blond hair up with glasses, while the Blonde Phantom wears her bright blond hair down with a tiny face mask that just surrounds her eyes - an impenetrable disguise.  In this episode, posted on Pappy's Golden Age Comics Blogzine, Louise, her boss and others are kidnapped by a time travelling man from the future who puts them in cages as an exhibit at a future zoo. 

Sunrise Serenade: Shoot The Likker To Me John Boy

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Shoot The Likker To Me John Boy" by Artie Shaw and His New Music.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Playlist For June 26, 2013

The playlist for the June 26, 2013 broadcast of the Swing Shift Shuffle has been added to the playlist filing cabinet

"The Movie" Memphis Belle Lands In Memphis

Get your flight jacket and put on your oxygen mask another Flying Fortress roars into the skies over the Mid-South this weekend.  Officially named "The Movie" Memphis Belle, this B-17 served in the military from 1945 to 1959, after which she started her second career as a "water bomber" forest fire fighting aircraft until the late 1970's.  The Military Aircraft Restoration Corporation bought her in 1982, and restored her to resemble a B-17F.  In 1989, Hollywood hired the old girl to travel to England, and star in the movie Memphis Belle.  She has kept that livery ever since.  Her namesake is in Ohio being restored at the U.S. Air Force Museum. 

She has already landed at the Olive Branch Airport (address below), and will be available for flights this weekend.  Go to libertyfoundation.org for more information about flight schedules and reserving a seat. 

Olive Branch Airport (KOLV)
Metro Aviation Services FBO
8000 Terminal Drive
Olive Branch, MS 38654

Sunrise Serenade: Long About Midnight

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "Long About Midnight" by Louis Prima and His Gang.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Red, Hot And Blue Lindy Hop

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 Phil and Heather with music by Jim.  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: Riverboat Shuffle

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Riverboat Shuffle" by Hoagy Carmichael.  Enjoy the video from Dailymotion

Hoagy Carmichael - Riverboat Shuffle (Alternate... by JazznBluesexperience

Monday, June 24, 2013

Bucky Fuller's Dymaxion House

Once you pick up your newly built Dymaxion Car, you will need somewhere to park it.  Fortunately, The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan has a display of the last remaining 1945 prototype of Buckminster Fuller's Dymaxion House, so you can start planning your new vehicle's matching abode.  Old Bucky had some truly radical (or perhaps "radial"?) designs.   

Sunrise Serenade: Begin The Beguine

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "Begin The Beguine" by Artie Shaw.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line

Friday, June 21, 2013

A Car Tune Portrait

We take in the symphony today with an encore post from 2009 featuring a color 1937 Fleischer studios short.  From the Internet Archive, here is A Car Tune Portrait.

Sunrise Serenade: Dese Bones Gonna Rise Again

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "Dese Bones Gonna Rise Again" by the Golden Gate Quartet.  Click on the song title for a sample or click here for the album page on emusic.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

World War II "Ghost Army"

A recent story in The Atlantic tells a brief history of the "Ghost Army," a U.S. military unit whose sole purpose was to deceive the Germans.  They accomplished this feat in part by creating all the signs of a military units that did not really exist:  fake tanks and airplanes for German reconnaissance aircraft to see; the same soldiers wearing different uniforms as they moved around England for German spies to observe; and the sounds of a moving army broadcast by speaker through an empty forest in France.  Combined with British intelligence operations, these efforts convinced Adolph Hitler that the Allied invasion would occur at the Pas de Calais, rather than Normandy, and it was so effective that Hitler still believed Normandy was a diversion, even when the landings started.  It reminds me of a line from a song of the same era, "Whose Yehoodi" - "the little man who wasn't there . . . ."

Sunrise Serenade: Hold My Hand

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Hold My Hand" by Fats Waller and His Rhythm.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Playlist For June 19, 2013

The playlist for the June 19, 2013 broadcast of the Swing Shift Shuffle has been added to the playlist filing cabinet

The Living Ghost, Parts 1 & 2

These two posts on Four Color Shadows are sort of a two-part horror comics mini-series.  While these stories are hardly Freddy Kruger material, they still seem pretty chilling - in terms of just cold-blooded killing - for the late 1940's.  The "Living Ghost" was basically the devil's right hand ghoul, neither living nor dead, whose sole purpose was to go around killing.  Although the brave humans manage to capture him in the first episode, he returns again in the second story, and humanity must call on his equally supernatural and deadly rival to fight him. 

Sunrise Serenade: It's A Quiet Town

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "It's A Quiet Town" by the Andrews Sisters with Danny Kaye.  Enjoy the video below from YouTube

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Lindy Hop At Minglewood Friday

The Red Hot Lindy Hop lesson and session continues this Friday night with a venue change to Minglewood.  Free lesson at 7:00 p.m.  Free admission before 7:00, and $5 cover at the door afterwards.  Lesson by Mike and Becky with music by Jessica C.  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: Minnie The Moocher's Wedding Day

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "Minnie The Moocher's Wedding Day" by (who else?) Cab Calloway and His Orchestra.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line

Monday, June 17, 2013

Bike Hackers Of 1948

There is a noticeable subculture among bicycle folks today based on the modification of bicycles for either practical or artistic purposes.  As these 1948 photos from Life magazine demonstrate, the idea is not new.  The pictured contraption was known to rotate its rider if the brakes were applied suddenly. 

Sunrise Serenade: Hungarian Dance No. 5

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was Johannes Brahms' "Hungarian Dance No. 5" by Claude Thornhill and His Orchestra.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line

Friday, June 14, 2013

Betty Boop: Impractical Joker

In this 1937 animated short from Max Fleischer, an annoying practical joker named Irving is harassing Betty, so she enlists Grampy's inventive genius to turn the tables.  From the Internet Archive, here is The Impractical Joker

Sunrise Serenade: Murder, He Says

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "Murder, He Says" by the Four Vagabonds.  Click on the song title for a sample from emusic, or click here for the album page.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Happy 75th Volkswagen Beetle

To most people, the words "Volkswagen Beetle" bring to mind a classically cute, fun, economical little car, beloved of hippies, Grateful Dead groupies and "Herbie the Love Bug" fans.  Those with any knowledge of automotive history, however, probably know that one of the ultimate "friendly" cars had its origins in one of the darkest periods in human history.  As this post on the Hemmings blog reminds us, the "Bug" was originally designed by Ferdinand Porsche (yes, that Porsche) to meet the specific requirements of one Adolph Hitler, Chancellor of Germany, for a "People's Car" or "Volks Wagen."  Although about 30 prototypes like this 1938 version were built for display and promotion (there is footage of Hitler riding in a convertible version), full production never began due to the war.  It was only after the war that someone had the bright idea to start production to help Germany get back on its economic feet.  The rest is history.  From the mind of madman who slaughtered millions, the Beetle became one of the symbols of Peace and Love.  Truly, a long strange trip.

Sunrise Serenade: I've Got A Feeling I'm Falling

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "I've Got A Feeling I'm Falling" by Ella Fitzgerald.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Playlist For June 12, 2013

The playlist for the June 12, 2013 broadcast of the Swing Shift Shuffle has been added to the playlist filing cabinet

Keep Cool With Hot Lindy Hop

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 Jazz with music by Jessica C.  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: I'm Getting Sentimental Over You

I had to call in sick yesterday, and since no urgent work was on the production schedule, the entire SSS took the day off.  It is good to be back.  This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You" by Tommy Dorsey and his Orchestra.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Hollywood Canteen

It is only two weeks after Memorial Day, so it is not too late to post this item from Film Noir Photos, featuring six foot tall actress Bunny Waters dancing with some lucky soldier at the Hollywood Canteen in 1944.  Do you really think that was her real name - even after learning that she was an record holding swimmer and trained with Johnny Weissmuller?  If so, you would be very close - Bonnie Nadine Waters.  Fate naming strikes again. 

Sunrise Serenade: Lulu's Back In Town

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Lulu's Back In Town" by the Mills Brothers.  Click on the song title for a sample from emusic, or click here for the album page.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Hep Cat Symphony

Musical genres and animal species clash in this 1949 Paramount Pictures short, first posted here in 2009.  From the Internet Archive here is Hepcat Symphony.

Sunrise Serenade: She's Funny That Way

This morning'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.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

If The Cylons Built A Car . . . .


It would probably look a lot like this 1948 Panhard Dynavia in the Musée national de l'automobile, Mulhouse, France.  Photos posted on Dieselpunk.  A single headlight resides in the recessed grill mid-bumper. 

Sunrise Serenade: Opus One

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

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Playlist For June 5, 2013

The playlist for the June 5, 2013 broadcast of the Swing Shift Shuffle has been added to the playlist filing cabinet

Orpheum Summer Movies Series Begins Friday

The Orpheum Summer Movies series begins this Friday, and I am pleased to see the number and diversity of classic Golden Age movies included along with the more modern selections.  A silent film from the 1920's, The Cameraman, will begin the series, and other classic titles include Gone With The Wind, The Philadelphia Story, Casablanca, The Searchers, Breakfast At Tiffany's and The Parent Trap.

Sunrise Serenade: Darktown Strutters Ball

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Darktown Strutters Ball" by Jimmy Dorsey and His Orchestra with June Richmond on vocals.  Enjoy the video from YouTube

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Live Music At The Lindy Hop

The Red Hot Lindy Hop lesson and session continues this Friday night at the Rumba Room with live music by Jeremy Shrader's Quentissentials featuring Jayna Morgan from New Orleans.  Free lesson at 7:00 p.m.  Free admission before 7:00, and $7 cover at the door afterwards.  Lesson by Jaredan and Josie.  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: Jeepers Creepers

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

Monday, June 3, 2013

Black Angel And Baroness Blood

The title of this post reveals the names of the heroine and female villain (respectively) of this 1942 comic, posted on Pappy's Golden Age Comics Blogzine.  With characters like that, what else needs to be said?

Sunrise Sereande: Pig Foot Pete

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Pig Foot Pete" by Ella Mae Morse.  Enjoy the video from YouTube.