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.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Playlist For December 30, 2015

The playlist for the December 30, 2015 broadcast of the Swing Shift Shuffle - 2015 New Year Special - has now been added to the playlist filing cabinet.  

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!

GLAMOROUS JEAN HARLOW
Merry Christmas from everyone here at the SSS!  Thanks to Miss Jean Harlow and others, posted on Movie Morlocks, for getting Hollywood into the Christmas spirit. 

I'll be taking another break for a week or so, but I'll be back in January, so Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas From The Funny Papers


Four Color Shadows has been posting collections of newspaper comic strips from various years, and I thought this Terry and the Pirates strip from 1943 made a nice Christmas moment. 

Sunrise Serenade: Here Comes Santa Claus

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

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Playlist For December 23, 2015 - Christmas Special

The playlist for the December 23, 2015 broadcast of the Swing Shift Shuffle - 2015 Christmas Special - has now been added to the playlist filing cabinet.  

Post WWII Footage Of Tokyo


Boing Boing recently posted a link to this interesting footage of life in Toyko, Japan just after World War II, including a look inside areas used by the U.S. occupation forces.  The music is not exactly period, but the film is very interesting.  I've never been to Tokyo, but I think it is a bit more crowded now. 

Sunrise Serenade: Mele Kalikimaka

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Mele Kalikimaka" by Bing Crosby with the Andrews Sisters.  Enjoy the video from YouTube.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Jazz Dance Film Fest: I Charleston Belo Horizonte


The Red Hot Lindy Hop weekly lesson and session will be taking a break this Friday for Christmas, so I thought I would keep you in the dancing mood with some videos from the 2015 Jazz Dance Film Fest.  This video won third place, and features "the BeHoppers group in Belo Horizonte (Brazil), depicting our beautiful city, as a part of the 'I Charleston the World' project."

Sunrise Serenade: Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer" by Bing Crosby and Ella Fitzgerald.  Enjoy the video from YouTube

Monday, December 21, 2015

Sunrise Serenade: Poppa Santa Claus

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

Friday, December 18, 2015

Peace On Earth

On this last Friday before Christmas, I thought we would revisit another favorite Christmas cartoon of mine.  Although some of the imagery in this film seems a bit dark for a holiday cartoon, the message is always relevant.  This short was released in 1939, when Europe was either on the brink of or already at war, many in 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.

Sunrise Serenade: Santa Claus Is Coming To Town

This morning'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.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Sunrise Serenade: I'm Beginning to See the Light

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "I'm Beginning to See the Light" by Ella Fitzgerald and the Ink Spots.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Playlist For December 16, 2015

The playlist for the December 16, 2015 broadcast of the Swing Shift Shuffle has now been added to the playlist filing cabinet.  

Birth Of The Slinky

The National World War II Museum posted this example of serendipity.  In 1943, a Naval engineer named Richard James was trying to develop new kinds of springs to protect sensitive equipment from motion while at sea.  One of the experimental springs fell off a shelf or table, and "walked" down a series of surfaces.  Named by Mrs. James, the Slinky was born, and the rest is history.  During the holiday season of 1945, the Gimbels department store let the couple demonstrate the toy.  All 400 of the very first units were sold in thirty minutes. 

Sunrise Serenade: Little Jack Frost Get Lost

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Little Jack Frost Get Lost" by Frankie Carle and His Orchestra with Marjorie Hughes on vocals.  Enjoy the video below from YouTube.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Christmas Party And Live Music At The Rumba Room

The Red Hot Lindy Hop lesson and session continues with live music by Elizabeth Wise and a Christmas Party at the Rumba Room this Friday night.  Free beginner lesson at 7:00 p.m.  Free admission before 7:00 and $7 thereafter.  Lesson by Jim and Meghan with music by DJ Monica on band breaks.  
303 South Main
Memphis, TN 38103


No Monday or Wednesday lessons in December, but they will be back in January.  More information here

Sunrise Serenade: Santa Claus Got Stuck In My Chimney

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "Santa Claus Got Stuck In My Chimney" by Ella Fitzgerald.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Monday, December 14, 2015

1939 American Bantam Speedster


A week or so ago, the Hemmings blog featured one of my favorite little cars as the Find of the Day (in other words, a good deal for sale in the pages of Hemmings Motor News): a 1939 American Bantam Speedster.  Bantams were successors to the American Austin, which was basically a British Austin built in Pennsylvania for sale in the U.S.  American Austin went into receivership, but was resurrected with new designs as the Bantam.  Dwarfed by other American cars of the day, these efficient and fun little cars never really caught on.  Bantam's lasting claim to fame was that its design for a lightweight, general purpose vehicle for the U.S. Army was the basis for what became known as the "jeep." 

Sunrise Serenade: Hey Now, Hey Now

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Hey Now, Hey Now" by Cab Calloway and His Orchestra.  Enjoy the video from YouTube.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer

It is time to start the holiday cartoons again. This encore from Christmas posts past is a Jam Handy animated short directed by Max Fleischer.  From the Internet Archive, here is Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer.  According to legend, Gene Autry, who first recorded this song, did not want to record it.  His wife persuaded him. 

Sunrise Serenade: Coax Me A Little Bit

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Coax Me A Little Bit" by the Andrews Sisters.  Enjoy the video from YouTube.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Rex, King Of The Deep


Here is an adventurous wartime comic from 1941 posted on Four Color ShadowsRex, King Of The Deep battles the enemies of freedom with a pair of "super subs," one of which serves as an aircraft carrier for a mini-fighter plane.

Sunrise Serenade: Rockin' Chair

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "Rockin' Chair" by the Casa Loma Orchestra with Louis Armstrong.  Enjoy the video from YouTube.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Playlist For December 9, 2015

The playlist for the December 9, 2015 broadcast of the Swing Shift Shuffle has now been added to the playlist filing cabinet.  

Belated Happy 100th Birthday Maxine Means McCoy! (A/K/A Mrs. Clyde McCoy)


In his December 3 column, The Commercial Appeal's David Waters reported on the 100th birthday celebration for Maxine Means McCoy, formerly of the "Bennett Sisters," and widow of big band leader and composer Clyde McCoy.  Ms. Means and her sisters came to Memphis in 1937 to audition for McCoy's band at the Peabody.  Although he was only looking for one female singer, he hired them all, and ended up marrying Maxine.  The women called themselves the "Bennett Sisters" because they did not want to be known as the "Means Sisters."  Good marketing call.  McCoy was a popular band leader of the era, and his most famous song was "Sugar Blues," which was recorded by numerous other artists, including Ella Fitzgerald.  Happy Birthday Ms. McCoy! 

Sunrise Serenade: Winter Weather

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Winter Weather" by Benny Goodman and his Orchestra with Peggy Lee and Art Lund on vocals.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Only Two More Hopping Days 'Til Christmas!

The Red Hot Lindy Hop lesson and session continues at the Rumba Room this Friday night.  Free beginner lesson at 7:00 p.m.  Free admission before 7:00 and $5 thereafter.  Lesson by Pip and Ruth with music by DJ Ruth.  
303 South Main
Memphis, TN 38103


No Monday or Wednesday lessons in December, but they will be back in January.  More information here

Sunrise Serenade: T'ain't Good (Like A Nickel Made Of Wood)

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "T'ain't Good (Like A Nickel Made Of Wood)" by Jimmie Lunceford and His Orchestra.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line

Monday, December 7, 2015

December On TCM


Better late than never!  Now that we are back in production from our post-Thanksgiving break, I can belatedly relay that The Hollywood Revue's monthly preview of programming on Turner Classic Movies is up.  There are plenty of Christmas movies, airing almost every Friday night, weekends, Christmas Eve and Christmas day.  Frank Sinatra is the Star of the Month, with his films showing every Tuesday. 

Sunrise Serenade: I'm Putting All My Eggs In One Basket

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "I'm Putting All My Eggs In One Basket" by Bunny Berigan and His Orchestra.  Click on the song title for a sample from emusic, or click here for the album page.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

We here at the SSS wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving, and a very safe holiday season.  This November 1942 image from the Library of Congress shows a family in Silver Spring, Maryland beginning their holiday feast. 

With the start of the holidays, I will be reducing SSS operations for a week or so.  Full posting will resume on Monday, December 7.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Playlist November 25, 2015

The playlist for the November 25, 2015 broadcast of the Swing Shift Shuffle has now been added to the playlist filing cabinet.  

The Cascades, Jackson, MI

Image result for the cascades jackson michigan
Inspired by a 1929 trip to the International Exposition in Barcelona, William Sparks, a Jackson, Michigan businessman, built The Cascades in 1931.  As RetroRoadmap notes, the Art Deco spectacle has been a continual source of entertainment since it opened in 1932.
Image result for the cascades jackson michigan

Sunrise Serenade: I'll Be Around

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "I'll Be Around" by the Mills Brothers.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Sleep Off The Turkey (Or The Shopping)

The Red Hot Lindy Hop lesson and session will take a break this Friday night, as the Rumba Room will be closed for Thanksgiving.  Sessions will start up again December 4.  

The University of Memphis RHLH chapter hosts a free beginner swing dance lesson every Monday (except school holidays) in Room 254 of the Roane Field House.  Beginner lesson from 7:00-8:00 p.m., and social dancing and practice until 9:30.  More information here

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

Sunrise Serenade: The Masquerade Is Over

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "The Masquerade Is Over" by Jimmy Dorsey and His Orchestra with Bob Eberly on vocals.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line

Monday, November 23, 2015

Around The World In A 1930 Hudson (At 78 Years Old)

Wir sind in Charlotte,SC in der Werkstatt au├čerhalb der Stadt angekommen.
Driving around the world, in itself, is a significant challenge.  Now imagine doing it at age 78.  Not impressed?  Now imagine doing it at age 78 in a 1930 Hudson.  That is exactly what Heidi Hetzer, a 78 year old former car dealer, rally driver and car collector from Berlin, Germany is doing as we speak.  The Hemmings blog pointed me to this story, in which Heidi has lost two fingers working on her car during the journey.  Undaunted, she continues her trip.  Follow her adventures at heidi-around-the-world.com

Sunrise Serenade: I Found My Yellow Basket

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "I Found My Yellow Basket" by Ella Fitzgerald with Chick Webb and His Orchestra.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line

Friday, November 20, 2015

Jerky Turkey

This Friday before Thanksgiving, we once again invite the great Tex Avery to tell the story of a simple Pilgrim looking for that first Thanksgiving Day meal, and throw in a pack of World War II era jokes to boot.  From the Internet Archive, the 1945 animated short, Jerky Turkey.

Sunrise Serenade: Chloe

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Chloe" by Valaida Snow.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Bacon Grease For Freedom


bacon fatBack in World War II, conserving resources and recycling was a big deal.  Rubber, paper and metal were all in high demand for recycling into products for the war effort.  The National World War II Museum posted this item about another highly sought after household product at the time:  bacon grease.  Fat from meats was recycled into explosives, so people saved their waste fat, put it in a can, and sent to make munitions. 

Sunrise Serenade: American Patrol

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

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Playlist For November 18, 2015

The playlist for the November 18, 2015 broadcast of the Swing Shift Shuffle has now been added to the playlist filing cabinet.  

The Shadow

I do not remember ever posting an actual Shadow comic book before, so here you go. Pappy's Golden Age Comics Blogzine posted this issue from 1942.  As Pappy's noted, the "Fan" in the title actually refers to an electric fan, not a "fanatic" or enthusiast.  The "Goona Goona" is the name of the nightclub.  Curious about the name, I did a little research.  It seems the term "goona goona" was a Hollywood phrase meaning a certain type of movie.  Specifically, it was a film set in remote parts of the Far East, Southeast Asia, South Pacific, Africa or South America, usually involving stock footage scenes of natives supposedly engaged in exotic rituals.  The words came from the title of such a film released in 1932, Goona-Goona, An Authentic Melodrama of the Island of Bali. 

Sunrise Serenade: Route 66

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Route 66" by the Nat King Cole Trio.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Live Music Thursday & Friday Nights


Swing with the Rhodes College Jazz Band on campus at the BCLC Ballroom Thursday at 7:00 p.m.  Admission is free.   
The Red Hot Lindy Hop lesson and session will have live music this Friday at the Rumba Room with the Jeremy Shrader Quartet featuring Michelle Shrader.  Free beginner lesson at 7:00 p.m.  Admission is $7.  Lesson by Ceasar and Jeska with band break music by DJ Jeska.  
303 South Main
Memphis, TN 38103


The University of Memphis RHLH chapter hosts a free beginner swing dance lesson every Monday (except school holidays) in Room 254 of the Roane Field House.  Beginner lesson from 7:00-8:00 p.m., and social dancing and practice until 9:30.  More information here

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

Sunrise Serenade: It's Only A Paper Moon

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "It's Only A Paper Moon" by Ella Fitzgerald with the Delta Rhythm Boys.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line

Monday, November 16, 2015

Majestic Grille Sunday Supper & A Movie Holiday Series

Now that the holiday season is essentially upon us, here is a reminder about The Majestic Grille's annual holiday "Sunday Supper & A Movie" series.  You can enjoy a dinner and your favorite holiday classic films starting on November 29 with Miracle On 34th Street.  On December 6, Holiday Inn will be the featured film, and the series will wind up with It's A Wonderful Life on December 20.  Seating starts at 6:00 p.m., with the films starting at 6:30 p.m.  Reservations required.

Sunrise Serenade: La Marseillaise

This morning's Sunrise Serenade has been running through my head since Friday night, undoubtedly for the same reason it has been running through the minds (and social media) of so many others all over the world.  From YouTube, here is "La Marseillaise," from the 1942 film, Casablanca.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Hepcat Symphony

Musical genres and animal species clash in this 1949 Paramount Pictures short, last posted here in 2013.  From the Internet Archive here is Hepcat Symphony.

Sunrise Serenade: Harlem On Parade

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Harlem On Parade" by Gene Krupa and His Orchestra featuring Anita O'Day on vocals.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Have A Smoke On The Flight

smokeThis post on Vintage Ads shows that, on some issues at least, the past can look like a Bizarro-World to us.  Today, tampering with the lavatories on a commercial airline flight so you can have a smoke is a federal offense.  Back when this ad came out, the airlines passed out cigarettes to their passengers.

Sunrise Serenade: The General Jumped At Dawn

Today's Sunrise Serenade was: "The General Jumped At Dawn" by the Golden Gate Quartet.  Enjoy the video from YouTube

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Playlist For November 11, 2015 - Fall Pledge Drive Veterans Day Special

The playlist for the November 11, 2015 broadcast of the Swing Shift Shuffle - Fall Pledge Drive Veterans Day Special - has now been added to the playlist filing cabinet.  

Veterans Day & Pledge Drive Special Tonight