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, July 31, 2015

The Wild Hare & Happy 75th Birthday Bugs!

Earlier this week was the 75th anniversary of Bugs Bunny's first ever appearance on screen, in a 1940 Warner Bros. animated short titled The Wild Hare.  In celebration of that debut, here is a version from YouTube.  Happy Birthday Bugs!

Sunrise Serenade: Take Me Out To The Ball Game

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Take Me Out To The Ball Game" by the Loumell Morgan Trio.  Enjoy the video from YouTube

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Ex-Nazi Serves In U.S. Coast Guard!

Horst Wessel
How is that for a tabloid headline?  Strange, but true!  Of course, the "Ex-Nazi" is a 295 foot long, 1655 ton, three mast, square-rigged sailing ship that the U.S. acquired as a prize in World War II, and that now serves as the flagship of the Coast Guard.  The BBC recently posted a very interesting article about the U.S.S. Eagle, the Coast Guard's training vessel, and only tall ship in active service in the U.S. military.  She was built in 1936 for the German Kriegsmarine as a training vessel, and named the Horst Wessel after a prominent Nazi party activist who penned the lyrics to the "Horst Wessel Song," which became the anthem for the Nazis.  The BBC article also tells the story of a former German sailor who served on the ship, immigrated to America, and was accidentally reunited with his former ship in the U.S.  Apparently, the eagle on the ship's prow originally held a shield bearing a swastika, where it now bears the U.S. Coast Guard shield.
The Eagle

Sunrise Serenade: Limehouse Blues

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "Limehouse Blues" by Fletcher Henderson and His Orchestra.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Red Hot Lindy Heat Continues

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.  Dress like you are going out!
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: I Got Rhythm

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "I Got Rhythm" by the Spirits of Rhythm.  Enjoy the video from YouTube

Monday, July 27, 2015

Coolest Radio Ever

This Is The Coolest Vintage Radio Ever 
You can bet that both Batman and the Shadow had one of these babies in the Batcave and Sanctum.  According to Paleofuture, the Kluge California Kilowatt "could not only send and receive messages, but it came with all the bells and whistles — including built-in speakers and an illuminated map of the world, all housed in a sleek fold-down desk." 

Sunrise Serenade: Pennsylvania 6-5000

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Pennsylvania 6-5000" by Glenn Miller and His Orchestra.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line

Friday, July 24, 2015

Dough For The Do-Do

This encore from 2012 features one of the wildest Warner Bros. animated shorts of its 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: Posin'

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

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Multipurpose Breakfaster

Cook Top Breakfaster
This post on the Retro Planet blog features the latest in late 1930's cooking technology, the Calkins Breakfaster Model T2.  It could toast bread in its inner compartment while also heating oatmeal or cooking an egg on its top hot plate.  It apparently never caught on, one possible reason being it had no power switch, so the only way to turn it off was to unplug it.

Sunrise Serenade: His Feet Too Big For De Bed

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "His Feet Too Big For De Bed" by the Andrews Sisters.  Enjoy the video from YouTube

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Playlist For July 22, 2015

The playlist for the July 22, 2015 broadcast of the Swing Shift Shuffle has now been added to the playlist filing cabinet.  

Newly Discovered Footage of Amelia Earhart


Boing Boing posted this item last month about new, never-before-seen footage of Amelia Earhart, purportedly taken as she prepared for her around-the-world flight in which she eventually vanished.  Released in conjunction with a book entitled Amelia Earhart's Last Photo Shoot, the film shows scenes of her personal photographer taking photos of her before the flight. 

Sunrise Serenade: Dippermouth Blues

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

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Red Hot Enough For You?

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.  Dress like you are going out!
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: Song Of India

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "Song Of India" by the Casa Loma Orchestra.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Spirit

I've heard of the Spirit, but did not know much about him.  I still don't, but this post on Pappy's Golden Age Comics Blogzine features a Spirit story from 1943.  It looks like the Spirit was just a guy in a blue suit and mask who hung around at a police detective's office waiting for some mystery to solve.  It's a living, I guess.

Sunrise Serenade: Swing Low Sweet Chariot

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Swing Low Sweet Chariot" by the Casa Loma Orchestra.  Enjoy the video from YouTube

Friday, July 17, 2015

Mouse Wreckers

This encore from 2012 raises the following question:  Why don't Bert and Hubie just pick a house that did not have a cat?  It would save everyone a lot of trouble.  Of course, cartoons and logic do not mix.  From the Internet Archive, here is the 1947 animated short, Mouse Wreckers
video

Sunrise Serenade: Elmer's Tune

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Elmer's Tune" by Glenn Miller and His Orchestra.  Enjoy the video from YouTube.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Hi-De-Ho With Cab Himself


Here is a really cool picture, posted on Rivet Head, showing the King of Hi-De-Ho himself, Mr. Cab Calloway, cutting a rug with a "frail" at what appears to be an informal jam session.

Sunrise Serenade: Captain Kidd

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

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Playlist July 15, 2015

The playlist for the July 15, 2015 broadcast of the Swing Shift Shuffle has now been added to the playlist filing cabinet.  

Beat The Heat With The Red Hot Lindy Hop

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.  Dress like you are going out!
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: Jumpin' With A G.I. Gal

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Jumpin' With A G.I. Gal" by the Four Vagabonds.  Enjoy the video from YouTube

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Sunrise Serenade: Aw, You Dawg

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "Aw, You Dawg" by Cab Calloway and His Orchestra.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line

Monday, July 13, 2015

On The Radio


The National World War II Museum blog posted this item about the importance of radio to the Home Front during WW2.  Aside from news, the entertainment for which most Americans turned to their radio also had a patriotic flavor, from live big band performances at military bases, to contemporary patriotic popular music like "Comin' In On A Wing And A Prayer," or "Milkman, Keep Those Bottles Quiet!"  The Museum has a collection of sheet music that includes this number featured by Jan Garber and His Orchestra, "Plant A Little Garden (In Your Own Back Yard).

Sunrise Serenade: Kickin' The Gong Around

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Kickin' The Gong Around" by Cab Calloway and His Orchestra.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.

Friday, July 10, 2015

A Coach For Cinderella

Made by Chevrolet, that is.  In this encore of a Jam Handy short from 2012, a group of elves construct a coach for Cinderella so she can attend the Prince's ball.  After building the coach from sticks, flowers, pumpkins, etc.; they put it through a "Modernizer," which transforms it into the new Chevrolet for 1936.  Old Cindy is riding in style.  Listen for "Peanut Vendor" as the Modernizer does its work.  From the Internet Archive, here is A Coach For Cinderella.

Sunrise Serenade: Downhearted Blues

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "Downhearted Blues" by Mildred Bailey and Her Alley Cats.  Enjoy the video from YouTube

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Sailors On A Blimp?

Rivet Head posted this Life magazine photo of three sailors.  The focus of the Rivet Head post was the men's attire.  What interested me, however, was their location.  Based on their surroundings, I believe these men were riding in the gondola of a U.S. Navy blimp.  The windows, bulkheads, chairs and other structures are lightweight.  The bulkhead slopes outward, and curves at the rear to form an observation post, which was perfect for searching out enemy submarines, the primary job of Navy blimps during WW2.

Sunrise Serenade: On A Slow Boat To China

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "On A Slow Boat To China" by Benny Goodman and His Orchestra, featuring Al Hendrickson on vocals.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Playlist For July 8, 2015

The playlist for the July 8, 2015 broadcast of the Swing Shift Shuffle has now been added to the playlist filing cabinet.  

Tommy Dorsey True Comics

Long before "reality TV," there was "reality comics," in which a comic book would feature stories about real people.  This 1949 comic, posted on Four Color Shadows, relates the story of Tommy Dorsey's famous feud with his brother Jimmy. 

Sunrise Serenade: The Army Air Corps Song

This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "The Army Air Corps Song" by Alvino Rey and His Orchestra.  Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Cool Off With Red Hot Lindy Hop

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.  Dress like you are going out!
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: People Like You And Me

Today's Sunrise Serenade was "People Like You And Me" by Glenn Miller and His Orchestra.  Despite what the sign says on the recording studio door, here is Glenn and the gang performing in this YouTube video. 

Monday, July 6, 2015

TCM In July

Shirley Temple
Well, I'm back from the road, and as always, I need to catch up a bit.  No better way to start than The Hollywood Revue's monthly preview of programming on Turner Classic Movies.  The "Summer of Darkness" series continues, featuring nothing but film noir every Friday.  The Star of the Month is Shirley Temple, with her films airing every Monday night. 

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