The Pint-sized Songstress of Pittsburgh – Maxine Sullivan

At 4 foot 11 inches tall and weighing a mere 82 pounds, her diminutive size could hardly be considered imposing. But the moment she began to sing, she brought everything to a standstill- and became the biggest talent in the room. Performing before a crowd of over 20,000 people at a memorial concert for the … Continue reading The Pint-sized Songstress of Pittsburgh – Maxine Sullivan

Behind the Scenes to Behind the Mic- The Swing Era’s Bud Pearson

If my experience as a broadcaster over the last forty years has taught me anything, it’s that the typical engineer is most at ease poking around equipment ‘behind the scenes’, eschewing anything that has to do with being ‘behind the mic’.  But as you are about to learn, Bud Pearson, the host of The Swing … Continue reading Behind the Scenes to Behind the Mic- The Swing Era’s Bud Pearson

A sad “Auf Wiedersehen” to WWII Sweetheart Vera Lynn

She was perhaps the most recognizable female vocalist of the Second World War. Her million-selling record “We’ll Meet Again” became an anthem of hope for soldiers and civilians alike across both theaters of war. And her performances on radio gave reassurance to Londoners during the darkest days of the Blitz. Dame Vera Lynn has died … Continue reading A sad “Auf Wiedersehen” to WWII Sweetheart Vera Lynn

Artie Shaw: The Temperamental Grumpyman of Swing

If bandleader Tommy Dorsey was known as “The Sentimental Gentleman of Swing”, then fellow bandleader Artie Shaw well could have deserved the moniker “The “Temperamental Grumpyman of Swing”. Widely regarded as one of jazz’s finest clarinetists alongside performers like Benny Goodman, Shaw led one of the most popular big bands of the late ‘30s and … Continue reading Artie Shaw: The Temperamental Grumpyman of Swing

Chuck Cecil, Host of “The Swingin’ Years”, has Died at 97

Whenever the topic of the Big Band Era is discussed by music critics, there generally holds an agreement that it lasted from 1935 to 1945. However, more astute fans of the era know that it never really ended. In ballrooms across America, many name bands continued to draw crowds even as their leaders became octogenarians. … Continue reading Chuck Cecil, Host of “The Swingin’ Years”, has Died at 97

“Mrs. Swing” Rocks the House – The Story of Mildred Bailey

It was a typical New York evening… that January of 1944. The Metropolitan Opera House at 1411 Broadway in Manhattan had played host to many talented artists and vocalists. Enrico Caruso, Lawrence Tibbett and Conductor Arturo Toscanini had all graced its stage. But on that cold 18th of January in 1944, the Metropolitan Opera House … Continue reading “Mrs. Swing” Rocks the House – The Story of Mildred Bailey

Swingin’ High – The Bibulous Bunny Berigan

He was a musical child prodigy admired by the likes of Louis Armstrong and Harry James. His talent on the trumpet helped propel bandleaders like Benny Goodman to fame. But his love of liquor ultimately paved the way to a tragic ending for this electrifying musician of the 1930’s. Bunny Berigan was a handsome musician … Continue reading Swingin’ High – The Bibulous Bunny Berigan

It Had To Be You – Vocalist Dick Haymes

When big band aficionados gather to discuss their favorite crooners of the Big Band period, inevitably three names come up. Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, and Argentinian-born Dick Haymes. Haymes was perhaps one of the most popular vocalists of the 1940’s and 1950’s. Born to Irish and British parents in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1918, his … Continue reading It Had To Be You – Vocalist Dick Haymes