Benny Goodman & Peggy Lee
During the 1930’s, 1940’s, and into the 1950’s Big Bands were the most popular form of musical entertainment, with names like Paul Whiteman, Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, and Artie Shaw all household names.
In the 1920’s and early 1930s most of the big bands played a `sweet’ form of dance music, or jazz, that relied heavily on violins and tended to stick to the melody, allowing for very little improvisation.
Some of the big name bandleaders of this early genre included Paul Whiteman, Ted Lewis, , Ben Bernie, Ben Selvin, , Rudy Vallee, , Glen Gray, Ben Pollack, Shep Fields and Fred Waring.
Swing, and more free-form jazz was looked upon with scorn by many people, and it wasn’t until about 1936 that it took off. Once Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, and Artie Shaw paved the way . . . many of the older bands would shift to the newer style of playing.
Others managed to hang on, playing the old `sweet’ style, for an older audience. While Swing dominated, there were other popular genres as well – including dixieland jazz, western swing, and novelty bands.
Bands would often play at nightclubs, casinos, and hotels and their shows were carried lived on the air by local radio stations, and even nationally by the big radio networks of the day.
Many of these bands are forgotten by today’s generation, but their recordings remain for us to enjoy.
The Internet Archive has a nice selection of these big band radio remotes. Some of the sound quality is less than perfect, but the enthusiasm, and the sense of history of these recordings makes up for that.
AcrossTheDial_1953-12-25.mp3 4.67 MB
CamelCaravan_1937-08-31_wBennyGoodman.mp3 10 MB
KraftMusicHall_wPaulWhiteman_1933-11-30.mp3 9.93 MB
KraftMusicHall_wPaulWhiteman_1933-12- 14 MB
KraftMusicHall_wPaulWhiteman_1933-12-14_.mp3 14 MB
KraftMusicHall_wPaulWhiteman_1933-12-28_mp3 14 MB
KraftMusicHall_wPaulWhiteman_1934-01-04.mp3 14 MB
KraftMusicHall_wPaulWhiteman_1934-01-11.mp3 14 MB
KraftMusicHall_wPaulWhiteman_1934-02-01.mp3 14 MB
KraftMusicHall_wPaulWhiteman_1934-04-19_.mp3 14 MB
KraftMusicHall_wPaulWhiteman_1934-06-28_mp3 9.55 MB
PaulWhitemanPresents_1943-07-18_.mp3 6.56 MB
Remote-AlOverand_1948-06-03__Montana.mp3 3.29 MB
Remote-BenPollack_WBS_Summer_of_1930.mp3 6.29 MB
Remote-ChetBaker_1954-03-16_.mp3 11 MB
Remote-ClaudeThornhill_1947-09-22_.mp3 8.21 MB
Remote-CountBasie_1940-02-20__.mp3 7.12 MB
Remote-CountBasie_1940-02-Rhapsody.mp3 7.12 MB
Remote-CountBasie_1945-01-29_.mp3 3.25 MB
Remote-CountBasie_1953-01-01_.mp3 10 MB
These and DOZENS MORE are available HERE. Literally hours of rare, toe tapping, and nostalgic music.