Radio Days: 1934-1936
Episode date - September 13, 2019
By the 1930’s, radio’s popularity had progressed so far that it remained a pinnacle of entertainment even as motion pictures started to dominate pop culture.
Radio and the movies worked hand in hand, with musicals popularizing radio songs and radio airplay popularizing the films. By this time, a significant level of sophistication became a primary ingredient in popular music. The crude songs that predated 1920 and the simple light fare of the previous decade all but evaporated as jazz morphed into big band swing, while for the first time, popular songwriters treated their work as an art form.
It was at this stage that ‘pop’ music became so nuanced that it grew into what we now refer to as ‘the great American songbook’. Most of these songs were recorded in multiple versions, often by extraordinarily popular and influential artists of the time, but with this show, we will attempt to display the songs as performed in their early, original versions by singers who may not be as well-remembered these days.
Featured tracks include:
Stormy Weather – Harold Arlen & Leo Reisman & his Orchestra
Jitterbug – Cab Calloway
I Only Have Eyes for You – Lew Sherwood
April in Paris – Freddy Martin
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes – Paul Whiteman
Let’s Fall in Love – Eddie Duchin
The Music Goes Round and Round – Edythe Wright
Cheek to Cheek – Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers
Let’s Dance – Benny Goodman
Just One of Those Things – Richard Himber
Life Is a Song – Ruth Etting
Swing Is Here – Gene Krupa
It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie – Fats Waller