Swing Years and Beyond | KUOW News and Information

Swing Years and Beyond

Saturday, 7:00 p.m. - midnight on KUOW

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The Swing Years and Beyond features popular music of the 1920s - 1950s, from familiar favorites to lesser-known gems. A mix of Jazz, swing, ballads, blues, show tunes and bebop showcases the relationships between these various musical styles. The program highlights the personalities, history and popular culture of the time through music and explores the enduring nature of this uniquely American art form.

ANNOUNCEMENT 1/27/2017: It is with immense gratitude for her immeasurable contributions to The Swing Years and Beyond that we announce host Amanda Wilde has accepted an opportunity to move into a full-time announcer position with KUOW and KUOW2. Amanda’s curatorial standards and deep knowledge of swing music, combined with her on-air presence, made the possibility of finding a replacement for the show infeasible. In short: Amanda is a hard act to follow. As a result, the final broadcast of The Swing Years and Beyond will be on February 25, 2017. We are pleased that Amanda will remain with KUOW in a new capacity and thank her for her many years producing and hosting this beloved radio program. More information >>

Playlists: Find the playlists here

Music History Features by Amanda Wilde

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Amanda Wilde speaks with historian Feliks Banel, a self-described huge fan of live local radio, about The Swing Years' place in Seattle radio history. 

It is with immense gratitude for her immeasurable contributions to The Swing Years and Beyond that we announce host Amanda Wilde has accepted an opportunity to move into a full-time announcer position with KUOW and KUOW2.

Courtesy of Century Ballroom

On December 30, 2016, get a head start on celebrating NYE with an elegant and fun evening of dining and swing dancing with KUOW's own Amanda Wilde, host of Swing Years and Beyond. You're encouraged to wear 1930s & 40s attire, but it's not required.

Five course dinner (optional) served in the main ballroom (and The Tin Table for those not going dancing).

Dinner is followed by a couples swing dance lesson (beginners welcome).

Get your tickets and find our more here.

Jazz bassist Buddy Catlett.
Screenshot from YouTube

Born May 13, 1933, jazz bassist Buddy Catlett was raised in Seattle where he came up through the Jackson Street scene.

Nicknamed Bumblebee, he played behind singers Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra and Billie Holiday, as well as with the bands of Horace Henderson, Count Basie and Louis Armstrong, among others.

A portrait of composer Claude Debussy painted by Marcel  Baschet, 1884.
Public Domain

Pop music has always  borrowed liberally from classical themes: think Al Jolson’s 1920 hit “Avalon” lifting Puccini’s opera “Tosca,” 1970s disco sensation "A Fifth of Beethoven” or Vitamin C’s more modern sampling of Pachelbel’s “Canon in D Major.”

But it's a two-way street! In fact, the first borrowing might have taken place on the classical side.  

Macklemore's "Thrift Shop" made Amanda Wilde's list. Here  the Seattle artist performs at the Gorge Amphitheater in George, Washington.
Flickr photo/Dave Lichterman

Washington state is on the edge – the geographical edge of the continental United States and the cutting edge of music.

Flickr Photo/Dr Case (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Moms have been canonized in song long before Taylor Swift’s “The Best Day,” The Backstreet Boys’ “The Perfect Fan” and Tupac Shakur’s “Dear Mama.”

During the Swing Era, these songs included the wistful WWII soldier’s ballad “Dear Mom” and Spike Jones and The City Slickers’ rendition of Milton Berle’s comical tune “Leave The Dishes In The Sink, Ma.”

From Wikipedia

In 1932, a new singing style was emerging: crooning. What we might consider easy listening now wasn't necessarily received cordially by its contemporaries. Cardinal O'Connell of Boston described it as "imbecile slush" and "a degenerate form of singing.”

From Wikipedia

Almost every partner dance is a descendant of the waltz.

The oldest of ballroom dances, the waltz has roots as far back as the 13th century. As it evolved and entered the ballrooms of Europe, the waltz was viewed as taboo because partners were permitted to make contact. But like the tango and other exciting and challenging dances, the waltz spread until by the middle of the nineteenth century it was firmly established in the U.S.

Today’s standard waltz rhythm that we now know and love became popular due to the musical creations of composers such as Johann Strauss.

The most frequently asked question of The Swing Years and Beyond is “What is your theme?”

Played at the top of each Swing Years show, it’s "Royal Blue" from "The Pink Panther" soundtrack.

The film came out in 1963 and the album was released in 1964, featuring lounge and lush instrumentals by Henri Pancini … er, Mancini!

How One Winner Changed The Academy Awards

Feb 27, 2014
Flickr Photo/Davidlohr Bueso (CC BY-NC-ND)

In anticipation for the Oscars this weekend, Steve Scher sat down with Swing Years host Amanda Wilde to discuss the history of the Best Original Song category.