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Favorite Jazz Stars of Old Time Radio

Jazz started in Black Communities in New Orleans, moved north during the Great Migration, and gained world wide popularity during the Golden Age of Radio. Here's a few of our favorite jazz stars in Old Time Radio:

Artie Shaw
Artie Shaw
Clarinet Tooter and Musician Master: Artie rivaled swing bandleaders Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller in the 1930s and 40s.

Benny Goodman
Benny Goodman

During the Big Band Era, Benny Goodman was the undisputed "King of Swing". The Goodman Band is credited with launching the Swing Era with a series of performances and broadcasts from California in 1935.

Charlie Barnet
One of the Jazzmen who embodied the joy of the Jazz world was saxophonist and bandleader Charlie Barnet.

Connee Boswell
Connee Boswell
Born and raised in the Jazz-filled New Orleans streets, Connie Boswell, and her two other sisters, Martha and Vet, learned to pluck and toot almost every instrument used in popular and vocal Jazz.Boswell Sisters

Count Basie
In Live From Birdland, Count Basie and his Orchestra Plays at the Hotspot of Jazz in New York City!

Dizzy Gillespie
American jazz trumpeter, bandleader, composer, and singer.

Duke Ellington
Duke Ellington
Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington was a composer, pianist, and jazz orchestras bandleader.

Eddie Condon
Eddie Condon
Experience the heyday of jazz with Eddie Condon's Jazz Concert, a musical series of fun, footloose live jazz performances from 1944-45.

Fats Waller
Fats Waller
Enjoy One of the Great Talents of Jazz Piano who mad a Name for Himself in the Early Days of Radio, Fats Waller.

George Shearing
Starting out as a poor, "blind kid from Battersea", Sir George Shearing is one of the greatest Jazz pianists on either side of the Atlantic.

Glenn Miller
Glenn Miller and his Orchestra got America “In The Mood”, but when his country needed him he was ready to give it all for his fellow servicemen. In fact, Major Glenn Miller was lost over the Channel on his way to set up shows for servicemen stationed near the front lines.

Helen Forrest 
After a difficult childhood, Helen Forrest beat the odds and was discovered by bandleader Artie Shaw to song with and eventually replace Billie Holiday. She later worked with Benny Goodman and Harry James Orchestra.

Les Paul
Les Paul
A Fun and Entertaining Musical Team with Giggling Mary and Witty Les!

Paul Whiteman
Performances by "The King of Jazz!"

Peggy Lee
Peggy Lee
Peggy Lee was a musical innovator whose beautiful voice crossed into Swing, blues, Jazz, Latin and rock styles.

Slim Gaillard
For singer Slim Gaillard, his instrument was less his voice than the language styling he used while performing.

Stan Kenton
Believing that Jazz could be more than just music to dance to, Kenton made no apologies for his brand of "progressive Jazz."

Woody Herman
Heavily influenced by Duke Ellington and Count Basie, the Woody Herman's Herd was known for lively arrangements that combined swing rhythms and bebop themes.

Louis Jordan
Appearing at the end of the Swing Era,
Louis Jordan's Jump Blue helped to launch Rock & Roll.

Have we left out one of your jazz favorites?  Let us know!

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I’m looking for shows with my Grandpa Bob Effros on trumpet. He was full time studio musician and composer most of 1930’s through 1959. His first few years were with Philco Radio Hour, Harry Reser Cliquot Eskimos, Rudy Valle, The Feeniment Hour, Camel Caravan , Your Hit Parade, Jack Benny, and my favs Mel Blanc Show and Jimmy Durante . I have a few sent to me via OTR friends and YouTube when he is introduced by name. Am sure there are more. He recorded on over 200 78’s mostly 1921-1932.


I'm still here loving old time radio -- and always will! It's really my fave form of entertainment. Like the saying goes "the pictures are in your head." So true. So cool. Anyway yours is one of my favorite websites. Love the huge selection (wow!) of shows, the old photos, ads and that we get to play samples of the shows. I've said it before and I'll say it again: we appreciate you!!! Thanks for being there! Hope all is well with you and radio cat. Will be ordering more shows soon I promise. Hey you can never have too many right?! Take care my friend.


Just a compliment on your site. At 78, I grew up listening to many of the shows. Indeed, I have over a hundred of your CDs, and rather than TV (the vast wasteland) I spend several hours in the evening 'Imagining'... I especially enjoy the history and pictures in connection with the shows... keep up the excellent work


I am 67 years old and missed all the radio programs. But being out in the middle of nowhere I had to get Sirius satellite radio. Soon they added Greg Bell, who is now on Sirius/XM. Being born in 1950, my father loved new technologies so the radio must have been thrown out in favor of a monstrous TV that has a magnifying lens. We didn't need heat anymore in the basement. But then I got thoroughly hooked! I have left Sirius/XM behind. Every time I turn it on it seems to be "Superman". But it was a GREAT introduction and I heard episodes of many shows. Greg is a great teacher and I highly recommend him for new people. We have had quite a few e-mails including what ever happened to Jack Johnstone, producer of "Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar". Now I have many apps on my iPhone, lots of downloads from ORCAT (bless your hearts!), have an OTR progam on the local radio station. I have even directed high school kids on the air live in an episode of "The Shadow". I have many favorites in each genre and every evening before bed (I'm still a working stiff, an astronomer) I listen to a favorite episode before bed and drift off into OTR radio dreamland. I love being Richard Diamond, Private Detective in my dreams. I want to come home to Helen as well.


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