By the end of World War II the Age of Big Band Swing was effectively over. There are many theories as to why this happened. World War II itself, with its ever-increasing call for young men and women to join the armed forces and its equally exacting toll on the U. S. economy in general with various government imposed restrictions and various taxes was one point of pressure on big bands. The American Federation of Musicians boycot strikes against record companies and radio stations was another. And finally there were the internal cultural pressures on big band swing itself as many of the best sidemen and bandleaders tired of playing for audiences who, according to Artie Shaw, "just wanted to hear dance music" and turned to their own inclinations towards jazz.
In The Mood
is one of 7 OFAM 2023 concerts presented twice:
Evening: Wed, Aug 2, 7:30 pm
Matinée: Sat, Aug 12, 1:30 pm
Whatever the reasons (and they were indeed complex), by the mid-1940s the big bands were effectively gone. Yet during the years of World War II many of the elements of Big Band Swing remained, with persisting vitality, much of which "lived" in the ongoing effort of the AFRS to boost morale and the general sentiment among many musicians and band leaders to do their part in the war effort. Two standouts were Glenn Miller and Artie Shaw. In 1942 Glenn Miller disbanded his civilian big band, joined the Army Air Forces and led the AAF orchestra until his death over the English Channel in December 1944. Artie Shaw joined the Navy soon after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and led a morale-raising Navy band in the Pacific through 1943l
Chuck Redd and the Festival big band welcome Shirley Andress, Lynnea Barry and Bill Hulings for a survey the best of big band swing during World War II with a special emphasis on Glenn Miller and Artie Shaw, other big band leaders and groups as well.
| ||Cow Cow Boogie|
(1942) Ride 'Em, Cowboy Gene de Paul, Benny Carter (w) Don Raye (m)
| ||Take The 'A' Train|
(1939) interpolated into Reveille with Beverly Joya Sherrill (w) Billy Strayhorn (m)
| ||Flying Home|
(1939) Sid Robin (w) Lionel Hampton, Benny Goodman (m)