Saturday, August 8, 2009

Big Band and Other 1950’s Music for your Mid-Century Home


I went looking for some music for my atomic ranch style home, and while it was built in the mid-50’s, I realized I preferred songs mostly from the Big Band era in the 1940’s.

My folks were married in the mid-40’s (they were much older when I finally came along, and people were always mistaking them for my grandparents) and Dad played in a Big Band, (did I mention I still have an autograph by Gene Krupa?) so I grew up listening to the music of Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Gene Krupa and others.

So for me, mid-century music is all about Big Band and Swing.

I found a really good 3 set CD with all the songs I liked, and went to and found the same songs there. Then I made a Playlist so I could listen as I work at my computer. I’ll buy the CDs, but need a CD player since all the stereo CD players I have crapped out so quickly.

I’d love to buy a mid-century, non-working record player or radio cabinet large enough to gut and hide a modern stereo inside. And in time. I’ll do just that.


At any rate, go to and search out your favorite mid-century music to enjoy!

You can also to go and listen to some wonderful era music selected at random based on the suggestions you put in.


  1. I can't help but wonder if your father and my mother crossed paths. My mother played drums with Phil Spiltalny and His All-Gird Orchestra, right out of high school in the late 30s. Later, she ended up taking some lessons with Chick Webb, sat in with Lionel Hampton and his band, and somewhere around here is the autographed picture of Krupa. I KNOW where her hand-turned Zildjian cymbals are...on my wall! Like you, I came along late in my parent's lives. They always referred to me as their "do-it-yourself granchild." :-) Mom died in 2000, dad at age 97 in 2005. I love all the old music...but then, I love the new stuff, too. My family on both sides was ALL about music, so there's little I find unappealing. I listen to the Mill Bros., Ink Spots, Ella and Louis, Eddy Duchin, Artie Shaw, Bix Beiderbeck, Johnny Mercer, and of course the more recent Stan Getz and Miles Davis ALL the time. Along with pretty much anyone else you can name. One of the things I do now is create miniature household furnishings of the 50s, 60s, and 70s, which is how I landed on your site. :-)

  2. Hiya Els... Wow, lessons from Chick Webb! Playing with Lionel Hampton! Very, very cool.

    Funny you mention Zildjian cymbals on you wall. I went looking for Dad's Zildjians and was going to display them on one of my walls, but can't seem to find them. Dad played drums too, and while his drum sets were sold by him long ago, I still have 4 of his congas and one of his bongos, in addition to other small instruments on display in one of my rooms. Will do a post on that one of these days soon. Would love to see your Mom's.

    Ah, and you are also an artist. =) Me too, but mostly drawing, painting and mixed media.

    Do you know of any online radio stations that play all the Big Band greats? There is a local station that broadcasts both radio and online: a 3 hour show every Sunday, 2-5 Pacific Time at Randy Brian plays music from the 20's-40's and a lot of it is rare music including a one-hour radio show of dramas and stories and such. Check it out if you get the chance.

    Thanks for your comment, much appreciated!