Big Band Era


What was the Big Band Era? Learn about the Big Band Era and Swing through a Grandparent's memories below.

(Did you grow up in the 1930's, 1940's or 1950's?  Send us your memories of the Big Band Era and Swing and help us build the library!)


~ Robert (born 1924) ~

"During the late '30's, dance fever struck the nation as radio programs started to feature orchestras, popularly referred to as "dance bands", playing to a live audience of dancing couples.  These bands were led by dynamic leaders such as Kay Kyser, Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Harry James, and Artie Shaw to name a few.   Each leader created his own style of music.  They toured the nation, playing in large ballrooms like the Palladium in Los Angeles, The Meadowbrook in New Jersey, and many famous hotels in New York City.

In the Midwest, Andrew and William Karsas attracted thousands of dancers from far and wide by building two Chicago dance palaces.  One on the Southside of the city was the Trianon, the other on the Northside was named the Aragon.  We lived on the Northside so we danced at the Aragon, referred to as the "most beautiful ballroom in the country."  We did not question the claim as we fondly recall dancing under clouds floating above us as we glided across the floor to lively music of a popular dance band.  And as a different popular band made its appearance, devoted dancers would return, again and again.

Yes, those 30 some years, starting with the late '30's were the golden years of America's popular music ... the big bands, "The Hit Parade", "The Bobby Soxers", the precious years when our men came marching home ... everyone seemed happy, singing, dancing. It was truly the "Golden Years!"

Did you grow up in the 1930's, 1940's or 1950's?  Do you know someone who did?

Our Grandparents Stories is a library of memories of the 1930's, 1940's and 1950's. Help preserve history by sharing your memories to add to the library.  Or record a memory recalled by a grandparent or senior.  Stories can be in writing or on video or audio recording.

To learn more about Our Grandparents Stories, visit the 'Share a Story' or 'About' page. Or contact us directly at

Our Grandparents Stories

A Library of Memories

~ Big Band Era ~

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