Swing Street Radio is pleased to announce the latest addition to our weekly line up of great big band programming, Fred Hall’s ‘Swing Thing’. Each week, Fred takes you “behind the scenes in swing” on ‘Swing Thing’. Fred conducted his first interview with Helen Forrest in 1945 and subsequently recorded hundreds of artist interviews. He showcases music and shares conversations with the stars of the swing era on his program.
Fred’s background is as interesting as it is diverse. Born in Ashville, North Carolina, he was drawn to radio as a child and it quickly became his passion. When Pearl Harbor came, he was one of the first to broadcast the bulletin on WWDC radio and, within a month, Hall joined the United States Navy. It was there where he served as a radar instructor and then transferred to the South Pacific where he worked in ship repair and later the Armed Forces Radio Service (AFRS) for the duration. After the war, Hall worked as a reporter for the Mutual and ABC radio networks and launched several radio stations from Washington, DC to New Mexico. He eventually moved to California where he built Southern California stations KVEN-AM and KOVA-FM. Fred has been an engineer, program director, disc jockey and national political news reporter.
A lifelong fan of swing and big band music, Hall is known for his relaxed interviews with some of the most famous musicians, bandleaders and singers of the swing era. It was during his tenure with the AFRS that Hall began collecting what eventually became thousands of recorded interviews with people such as Benny Goodman, Les Brown, Artie Shaw, The Andrews Sisters and other notables of swing. Hall served as a frequent emcee at USO shows both during and after the war, and became friends with many of the musicians who saw him as the consummate authority on their music.
Fred Hall compiled some of his interviews into bestselling books titled “Dialogues in Swing” and “More Dialogues in Swing” during the 1980s, and wrote a biography of pianist Dave Brubeck, titled “It’s About Time.”
In was in the early 70’s that Fred began syndicating his now famous ‘Swing Thing’ radio program, featuring some of the interviews he had done over the years. There are over 1,000 programs in the broadcast library, and Fred’s son Tim has made the continuation of his father’s nationally syndicated radio show a real labor of love since Fred’s passing in December of 2003.
Fred Hall’s ‘Swing Thing’ can be heard Wednesday’s at 5PM Pacific/8PM Eastern and Saturday’s at 8AM Pacific/11AM Eastern on Swing Street Radio.