Between the Wars

in Daily Programme, Radio Riel Main

by Elrik Merlin on Wednesday, 15 March, 2017

In today’s programme, we’re playing music from the period between the First and Second World Wars – from big bands to ballads and movie soundtracks – featuring restored original recordings alongside modern recreations.

Following the First World War, everything had changed and the society of the early part of the century would never return. But despite the rigours of the Depression, people still knew how to have fun, and the popularity of mass entertainment – whether it was live music, wireless, gramophone record or movie, reached an all‐time high.

The music had changed, too, with the advent of new dances, swing, and the start of the big band era. In today’s programme, you’ll hear amazing soundtracks from Busby Berkeley’s spectacular films, early Frank Sinatra with Tommy Dorsey, the wonderful writing of Noël Coward, instrumental hits of the period, songs that even today still bring a tear to the eye — and much, much more.

Listen in particular for songs in which a significant part of the total running time from the start of a number is taken up by an instrumental or vocal section — what we would today call an extended “intro”. In fact, it’s the “verse” section of the song that you seldom hear today — followed by the more familiar chorus, which is the part we might remember.

Inevitably, without checking the release dates of each of these songs, it’s possible there’s the odd number from the 40s in today’s show, but the majority of those we’ll leave for another day.

Today’s programme is presented by Elrik Merlin. If you are in the United States or Canada, please click here to launch the Stream Licensing player. 

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This programme is also available in enhanced‐quality AAC. Tune in here:


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