Vintage Entertainment

Tuning into the Forties

Where do you look for music from the Forties? Thankfully, the tunes from the wartime years were popular enough that they find airplay in various places. Whether you want to access music through your computer, an app on your phone, or even an Amazon Alexa device, you’ll be swinging in no time.

When I clean, create, or cook, I sometimes like to listen to music. Songs from the Twenties, Thirties, Forties, and Fifties get me moving. They turn my time into productive play as I sing to the timeless tunes or dance around the kitchen.

Red and green vintage radios sit silent on a shelf among other less colorful specimens.
You could be listening to wartime music on one of these.

1940s Radio, UK Style

Often I want to turn on a radio station and listen to the music without fiddling with my computer to restart various playlists. On those days I turn to The UK 1940s Radio Station. Each day, the station presents a full roster of programs featuring music from the Twenties through the Forties. Most of the time, due to the time difference between the UK and the US, I find myself tuning into From Stateside. Jay Lawrence broadcasts From Stateside from his “underground bunker” on the East Coast of the US, and each program features discussion and music from a “current” movie, radio show clips, and popular music of the era.

If you have an Alexa device in your home, you can listen to UK 1940s Radio directly. Currently, Alexa responds in one of two ways. Tell Alexa to play The UK 1940s Radio Station. If that doesn’t work (and it doesn’t work for me), tell Alexa to play TuneIn Radio. She will then ask you which station you want. Then tell her UK 1940s Radio, and it should link through TuneIn.

At our house, we have Alexa hooked up through our thermostat. (Don’t ask. It’s a convoluted story.) You should see the looks that guests give us when they hear 1940s music and radio shows coming from the thermostat! The glances and comments are worth the oddity of talking to the thermostat every day.

The UK 1940s Radio runs on advertising and donations, and it costs £400 to keep the station on the air each month. That’s about $520 USD, give or take a bit for exchange rate fluxuations. If you love what they do, consider donating a few dollars to keep it on the air. They take donations through PayPal.

With YouTube You Can Sing for Hours

If you feel like browsing, you can search using the term Forties Music Playlist. The search will give you lots to choose from. Want something catchy right now? Listen to over an hour of music with the G.I. Jive collection. Or, if you have more time, you can spend two hours with The Songs and Music of WWII list and lose yourself in Big Band hits and popular tunes.

Also on Youtube, you can listen to three hours of 40s Big Band, Jazz, and Swing with the Deep Jazz channel’s compilation. And if the country music of the 1940s makes your heart sing, check out this list of hits.

Spot Vintage Music on Spotify

Spotify has lots of options for Forties music. In addition to listener-created playlists, Spotify offers a couple channels on its own. Nestled under Artists, two selections look promising: 1040s Music and Music of the 1940s. If you get tired of these, do give some of the listener-created playlists a try. They range from 1940s jazz to a mix of news clips and music called ::London: Swingin’ the Blitz//1940s Radio Hour::.

So whether you want to cut a rug in the kitchen or belt out a beloved tune in the sitting room, you’ll find plenty to peruse in the preceding paragraphs.