Musically Ranting #3- The 1940s (Decades theme)

Musically Ranting #3- The 1940s (Decades theme)

I have many prompts planned and the idea of this meme is to keep it interesting and full of variety. So this particular bi-weekly prompt is part of my decades theme and focuses on the 1940s. (Don’t worry, there will be more of genres and of course the random questions because we are curious group.)

So a very teensy tiny history blurb to get you into the music. The 1940s was built around jazz, swing, and the Big Bands. Music was heavily influenced by WWII and it often reflected the turmoil our countries were in. Latin singers and bandleaders also became quite popular during this era. Country music was on the rise as well, better known as The Singing Cowboys.

Fun fact for the guitar lovers out there- Les Paul invented the solid body electric in 1941.

Let’s dive into some of the musicians of the time. Many of you might be scratching your head or wondering if you will have anything to contribute but no worries I’ll share some below and you can take it from there.

The Big Bands were offshoots of Jazz and Swing. They were usually a four-section music ensemble (saxophone, trumpet, trombone, and rhythm- piano, bass, or drums) and usually a top level singer (before they had solo careers). Some of the bands are:

  • The Glenn Miller’s Orchestra- singer Bob Eberly
  • Tommy Dorsey Orchestra- singer Frank Sinatra
  • The Les Brown Band- singer Doris Day
  • Artie Shaw and the Gramercy Five- singer Billie Holiday
  • Chick Webb Orchestra- singer Ella Fitzgerald

Latin Influenced Music became popular during the decade. Some were part of the Big Band Scene while others embarked on their solo careers. As the dance scene was heating up the latin sound became a staple and the Samba and the Mambo rose to fame. Some of the artists are:

  • Brazilian singer and Broadway Star- Carmen Miranda (her iconic look was the fruit hat)
  • Band leader- Xavier Cugat
  • Band leader- Vincent Lopez
  • Musician- Tito Puente
  • Musician- Enric Madriguera

Country music in the 1940s was known as the ‘Hillbilly genre’ and on the music charts as ‘folk and blues’. Western films became very popular, thus the “Singing Cowboy” was also born. Some of the artists are:

  • Gene Autry
  • Hank Williams
  • Ernest Tubb
  • Roy Rogers
  • The Carter Sisters

If none of the music groups tickle your fancy here are some more artists that began their claim to fame during the 40s:

  • The Andrews Sisters
  • Judy Garland
  • Duke Ellington
  • Bing Crosby
  • Dinah Shore
  • Edith Piaf
  • Peggy Lee

Please feel free to use any musician or band from the 1940s that I may not have listed above for the prompt, with that in mind.. it’s prompt time!

If you had grown up in the 1940s which musician(s) or bands do you think you would have listened to based off of your taste in music now?


Is there a remake of a musician’s song from the 1940s that you like and why do you like it?

The prompts are for guidance, but are not required. ~If you have a musician from this decade that you still listen to please feel free to share.

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6 thoughts on “Musically Ranting #3- The 1940s (Decades theme)

  1. Benny Goodman climbed to fame during this era, and Peggy Lee sang lead vocals — “torch” — with his travelling band. She also sang the alto parts in the quartet numbers in the movie White Christmas (1954). Vera-Ellen was an amazing dancer but she couldn’t carry a tune, so Peggy Lee recorded ‘her’ vocals and the rest of the cast (big ’40s names: Rosemary Clooney, Danny Kaye, Bing Crosby) sang their own parts.

    Some other 1940s musicians’ names people might recognize:

    Doris Day
    Thelonius Monk
    Billie Holiday
    Nat “King” Cole
    Frank Sinatra
    Dinah Shore
    Perry Como

    (I might know _just_ a wee tiny bit about this topic. 😉 )

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