...and all that Jazz!  

In the Dirty 30s! the most pervasive form of entertainment was the radio, which allowed people to recieve the news, music and shows.
In 1933 Ford introduced dashboard radios, further expanding radios influence. By 1935 there were an estimated 23 million radios in the United States with approximately 91 million listeners and by 1939 80% of the population had radios. Because of this, the Dirty 30s! is considered to be the "Golden Age" of radio. 

Big Band Swing
Though the appearance of Benny Goodman and his big band in 1935 at the Palomar Ballroom in Los Angeles is considered to be the "official" start of the Big Bands, the style had been brewing for over a decade, starting out in New Orleans as Dixieland jazz.

It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing,
It don't mean a thing, all you've got to do is sing,
It makes no difference if it's sweet or hot,
Just keep that rhythm, give it everything you've got!

Swing became increasingly popular thanks in part to radio play of such legends as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Glenn Miller. The style of music and dance spreading from dancehall to dancehall on both coasts with variations of the swing dance appearing in different regions of the country like the Lindy hop and Jitterbug

Texas Swing
Texas swing (renamed Western Swing in 1940) is a style of country music that loosely resembles the big band music that is popular on the coasts at the time. Also to be heard in the music were other elements of other ethnic music from Mexican, Blues, German Polkas, & Ragtime.

Been runnin' around, seen many a town,
and maybe you'll find I'm the kind of guy that brags.
But listen to me and see if you don't agree
No melody rolls like that old steel guitar rag

Delta Blues
The Blues were mostly a black art form, which grew out of black spirituals and work songs. It spread from the deltas in the south, northward to Chicago, where the stories changed but the themes remained the same. Blues popularity can largely be attributed the the hardships of the people living in the depression era. 

I went to the crossroad
fell down on my knees
I went to the crossroad
fell down on my knees
Asked the Lord above "Have mercy, now
save poor Bob, if you please"

One of the more memorable bluesmen of the 1930s was Robert Johnson. Legends hold that Robert Johnson sold his soul to the Devil for his musical talent at the crossroads of Routes 61 and 49 in Mississippi. At the age of 27, in 1938, the Devil came to collect on that debt, but not before Robert Johnson recorded such hits as Sweet Home Chicago & the Crossroads Blues.

Radio Shows
The shows coming over the airwaves was a very diverse collection of mystery, drama, pulp, action, comedy & music. 

FDRs fireside chats were used to lift the spirits of the American people, Orson Welles telling of HG Wells "War of the Worlds" put the nation in a panic, Bob Wills was churning out Texas Swing from the 50,000 Watt radio station KVOO in Tulsa Oklahoma, and pulp characters like the Lone Ranger, the Shadow, Doc Savage & the Green Hornet were born.

Silver Screen
Radio wasn't the only form of entertainment in its "Golden Age" during the Dirty 30s! Hollywood released movie after movie to entertain  people who wanted mainly escapist fare that let them forget their everyday troubles for a while. Many fantastic films were produced in the 1930s including, King Kong, Dracula, Frankenstein, Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz.

Movie Serials, which were multiple episodes surrounding one plot, remained popular in this era as well, they were usually 20 minutes long and were shown after the cartoon shorts, and just before the feature presentation. The characters of the serials included the likes of Buck Rogers, Dick Tracy, Flash Gordon, and The Shadow, and each time up until the climatic end of the series they would end the show with a cliffhanger... to be continued...

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