Bea Wain-Star Singer of the Big Band Era

Bea Wain 1940s Big Band Singer

Bea Wain is considered by many to be one of the best female vocalists of her era. A self-taught singer, with an expressive but understated swing style, she worked hard to leave her mark in the Big Band & Radio world.

Today’s post is all about this incredible and talented woman.

Bea Wain NBC's Manhattan Merry-Go-Round 1940s
Bea Wain for NBC’s Manhattan Merry-Go-Round 1940s Source: Getty Images

Born Beatrice Wain April 30th, 1917 in the Bronx, New York, her singing career would begin at the young age of 6 on a radio program titled “NBC Children’s Hour,” where she earned $2 per broadcast (Source). Blessed with a raw talent and the knowledge that she wanted to be a singer, Beatrice would never took a single singing lesson growing up. Dance and piano lessons she agreed to but never singing.

“I never wanted anybody to teach me how to sing,” she said in an interview with Sara Fishko for the New York public radio station WNYC in 2013 (Source).

This raw talent would keep Beatrice busy, singing with various radio shows and even cutting records for popular big band leaders. One particular record with Artie Shaw in September 1937, saw her name accidentally go from ‘Beatrice Wain’ to ‘Beatrice Wayne’. Then later on record labels, her name was shortened (without her permission) to “Bea” by the record company, ostensibly for space considerations.

Bea Wain Big Band Singer Vintage Photo

She would get her big break in 1937, when she emerged from the chorus on the radio show “The Kate Smith Hour” to sing an eight-bar solo. The arranger Larry Clinton, who was listening, needed to hear no more. He was forming a band at the time and quickly signed her to be its vocalist.

“I did a lot of singing, choral things,” she recalled.  “And he heard me on the Kate Smith show.  He didn’t see me.  Actually, it was very strange, because . . . I had a call and went to the phone and this man said, ‘My name is Larry Clinton.  I’m starting a band and I’m looking for a girl singer and I would like you to make some sides with me.’  Which was really cuckoo [laughs], ’cause I said to myself, ‘He never saw me.  He never really heard me, it was just a few bars.  And he told me to meet him at RCA Victor the next week, he was recording, and he sent me a tune to do, and I did it. And the first time I saw him was when I walked in the studio (Source).”

Larry Clinton and Bea Wain album cover

Following this recording session Bea remained with the band and would make her debut with Larry Clinton officially in the summer of 1938 at the Glen Island Casino, New Rochelle, New York. This would be the turning point for Larry Clintons Orchestra because as they were broadcasted live across the radio wires, theirs and Bea’s popularity would rise.

Glen Island Casino Vintage Image
Source: Glen Island Harbour Club
Bea Stated:  “If we played in an elegant ballroom, it was very nice.  We played a lot of colleges, and that was fun.  As I said, I was very young.  We played at Yale, we played at Princeton, we played [at] the University of North Carolina… you know, we just went on the road, and you went from one to the other.  And they all couldn’t wait until the band arrived, because the band became very popular on account of these radio broadcasts (Source).”    

During her time with The Larry Clinton Orchestra, Bea would go on to record several hit songs:

Her Signature Song: My Reverie and was top of the charts for 8 weeks in 1938. (Video Link)

Deep Purple”, “Heart and Soul” as well as “Cry, Baby, Cry” were also # 1 hits.

(Video Link)

It’s time to move on…

After a year and a half with the band, she tired of the road trips and poor pay for recordings** and left to perform on her own. At this time she was also a married woman to radio announcer André Baruch who she had met on the Kate Smith Show (where she was singing in the chorus if you remember my mention above). They had married May 1st, 1938.

Source: Pinterest
Bea Wain and André Baruch
Source: Pinterest

After the orchestra, Bea would go on to have a successful radio career singing in programs like CBS’s, “Your Hit Parade” from 1939-44 where her husband Andre was also the announcer. Monday Merry-Go-Round (NBC Blue 1941-1942) and Starlight Serenade (Mutual 1944) (Source).

Bea Wain, singer on CBS Radios popular music program, Your Hit Parade. Here, She applies makeup. Image dated October 1, 1940. New York, NY.
Bea Wain, singer on CBS Radios popular music program, Your Hit Parade. Here, She applies makeup. Image dated October 1, 1940. New York, NY. Source: Getty Images
Bea Wain in General Electric ad 1940s
Source: Pinterest

During WW2 while her husband served overseas, Bea would do her part by performing at Army Camps and Naval Bases for the troops. Upon his return they would go on to host a radio program called “Mr. and Mrs. Music,” a daily program on WMCA in New York, on which they doubled as disc jockeys and interviewers.

Bea Wain with her husband, Andre Baruch, at WMCA in 1947.
Source: NY Times

In 1973, the couple moved to Palm Beach, Florida, where they had a similar radio show before relocating to Beverly Hills. During the early 1980s, the pair hosted a syndicated version of “Your Hit Parade”, reconstructing the list of hits of selected weeks in the 1940s and playing the original recordings on-air (Source).

Around the same time, Bea was featured on TV’s “Jukebox Saturday Night”. She was sensational, proving that her voice was still very much intact and that she was still a force to be reckoned with.

Bea passed away this year at the age of 100 on August 19th, 2017 (Andre passed in 1991).

In a 2004 interview with Christopher Popa, Wain reflected: “Actually, I’ve had a wonderful life, a wonderful career. And I’m still singing, and I’m still singing pretty good (Source).

Thank You for all the music.

Other Awesome Facts about Bea:

Bea Wain Billboard 1943 Image
Source: Wikipedia

*Ms. Wain was voted most popular female band vocalist in Billboard’s 1939 college poll (Ella Fitzgerald was second) (Source).

*She is considered by many to be one of the best female vocalists of her era, possessing a natural feel for swing-music rhythms not often found among white singers of the day. With regard to technique, she excelled in pitch and subtle utilization of dynamics. She also communicated a feminine sensuality and sang with conviction in an unforced manner (Source).

*Wain was also the first artist to record the Harold Arlen-Yip Harburg classic “Over the Rainbow” (on December 7, 1938, with Clinton’s orchestra), but MGM prohibited the release until The Wizard of Oz (1939) had opened and audiences heard Judy Garland perform it (Source).

Other Hits (not a complete list):

(Video Link)

Friends, I hope you enjoyed learning about this beautiful and talented star of the Big Band Era. I had heard of Bea in passing, but did not realize what a true talent she was until now. Bea will be on rotation on my playlist going forth and she will always be mentioned when discussing the women of the big band era.

Question Time: Have you heard of Bea Wain? If yes then please share your favorite song in the comments below, I would love to know what it is!

For further reading please check out my blog post: ‘Women of the Big Band Era that Everyone Should Know.

**Bea made $50 a week (about $870 in today’s dollars) working every night all summer with the Clinton band at Glen Island and only $30 for a three-hour session recording four songs. That meant that while songs like “My Reverie” and “Deep Purple” reaped a fortune for others, she made all of about $7.50 (or about $130 today) for each song (Source).

The 2017 Christmas Kitsch Roundup!

It’s my favorite time of the year, the Christmas Season! And what is a Vintage Christmas without some Kitschy items to fill your home with (or gift to your dearest friends & family).

Today’s post is a roundup of fun vintage kitschy Christmas items that you can pick up right now, because everyone deserves to have a Merry Kitschmas!

Kitsch 1950s christmas card
Source: Vintascope

1950s Vintage Metal Christmas Tree Spinning Spinner, and it works! (Buy HERE).

1950s Vintage Metal Christmas Tree Spinning Spinner Toy Tin Santa Molto Retro Kitsch
Source: Etsy

1950’s Christmas Flocking Deer Ornaments (Buy HERE).

1950's Christmas Flocking Deer Ornaments
Source: Etsy

1950’s Vintage Ornaments (Various Sellers).

Vintage Christmas 1950s ornaments
Source: Etsy

Vintage 1950s Christmas Double Sided Honey Comb (Buy HERE).

Vintage 1950s Christmas Kitsch Antique Center Piece Double Sided Honey Comb
Source: Etsy
Vintage 1950s Christmas Kitsch Antique Center Piece Double Sided Honey Comb
Source: Etsy

Vintage 1950’s Cookie Cutters In Original Box (Buy HERE).

Vintage 1950's Cookie Cutters In Original Box
Source: Etsy

1950’s Reindeer Figurine, mom and baby (Buy HERE).

1950's Vintage Reindeer figurine mom and baby
Source: Etsy

Poinsettia Bells Girls, Lipper & Mann Figurines (Buy HERE).

Vintage Noel Poinsettia Bells Girls Lipper Mann Christmas w/box Figurine
Source: Etsy

Vintage 1950’s shelf doily (Buy HERE).

1950's Christmas Doily Vintage
Source: Etsy

Dead Stock 1950’s Jewelry Box (Buy HERE).

Vintage Kitsch Jewelry Box Pastel 1950s
Source: Etsy

Vintage Felt Stocking Card Holder (Buy HERE).

Vintage Pink & Gold Felt Stocking Christmas Card Holder
Source: Etsy

Vintage Florida Christmas Postcards (Buy HERE).

Vintage Florida Christmas postcards set of 2 1950s
Source: Etsy

50s paper napkins still in their original packaging (Buy HERE).

50s paper napkins still in their original packaging
Source: Etsy

Thanks for stopping by everyone! So did something catch your eye, or is Christmas Kitsch not your thing? Share in the comments below.

P.S. Don’t forget, that if something has caught your eye in this post to buy asap! All the items are vintage and when they are gone, they are gone.

Merry Kitschmas!


Vintage Photo Tuesday-The 1949 Dance Teachers Strike

Some time around 1949 according to the LIFE archives, Arthur Murray dance teachers went on strike. I don’t know for how long, exactly where, and if 1949 was the actual date but it happened and LIFE was there to document it. Today’s Vintage Photo Tuesday is going to take you through that day.

But before we begin I would like to start off by saying that it was a slightly odd picket line. Yes there was your standard strike signs, but there was also women in swimsuits, a shirtless barefooted man, people dressed in different time period fashions, face masks, conga lines and of course lots of dancing.

Gosh, sounds like a fun strike to me!

LIFE Dancing Teachers Strike Sept 9th, 1949 Vintage Image
Source: Google/LIFE

“Working at Arthur Murrays isn’t just a song and dance. We want job security!”

LIFE Dancing Teachers Strike Sept 9th, 1949 Vintage Image
Source: Google/LIFE

“My master leads a dog’s life at Arthur Murrays studio”

LIFE Dancing Teachers Strike Sept 9th, 1949 Vintage Image 6
Source: Google/LIFE

“An Arthur Murray Teacher on Arthur Murray wages”. This seems to mean she can only afford a sweater, shorts and dance shoes. MAYBE that is why the women are wandering around in their swimsuits, to show that they can’t even afford a shirt on their back (same with our shirtless/barefooted man)?

LIFE Dancing Teachers Strike Sept 9th, 1949 Vintage Image 8
Source: Google/LIFE
LIFE Dancing Teachers Strike Sept 9th, 1949 Vintage Image10
Source: Google/LIFE
LIFE Dancing Teachers Strike Sept 9th, 1949 Vintage Image
Source: Google/LIFE
LIFE Dancing Teachers Strike Sept 9th, 1949 Vintage Image 11
Source: Google/LIFE
LIFE Dancing Teachers Strike Sept 9th, 1949 Vintage Image 14
Source: Google/LIFE

Early 1900’s Fashion made an appearance at the strike.

LIFE Dancing Teachers Strike Sept 9th, 1949 Vintage Image 5
Source: Google/LIFE

Charleston and 1920’s women’s fashion.

LIFE Dancing Teachers Strike Sept 9th, 1949 Vintage Image 9
Source: Google/LIFE
LIFE Dancing Teachers Strike Sept 9th, 1949 Vintage Image 15
Source: Google/LIFE
LIFE Dancing Teachers Strike Sept 9th, 1949 Vintage Image 13
Source: Google/LIFE

There are no descriptions to any of the images but this does look like the negotiation table. Or at least the place where all the demands were being collected.

LIFE Dancing Teachers Strike Sept 9th, 1949 Vintage Image 7
Source: Google/LIFE
LIFE Dancing Teachers Strike Sept 9th, 1949 Vintage Image 12
Source: Google/LIFE

That is the end of our dancing/striking teachers photos. I do hope their demands were met and dance was once again enjoyed by all that stepped into their studios.

UPDATE (Nov 30th): Thank you to Jeff Kellem (@composerjk) for shedding some light on the strike for us. It seems that there might of been multiple strikes in 1947 (not 1949). The image below is from New York city and the caption states 1947 as the year (Source).

Dancers Picket Arthur Murray Studio
Source: Huffington Post

As for the demands that the dance teachers were looking for, thanks to the civil suit Jeff found entitled ‘Gomez v United Office and Professional Workers’ we now have some insight.

Here is what they wanted:

Defendants and the dance studios of Arthur Murray in New York are engaged in a controversy concerning the terms and conditions of employment of Arthur Murray’s dancing instructors in New York. This controversy concerns minimum wages, union recognition, job security, grievance procedure and an alleged lockout of dancing instructors employed in the New York studio (Source).

Lastly Jeff also believes that the images in my post are from a Chicago because the Cable Building (57 East Jackson Building), on 57 E. Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL is in the image (GREAT EYE Jeff!)

Now dear readers, if any of you know anything more about the strike please share in the comments below. Thanks!


The Fashions of Christian Dior 1947-1957

Opening this weekend in Toronto at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is the ‘Christian Dior Exhibition‘ and this Vintage Gal is biting at the bit to see it. I know it’s going to be an incredible exhibit with some of the most stunning dresses in the world.

Christian Dior Exhibit at ROM Toronto

Vintage Dior is dreamy and of course historical because Christian Dior was the one who broke the wartime rigid mold of women’s fashion (mostly due to the rationing of fabric) and created the “New Look” in 1947. This look was filled with tight-fitting jackets with padded hips, petite waists, A-line skirts, and lots of use of fabric (as seen below). Quite a change from the previous decades of fashion and this look (plus extensions of this style) would go on to dominate the fashion world for several years.

dior New Look

“It’s quite a revolution, dear Christian! Your dresses have such a new look!” Carmel Snow, the former editor-in-chief of the American edition of “Harper’s Bazaar,” said these words after Dior’s debut fashion show in Paris, on February 12, 1947 (Source).

For today’s post I want to take a walk down memory lane of some of the most beautiful vintage dresses the house of Dior created between 1947-57. I have also included a video of a fashion show, vintage ads/covers and even dresses you can buy today (if you have the money).

Dior New Look vintage modeling image

“Cherie” (Spring/Summer 1947) exemplifies the “New Look” in all its salient elements: sloped shoulder, raised bustline, narrowed waist, and a monumental volume of skirt falling away from a padded hip line to below the calf (Source).

Dior New Look 1947 1948 vintage dress
Source: Metropolitan Museum of Art

One of the biggest fans of the Dior New Look was Princess Margaret, seen below in a stunning dress (lots of fabric used in this dress).

Princess Margaret in Dior 1950s
Source: Frock Advisor


Christian Dior 1949 1950 dress
Source: The Lady and Him

Jean Patchett modeling Dior, 1951.

Jean Patchett modeling Dior, 1951
Source: Pinterest

Cygne Noir Dress 1949-50 from the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Christian Dior 1949 Dress From Victoria and Albert Musuem
Source: The Red List

Christian Dior with model Dorothy Emms, 1952.

Christian Dior with model Dorothy Emms, 1952
Source: Another Mag

This image of a model wearing a gray Dior suit outside the Louvre Metro station was photographed by Mark Shaw in Paris in 1957 for LIFE magazine.

Christian dior 1957 vintage image
Source: The Red List

Christian Dior with models, c.1950.

Christian Dior with models, c.1950
Source: Another Mag

UK Vogue 1953 Magazine Advertisement Dior Evening Gown Sold at Harrods London.

UK Vogue 1953 Magazine Advertisement CHRISTIAN DIOR Evening Gown Sold at Harrods London
Source: Pinterest

Dior 1952.

Christian Dior 1952 vintage ad
Source: Pinterest

Dresses for Sale:

Couture Dior 1950s Silk Taffeta and Lace Ballgown. Price available upon request.

Couture Dior 1950s Silk Taffeta and Lace Ballgown
Source: 1stdibs

1950s Christian Dior Dress / 50s Navy Blue Lace New look Dress. Listed for $1800 cdn on etsy.

1950s Christian Dior Dress 50s Navy Blue Lace New look Dress
Source: Etsy

This is an incredible numbered Christian Dior from the 1950s. At the time of this post, it was also for sale on 1stdibs for $2,000 cdn.

1950s New Look Christian Dior Gold Silk Bow Dress
Source: 1stdibs

Christian Dior 1956 haute couture numbered off white silk Femme Fleur look ball gown Wedding Made in France. Listed for $45,000 cdn. Here is the dress and the image from a promotional ad (I love when you find the matching original image).

Christian Dior 1956 haute couture numbered off white silk Femme Fleur look ball gown Wedding Made in France
Source: Etsy
1956 Christian Dior
Source: Etsy

Dior on video:

I hope you enjoyed the beauty that is early Dior and if you are in Toronto or visiting Toronto between now and March 2018 make sure you check out the exhibit.

Question Time: Do you have a favorite outfit featured above? If so share in the comments below!

Liz 🙂

A Peek Inside The MZTV Museum of Television & Archive

It’s great having a new and modern Television but there is just something special and beautiful about TV’s of the past (Don’t you agree?) So you can imagine my excitement when I was recently able to pay a private visit to Toronto’s MZTV Museum of Television & Archive thanks to Zoomer Radio. It was an incredible visit with so much history under one roof that I need to go back to make sure I did not miss anything.

Museum of Television Toronto

For today’s blog post I am going to give you a peek, just a peek into what the museum has to offer because if possible I want you to go and see it sometime yourself (so why ruin all the surprises in this post).

Museum Of Television Toronto Ontario Canada

Mission Statement:

The MZTV Museum and Archive seeks to protect, preserve and promote the Receiving Instruments of Television History. Whereas other North American Museums of Broadcasting feature Programs, ours is unique in its focus on the History of the Technology, as well as on the Sets Themselves.

Together with related original papers, discs, books, magazines, toys and other ephemera the collection offers some 10,000 objects to scholars and students as well as the general public.

The Museum’s mandate is to exhibit the world’s most comprehensive collection of North American Television Receivers for the formative fifty-year period from the 1920s to the 1970s. The MZTV Museum also aims to tell the story of the medium and to contribute to the understanding of the impact of television on the people who watch it

Museum Of Television Toronto Ontario Canada

Lets begin with the Pioneers of Television section. This was a great high level overview of all the important people who made Televisions possible. I enjoyed this intro because it really set a nice tone for the rest of the museum tour.

Don’t like reading? No worries the museum also has a wonderful FREE app you can download with audio of the content, extra images and videos to give a little more to what is featured in front of you. The app was a great addition to my tour.

The pioneers of Television vintage inn blog museum of television

Now before reading ahead, who of my readers knows what role ‘Felix the Cat’ played in the beginning of Television? If you know the answer, pat yourself on the back and then continue reading below.

Felix the Cat the original Museum of Television

The Answer: Pictured above is the original papier-mache figurine of Felix purchased at F.A.O. Shwartz in NYC. This figurine of Felix would become Televisions first star when RCA would first transmit his image from the Empire State Building in 1928 and then again in 1939 for the first commercial television broadcast. This was a lead up to the formal unveiling of Televisions at New York World’s Fair.

Once you leave Felix on his turntable, the museum has you move to various sections that explain how Televisions were formed, how they worked, what they looked like in different era’s plus various other tidbits. Here are some images of those displays.

Museum of Television 1930s tv

1930’s-1940’s Televisions (just a sample of what they have).

Museum of Television image 4

Museum of Television 1930s 1940s tv

1950’s-1960’s. LOVE these TV’s. They are just so cool!

Museum of Television 1950s

It’s all about the details.

Museum of Television 1950s 1960s TV

Sample from the the space age TV’s.

Space Age vintage televison at Musuem of Television

There were so many stunning Television’s but I think the one that stood out the most for me was this 1950’s West Germany, Komet. You would need nothing else in your room but this work of art (also housing a turntable).

vintage televison at Museum of Television

Beyond showing the timeline of Television sets, the museum also plays hosts to 3 special sets.

Up first this lucite beauty from RCA shown at the 1939 World’s Fair in NYC (The ONLY one in the world).

Vintage Television Lucite world fair television

The 1939 World’s Fair was the first time many people had their first look at television and the centerpiece was the Phantom TRK-12 shown above, whose cabinet was made of transparent Lucite. Having the transparent casing convinced skeptics that TV really worked and wasn’t all smoke-and-mirrors. The TRK-12 had the CRT facing straight up, and the screen was watched by looking into a mirror (Source).

1939 RCA Transparent TRK-12 Television at the World's Fair

The next special TV is Elvis Presley’s early 1970’s set that was situated on the counter in his kitchen (which was very uncommon at that time).

Elvis Presley 1970s Television

It was a tiny TV as you can see below.

Elvis Presley kitchen 1970s

First Elvis, now a 1957 Magnavox Television from Marilyn Monroe (seen to the left in the tableau below).

marilyn monroe 1950s television

The last part of my visit had a stop at the archives portion of the museum and it was jam-packed with advertising, books, photos and so much more. It was very cool to see (I adore anything archive related) and a great resource for anyone in the field or in need of historic information.

Museum of Television Toronto Archives 1

Museum of Television Toronto Archives 1

And that was my wonderful visit. Thank you to the fantastic staff for answering my questions and allowing me into the archives portion of the museum. I enjoyed myself immensely and I look forward to my next visit.

NOW it’s your turn! If you live in Toronto or are visiting Toronto soon (or someday), then make sure you make time to stop by the Museum you won’t regret it!

  • Location: 64 Jefferson Ave, Toronto, Ontario Canada
  • MZTV is open Tuesday-Friday: 2pm-5pm
    Saturday-Monday: Closed
  • Pricing:
    • Adults $10
    • Seniors and Students $5
    • Groups 10+ $5/person
    • CARP Members FREE
    • Children 12 and under FREE

Question Time: What style of vintage Television do you like? Share in the comments below.


Vintage Photo Tuesday: WW2 Canadian Women on the Home Front (Part 2)

Saturday is Remembrance Day, so this week I would like to dedicate ‘Vintage Photo Tuesday‘ to the Canadian Women on the WW2 Home Front. This post is also part of a previous one I did last year, that you can view HERE.

Out of a Canadian wartime population of more than 11 million, 261,000 women worked in Canadian war industries, 400,000 in the civilian workforce, 760,000 on farms and countless others in the home and in the volunteer sector.

Women’s enthusiasm for helping out on the home front was anticipated by Alice Sorby of Winnipeg who recalled in 1940, “In September 1939 when the thunder of war first crashed about our ears, the immediate reaction was an almost hysterical desire to do something….” (Source).

Here are those brave women in action….

Female loggers (‘lumberjills’) in the Queen Charlotte Islands, BC. April 1943

Female loggers (‘lumberjills') in the Queen Charlotte Islands, BC. April 1943
Source: Library and Archives Canada PA-116147

Actress Mary Pickford posing with a group of employees during her visit to the General Engineering Company (Canada) munitions factory, June 5, 1943.

Actress Mary Pickford posing with a group of employees during her visit to the General Engineering Company (Canada) munitions factory, June 5, 1943.
Source: Archives of Canada

Young woman working in the cabin of bomber being manufactured at the Fairchild plant in Montreal on May 19, 1941.


Off to work in Edmonton 1943.

Canadian Women arrive for work in Edmonton 1943 vintage photo
Source: Legion Magazine

A welder works on a Bren gun at John Inglis Company Ltd., 1942.

A welder works on a Bren gun at John Inglis Company Ltd 1942 vintage photo
Source: Legion Magazine

Women volunteers from Canadian Red Cross assemble packages for prisoners of war in 1942.

1940s Canadian Women helping on the homefront vintage photo
Source: Wikipedia

Starting in 1942, Vancouver’s Burrard Drydock hired more than 1,000 women. Here we see the union’s shop stewards eating in the shipyard canteen, ca. 1942 (Source).

Canadian Women working in a shipyard 1940s vintage photo
Source: Open Text BC

Workers producing primers.

1940s canadian women on the homefront producing primers in a factory vintage image
Source: War Museum

Start your Victory Garden today!

Victory Garden 1940s Canada Ad Vintage
Source: Gulf of Georgia Cannery

1942, knitters working on the BC Telephone Co. War Effort Programme in Victoria. It was a group of ladies coming together to sit, talk, and knit scarves and socks for the men fighting overseas (Source).

1940s Gulf of Georgia Cannery Knit In Vintage Image of women on the homefront
Source: Gulf of Georgia Cannery
1940s Canadian Fraser Valley Propaganda Poster for Homefront vintage ad
Source: Mothers of the Home Front

While looking for photos to share, I came across a fantastic 10 min Canadian Documentary entitled ‘The Home Front‘ by Stanley Hawes (seen below).

This short documentary is part of the Canada Carries On series of morale-boosting wartime propaganda films. In Home Front, the various WWII-era social contributions of women are highlighted. From medicine to industrial labour to hospitality, education and domesticity, the service these women provided to their country is lauded. (Video Link)

Friends…If you are interested to read other posts I have created around the Canadian WW2 Home Front, the links are below.


The Vintage Side of Zoomer Radio + Boo Bash 2017

I’m a big fan of vintage music, especially music from the 1920’s-1960s. Swing, Blues, Jazz, Rock n Roll and I have quite a big collection of music in my possession (well I think it’s big). However even though I have all this music at my finger tips, sometimes I want to change-up and have someone else supply the soundtrack from my day and this is where radio stations will give me the fix I’m looking for.

Insert ZOOMER RADIO in Toronto. It’s a station that plays timeless classics (music from the 1920’s and up, in various styles) and also has several vintage radio programs that are right up my alley and I know my readers as well.

So I’m excited to announce that I will be working with them on a more frequent basis to bring awesome vintage content (20’s-60’s) for my readers and for their listeners as well. Stay Tuned (hehehe Radio Pun)!

zoomer radio logo

Now what exactly does Zoomer have that the Vintage Inn readers might like? Well that is easy. Lots of great vintage programs! Check out my suggestions below and then mark you calendars to listen to them live or online (for anyone outside of Toronto).

Toronto's Zoomer Radio Vintage shows

Big Band Sunday Night with George Jonescu (Sundays 7-11pm) –Vintage Inn Fav!

For the Blues Music Fans-Midnight Blue with Ziggy (Monday-Thursday 12am-1am): Songs from the 1930s and 40s that were never played on radio, and more recent songs teetering ‘on the edge’.

Robbie Remembers 60s, 70s & 80’s (Monday-Friday 6pm-10pm): In Toronto, Robbie Lane and The Disciples were one of the city’s top bands, and now, decades later, Robbie Lane continues the rock’n’roll tradition – he plays the clubs on weekends, and hosts two hours of great oldies you just won’t hear anywhere else – ‘The Sixties at Six’, remembering the British Invasion, surfing, folk-rock and Motown, and then ‘The Seventies at Seven’ with the great singer-songwriters like James Taylor, Carole King, and the pop stars like ABBA, Three Dog Night, Elton John and Fleetwood Mac. Robbie Lane will also be talking about the top Eighties hits at Eight.

Saturday Night Bandstand (Saturday’s 7pm-1am): Neil Hedley helps you dust off your dancing shoes with everything from rock and roll to disco, including your requests!

Theatre of the Mind (Monday-Friday 10pm-11pm): Frank Proctor selects, and then describes some of the greatest shows from the golden age of radio — the 1930s and 1940s — like The Shadow and Fibber McGee & Molly. A half-hour of drama, mystery or suspense is followed by a half-hour of comedy — Vintage Inn Fav!

Vintage Favourites (Every Sunday 2-4pm): Gene Stevens hosts this weekly adventure into truly vintage music –from 1950s and 60s… and way back to the 20s, 30s, and 40s as well. Vintage Favourites is AM740’s weekly adventure into the music of the past … radio veteran, music historian and story-teller, Gene Stevens puts the spotlight on a new theme. –Vintage Inn Fav!

The British Invasion (Saturdays 6-7pm): The British Invasion will proudly feature the terrific acts that came out of England with Cliff Richard in the late 50s, through the glory days of Merseybeat and Beatlemania, with countless groups and singers from The Pacemakers, Animals, Searchers and Herman’s Hermits, to the Stones, Kinks, Small Faces, DC5, and Moody Blues – and of course, Dusty Springfield, Tom Jones, Donovan, Pet Clark, Manfred Mann, Peter & Gordon..and so many others.

Consignment Heroes (Sundays 1pm-2pm): Consignment Heroes is hosted by Paul Kenny, his son Bogart Kenny and Zoomer’s Ben Mercer. Listen and call in for advice on: appraisals, collections, how to store stuff, dispose of or sell stuff in the best way.

Happy Listening Friends!

P.S. Scroll down to see the Halloween party we attended at the station.

Vintage Radio, child listening to it

Beyond their radio programs they also host events, like their most recent ‘Live To Air Boo Bash featuring the Dreamboats‘ that myself and a few friends attended. The night was so much fun! We danced to awesome 50’s music from The Dreamboats (go and see them if they are in a town near you), ate yummy foods and met so many wonderful employees and listeners of the radio station. I enjoyed every minute. There was even a costume contest for $250 and my friend Jacquie the creator of the Toronto Vintage Society was a finalist. In the end the most beautiful woman who was in her 80’s won the grand prize and it was well deserved (seen below).

Zoomer Radio Boo Bash Costume Contest
Source: Zoomer

Below are some of the photos I took and then please visit the link HERE to check out Zoomer’s images.

And the prize for most non creative costume goes to….ME! I went as my “own character” from GREASE called “leggs”. I just ran out of time to bring something new to the table this year.

The Vintage Inn Blog Grease Costume Halloween 2017

Yours Truly & Toronto Vintage Society’s, Jacquie (finalist in the best costume contest).

The Vintage Inn Blog & Toronto Vintage Society Halloween 2017

My awesome friends.

Zoomer Radio Boo Bash 2017

The Dreamboats in action!

The Dreamboats 1950s 1960s Band

Photo with the band and friends in between their sets.

The Dreamboats at Zoomer Radio Boo Bash 2017

And that is a wrap. I’m hope you enjoyed learning all about this awesome radio station and when you get a chance, check out some of their vintage programs I mentioned above.

Question Time: Do you have any vintage radio stations you like to listen to? If so share in the comments below.



Vintage Photo Tuesday-The Halloween Edition Part 2

Happy Halloween Everyone! Vintage Photo Tuesday this week is in the spirit of all things Halloween.

1950s Photo of a boy carving a pumpkin vintage
Source: Etsy

What happens when 2 clowns come to a Halloween Party? They clown around!

1955 vintage halloween photo of 2 little girls dressed as clowns

The littlest Boxer.

1950s little boy as a boxer halloween costume vintage photo

Taking a break from all the party fun-1955.

1955 vintage photo of 3 girls in halloween costumes

Children at a Halloween party at Highlands Community Hall in 1948 (Edmonton, Canada).

1940s Kids Halloween Party vintage image edmonton Canada

Bobbing for apples is a must at a Halloween Party. -1949-

1949 Halloween Party bobbing for apples vintage photo
Source: City of Edmonton

Snap Apple-an apple is suspended from a string and the players try to take a bite.

Vintage image of children playing snap apple 1940s

Rum and Coke! Such creative costumes. -1954-

1954 vintage halloween costume photo 2 adults dressed as pop bottles

Continuing with alcohol as a costume. It’s an Molson Export (A Canadian Beer)! Inuvik, 28 October 1961. Audrey Wark (school teacher) at Halloween party in the single staff quarters.

1961 vintage halloween photo molson export costume

Inuvik, 28 October 1961. Lorna and Lee Post (Northern Affairs Administrator) at a Halloween party in the single staff quarters.

1961 vintage halloween photo of country and western costume

1930’s Royalty.

Source: Florida Views

1935 Trick or Treating.

1935 kids trick or treating vintage photo

Side Fact: Halloween in Canada-Largely considered a holiday for children, Scottish and Irish immigrants brought Halloween to Canada in the 1800s. As a non-religious, non-ethnic, and non-political holiday Halloween quickly became popular (Source).

Have a wonderful Halloween Friends!

Before you go make sure you check out PART 1 of this series for more Halloween Vintage Photos.


1928-Canada’s First Female Olympic Medalists

October is Women’s History Month and the Toronto Archives has been posting on and off some wonderful photos of Canadian Women who achieved great things in life. One of the recent photos was the one below. It’s from 1928 and features 7 women from the Canadian Olympic team heading off to forge their place in sports history.

1928 Canadian women heading to Summer Olympics Vintage Photo
Source: Toronto Archives

So who exactly were these women and did they achieve their Olympic dreams? Lets find out in today’s blog post….

The 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam was a milestone for women in Canada as this would be the first time they would be allowed to participate at these games and in Track and Field (Note: In 1924 the Winter Olympics did have 15-year-old Canadian, Cecil Smith but that was all that was sent). Canada would end up sending 6 women for track and field and 1 more who was sponsored privately and was a swimmer (Source).

1928 summer olympics poster
Source: Wikipedia

Who are the women that participated?

Myrtle Cook, Jean Thompson, Ethel Smith, Ethel Catherwood, Fannie Rosenfeld, Florence Bell and Dorothy Prior.

The track and field team were nicknamed the “Matchless Six” and Canadians had high hopes for these ladies of speed and strength (even though there were many that felt that women participating in the Olympics was controversial).

Canada's women's team at the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics.
Check out the stylish 1920’s flapper inspired Uniforms. Don’t the ladies look so good? Source: Huffington Post

How did they do?

That year Canada sent 69 Athletes to the games and took home 4 Gold’s, 4 Silver’s and 7 Bronze and ranked 10th in the world. Where did our women place?

Fannie “Bobbie” Rosenfeld – Was considered the best all around athlete on the team, competing in both track and field. She did not disappoint and went on to win the gold medal for the 400 meter relay, a silver for the 100 meter (in a photo finish), and a fifth place in the 800 meter. Rosenfeld scored more points for her country than any other athlete at the Games, male or female (source).

Fanny “Bobbie” Rosenfeld vintage image
Source: Women of Valor

The 800 Meter Race Controversy – The most controversial race for women at this time. Why? Two full laps around the track, at full speed was considered too stressful for the delicate female body.

Rosenfeld was never supposed to be in this race, as 17-year-old Jean Thompson was set to run it and considered a medal contestant. Jean had hurt herself in training before the games and now found herself extremely nervous before the big race, so Bobbie was asked to race with her to encourage and support her teammate. This turned out to be a good idea because Jean did in fact falter (due to being hit by another runner) and Rosenfeld would then run from the back of the pack to beside Jean and let her finish ahead in fourth place while she took fifth.Their team manager Gibb called it “one of the finest exhibitions of sportsmanship ever witnessed on any track”.

At the finish line, 5 of the women that ran the race collapsed at the end due to “giving it all they had”.

1928 800 metre summer olympics womens race
The Start of the Race. Source: Go Feet

The media felt differently about this race though and would end up going on the attack saying things like, “it was hysterical” and “the competitors were floundering all over the place” (from an Australian publication called the Bulletin). The London Times called it a “warning for women’s athletics in general” and Harper’s Magazine deemed the competitors “wretched women (Source).”

1928 summer olympics 800 metres controversary article
Source: Sport in American History

Sadly the press was looking for failure even when failure was not there.

I am very proud of Bobbie & Jean personally!


Myrtle Cook – #675 below. In this photo 15-year-old Myrtle is show winning the preliminary heat in the women’s 100m race against Norma Wilson of New Zealand and Bets ter Horst of Netherlands on July 30, 1928 (Source).

Myrtle’s Olympic journey was not an easy one at first, as she ended up being disqualified from the 100m finals for 2 false starts. She would bounce back by running the last leg of the 4 x 100-metre relay securing a first place finish for the Canadian relay team made up of Cook, Jane Bell, Ethel Smith, and Bobbie Rosenfeld.

1928 Summer Olympics women's running
Source: Wikipedia


Ethel_Catherwood_1928 Canada summer olympics
Source: Wikipedia

Ethel Catherwood (above) – Nicknamed “Saskatoon Lily”, Ethel’s sport in 1928 was High Jump and she had a Gold Medal victory by jumping 1.59 metres defeating dutchwoman Lien Gisolf.

Ethel Catherwood

This win was the first ever gold medal awarded to a female high jumper and she holds the title as the only Canadian female athlete to have won an individual gold medal in an Olympic track and field event.


Ethel Smith (Below) –  Ethel would go on to win the Bronze in the 100 meter with Bobbie as well as Gold in the 4 x 100 m rely.

Ethel Smith 1928 Summer Olympics Canada
Source: Wikipedia


Jane Bell – Helped bring home the Gold in the 4 x 100 m relay at the young age of 18.

Jane Bell 1928 Summer Olympics
Source: Canadian Sports History


Dorothy Prior the swimmer on the team and competed in the women’s 200 metre breaststroke (at the age of 16). She would come in fourth place. Unfortunately I have not been able to find any other photos, beyond the one at the very beginning of Dorothy.


More Milestones: Did you know that their wins equaled 25% of Canada’s medal haul and they were the only country to win more than one gold across the five track and field events in Amsterdam? That is an incredible! (source)

1928 womens olympic team the matchless 6 vintage image
Source: Canadian Sports History

What happened when they got home?

“The Matchless Six” returned to ticker-tape parades in Toronto and Montreal. The press estimated that 200 000 people jammed Toronto’s Union Station and adjacent Front Street and another 100 000 lined the parade route (Source).

BUT the “Controversy” of sending women to the Summer Olympics (especially after the 800 meter race), was not forgotten and the IAAF voted to keep women athletics, but in a much limited form: They removed the long jump, shot put, 200 metres and 800 metres from the realm of women’s competition.

It would be 32 years before women would be permitted to run the 800-metre race at the Olympics again (Source).

1960s olympics 800 metre womens race
1960’s Women’s 800 metre race


Friends that is the story of Canada’s first female Olympians, I hope you enjoyed learning all about these amazing women and their journey to making history and the struggles that they had to endure and overcome. I know I sure did!




Vintage Photo Tuesday: 1940’s Street Style

Many of the online searches that find their way to my blog is for “1930’s-1950’s Fashion ideas”. So I thought for this week’s Vintage Photo Tuesday, I would find some well dressed “regular folks” images from the 1940’s and share them with all of you. Then future VPT’s will focus on the other timelines.

Let’s check out the 40’s Street Style!

1940s couple vintage photo
Source: Etsy
1940s happy couple vintage image
Source: Etsy

Peacock brooches are always a good choice to brighten up a standard black jacket.

1940's african american woman in coat vintage image
Source: Etsy

I’m having serious hair envy with this young lady and that is why she is in this collection.

1940s young woman on the street vintage image
Source: Etsy

I admire a man who can wear swim trunks with seashells and seahorses on them and look good while doing it. These are pretty awesome and totally deserve to be on this list.

1940s man in a swimsuit vintage image
Source: Etsy

Fantastic hat for the win!

1940s vintage photo of woman in hat with feathers
Source: Etsy
Vintage Photo of Two Friends at Cannon Beach, Oregon, 1940's
Source: Etsy
1940s woman at a fountain, vintage image
Source: Etsy

The man in this image may have a hurt hand but I can’t stop looking at the cool “woods style” that these 3 finely dressed folks have.

1940s photo of 2 women and man vintage image
Source: Etsy

1940’s winter style.

1940s young women in warm coats vintage photo
Source: Etsy

Thelma Porter, Miss Subways New York City, 1948. Thelma was the first woman to integrate a beauty contest in America and became the first African American Miss Subways in April, 1948.

1948 miss subway vintage image
Source: Pinterest
1940s image of a woman in a black jumper
Source: Etsy

A handsome sailor with his beautiful mother.

1940s image of sailor with his mother vintage
Source: Etsy

Another outstanding hat partnered with a well dressed man at the world famous Leon & Eddie’s in NYC.

1940s vintage photo of a couple in a restaurant
Source: Etsy


We now have come to the end of this weeks post, but due to the fact that I found so many images for this weeks post, I will most likely do a part 2 in the future (exciting!).

Question Time: What photo was your favorite look from above? Share in the comments below.