A Little History
It was the old 1930's and 1940's Singing Cowboy movies (Gene Autry, Tex Ritter,
Roy Rogers, Eddie Dean and the Sons of the Pioneers), popular on television in
the 1950's, that led Mike Gross into Western Music and to start his
Swingin' West radio broadcast on WSHU-FM, Fairfield, CT on Sunday,
February 17, 1980.
For many years, the program originated from and was recorded while broadcasting
live over WSHU. A DAT was sent to KTPR in Ft. Dodge, Iowa, then daisy
chained to High Plains Public Radio, KANZ and eventually on to KABL-6 in
Canadian, Texas where it was used as background behind local cable TV
service in the Lone Star State. Toward the end of the last century the show was moved to WVOF-FM, Fairfield, CT. In addition, Mike has been a guest on
other radio shows and stations to do his "Swingin' West" show.
The Sounds You'll Hear
"Everything Western" is what Mike plays on his show. It can begin with sets that
include Spade Cooley and Bob Wills (the Daddy of Western Swing) and move
from there to the Western-style tunes of the Glenn Miller Orchestra or
Frank Sinatra. The show places an emphasis on lots of fine contemporary
Western Swing, showcasing that Western Swing is alive and well. Dave
Alexander, Leon Rausch, Asleep At The Wheel, The Time Jumpers and the River Road Boys are among many that
are recording Western Swing today. Another generation of Wills can also be
heard with Bob, Johnnie Lee, Luke and Billy Jack's talented niece, Dayna
Wills and Johnnie Lee's son, John T. Wills. Of course, the show also
includes the music of the great American West of both yesterday and today.
Today's listeners can find Mike on KSEY,
Seymour, TX, KTNK, Lompac, CA, whenthecowboysings.com and www.earsradio.com as he spins his
Western Swing favorites along with those requested.
Listen to the show on a podcast all week long by clicking on "Listen Now!" on the home page or
check out the playlists below.