World War II is thought of as bombs being fired between countries, major economic global powers pitting against one another, weapons blasting between each other on the ground and in the water. Let us not forget the power of the radio. The radio was the television or internet of its time, used to persuade its listeners to stick to their wartime governments. Besides all of the presidential and government announcements, an even more melodic and soothing radio persuader was music.
Jazz seemed to be a universal classic enjoyed by both Axil and Allies alike. Jazz was very popular in the United States, Britain and, surprisingly enough, jazz was loved by Germans, even though Hitler was not a fan himself. The Nazi government tried to raid their radios with folk songs that were a reflection of their German ancestors. They banned much music and only permitted radios to play certain genres, such as classical.
Two famous jazz musicians are Louie Armstrong and Bing Crosby. Armstrong's hit “I Wonder” gave a soothing feeling with his sensual voice and the piano during a period of rough national struggle.
Another jazz voice is Martha Tilton. Coming from New York before America's involvement in the war, her biggest hit was “I'll Walk Alone”. This hit is a true jazz gem that sent soldiers dreaming with lyrics like “No matter how far just close your eyes and I'll be there”.
Another jazz favourite, Harry James is caught singing with his partner Helen Forrest in the classic “It's been a long, long time.” Helen steals the fame in this song but reminds its listeners the power of jazz during this epic. Considering most first world homes at the time had a radio, the impact of a president's message and a resounding jazz session added to the significance of the Second World War period.