Heard on Public, Community and University Radio Stations across the US
Make Believe Ballroom

Make Believe Ballroom

The Make Believe Ballroom carries on the traditions of past hosts Martin Block, Al Jarvis, William B Williams, and Steve Allen by bringing you the greatest hits of the 1930s and 1940s.

The Make Believe Ballroom hit the airwaves over WNEW radio in NY on February 3, 1935. With the exception of brief periods, the program has been broadcast almost continuously since then. Jeff Bressler is the current host of The Make Believe Ballroom.

No cover, no minimum, just sit back and enjoy. The Ballroom is heard across the U.S. on public broadcasting, community, and college radio stations. The Ballroom is also available through your favorite podcast provider.

You are invited to record a request! Just click on the microphone on the lower right of the page!

Recent Episodes

Make Believe Ballroom - 3/27/23 Edition

March 27, 2023

Join us for this week's edition of the MAKE BELIEVE BALLROOM as we tell a Sinatra story and read a wonderful listener email about autographs along with our usual assortment of fantastic tales and music from the beloved big b…

Make Believe Ballroom - 3/20/23 Edition

March 20, 2023

On this week's edition of the MAKE BELIEVE BALLROOM, a look at Billy May, some tremendous British swing and dance band music, a comedian songwriter, and a plethora of additional stories and music from the wonderful big band …

Make Believe Ballroom - 3/12/23 Edition

March 13, 2023

On this week's edition of the MAKE BELIEVE BALLROOM the first time ever heard on record, or seen on film for two legendary celebrities, a look at something heard in the background for decades that we don't think much about p…

Make Believe Ballroom - 3/5/23 edition

March 6, 2023

On this week's edition of the MAKE BELIEVE BALLROOM a little remembered band, some British dance band music, a Benny Goodman question, a cowboy tune, a state song plus a wide array of great music from the big band era of the…

Make Believe Ballroom - 2/26/23 Edition

Feb. 27, 2023

On this week's edition of the MAKE BELIEVE BALLROOM a look at combining talent to produce some wonderful records at Brunswick and Decca, a Bing Crosby duet partner, a look at a singer who walked away from fame as well as our…

Make Believe Ballroom - 2/19/23 Edition

Feb. 20, 2023

On this week's edition of the MAKE BELIEVE BALLROOM, Fletcher Henderson arrangments led to Benny Goodman's success, a listen to a couple of "all girl" big bands of the 40s, two new Artie Shaw stories, a singer turned actor, …

About the Hosts

Jeff BresslerProfile Photo

Jeff Bressler


Jeff Bressler was an avid listener as a youth to the William B. Williams version of the Make Believe Ballroom broadcast over WNEW 1130 AM in New York.

​Bressler recently commented, "After a 30-year career in radio, I still cannot believe that I was asked to fill the shoes of past Make Believe Ballroom hosts including one of my broadcast idols William B. Williams to carry on the traditions of this wonderful program. The show had been almost continuously broadcast for the past 87 years. Hosting such an iconic program comes with a huge amount of responsibility.

I hope to keep the show going strong to it's 100th Anniversary and beyond.The 1930s and 1940s in my estimation were the golden age of American music and formed the foundation for the Great American Songbook. This music must continue to be played for generations to come."

Lenny from Down the BlockProfile Photo

Lenny from Down the Block

Virtuoso of the Virtual Turntable

Lenny is the microphone shy, buddy of Jeff Bressler who lives down the block and maintains the Make Believe Ballroom's record playlist of thousands of big band era songs. He is truly the Virtuoso of the Virtual Turntable!!

NortonProfile Photo


Studio Audience

Not his last name like Ed Norton from The Honeymooners, it's his first name. Norton lives three doors down from the Make Believe Ballroom Crystal studio and comprises the entire studio audience.