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 - 6/27/22 Edition

June 27, 2022

Another great edition of the Make Believe Ballroom featuring an action-packed hour of some wonderful music and stories from the big band era of the 30s and 40s.

Make Believe Ballroom - 6/20/22 Edition

June 19, 2022

On this week's edition of the Make Believe Ballroom we do our twice-annual console cleaning in the Crystal Studio to remove all the sticky notes containing the names of songs and segments we did not have time for on previous…

Make Believe Ballroom - 6/13/22 Edition

June 12, 2022

On this week's edition of the Make Believe Ballroom a special look at the Hollywood Walk of Fame and some of the stars of the big band era who achieved recognition. Many big band luminaries were voted in during the inaugural…

Make Believe Ballroom - 6/6/22 Edition

June 6, 2022

On this week's edition of the Make Believe Ballroom more swinging to the classics with John Kirby. more music surrounding FDR's Presidency, how Benny Goodman spent his "down time" during his 1935 Palomar Ballroom engagement,…

RADIO REDUX – The Andrews Sisters drama wreaks havoc on Glenn Miller

June 2, 2022

The Andrews Sisters didn't play nice when they had the golden opportunity to be paired with Glenn Miller on the radio.

Make Believe Ballroom - 5/30/22 Edition

May 29, 2022

A nice test pressing, sage advice from a legend, maybe the biggest birthday party ever, the toast of NY jazz, classical music on the Make Believe Ballroom indeed. All this plus some of the great music of the big band era on …

About the Hosts

Jeff Bressler Profile 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 Block Profile 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!!

Norton Profile 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.