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 - 11/28/22 Edition

Nov. 27, 2022

A look at a famous Copywrite dispute, a stroll past a historic music building, a talented female lyricist plus a bunch of great music from the big band era.

Make Believe Ballroom - 11/21/22 Edition

Nov. 20, 2022

Join us for another great episode of the MAKE BELIEVE BALLROOM. On today's show a look at songs with female names in the title, a Lenny from Down the Block on Broadway story, a look at an email that asks for a request that h…

Make Believe Ballroom - 11/14/22 Edition

Nov. 13, 2022

On today's edition of the MAKE BELIEVE BALLROOM, a numerical email from a listener, songs about food and beverage, Jeff Bressler's tale of visiting the dairy case, and a whole lot more music and history of the big band era.

Make Believe Ballroom - 11/7/22 Edition

Nov. 7, 2022

On this week's edition of the MAKE BELIEVE BALLROOM, a look at one of the greatest female lyricists of all time, an email from a listener with a pretty strange name, some music by a Benny Goodman small group, then some indiv…

Make Believe Ballroom - 10/31/22 Edition

Oct. 30, 2022

Join us for this week's MAKE BELIEVE BALLROOM as we continue to delve into the Ralphie from Canarsie, Brooklyn record club list, Bing Crosby duets, a bizarre Artie Shaw magazine piece, and spin a few novelty songs.

Make Believe Ballroom - 10/24/22 Edition

Oct. 24, 2022

On this week's MAKE BELIEVE BALLROOM via a raffle drum, some random music selections from our famous Ralphie for Canarsie Brooklyn's list of his and his neighbor's record clubs close to 800 ranked songs from the big band era.

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.