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 5/16/22 Edition

May 15, 2022

Join Jeff Bressler for this week's Make Believe Ballroom featuring some paranoid 1940s DJs, a practical joking music legend, an enormous Chicago 1930s dance party, a comedian's checkered songwriting past, plus emails from li…

Make Believe Ballroom - 5/9/22 Edition

May 8, 2022

On this week's Make Believe Ballroom - Are there still Big Band era luminaries with us today? A battle between a bandleader and a radio celebrity. A scandalous tale. Join us for this and much more wonderful music and stories…

Make Believe Ballroom - 5/2/22 Edition

May 1, 2022

On this week's edition of the Make Believe Ballroom: how the show saved someone from hard time, a little remembered Glenn Miller tune, a titanic battle for clarinet supremacy, a strange concert hall featured act plus lots of…

Make Believe Ballroom - 4/25/22 Edition

April 25, 2022

A famous comedian's connection to the big band era, can you guess the theme song, Fox Movietone records, a 1947 jam session, plus plenty more music and stories.

Make Believe Ballroom - 4/18/22 Edition

April 17, 2022

On this week's Make Believe Ballroom - A popular recording artist, or not? A dog story. A record company by any other name. In addition, loads more music and talk.

Make Believe Ballroom - 4/11/22 Edition

April 10, 2022

On this edition of the Make Believe Ballroom a look at a record where some sidemen are set loose, different types of albums, a salute to a beloved comic, plus some wonderful music of the 1930s and 1940s.

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.