Greg Poppleton

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Big Maybelle – Phantom Dancer 6 October 2020

Big Maybelle, r’n’b singer, is this week’s Phantom Dancer feature artist. You’ll hear her from a 1956 Rock ‘n’ Roll Dance Party radio show. You’ll also hear from the bands she sang with before her solo singing career: The International Sweethearts of Rhythm, Christine Chatman and Tiny Bradshaw.

Greg Poppleton brings you The Phantom Dancer, your non-stop mix of swing and jazz from live 1920s-60s radio and TV. On-air every week since 1985.

Hear The Phantom Dancer online from 12:04pm AEST Tuesday 6 October at https://2ser.com/phantom-dancer/ where you can also hear two years of archived shows.

The finyl hour is vinyl.

Big Maybelle

BIG MAYBELLE

Mabel Louise Smith, stage name Big Maybelle, was an American R&B singer. She sang gospel as a child. In her teens she switched to rhythm and blues. She began her professional career with Dave Clark’s Memphis Band in 1936, and also toured with the all-female International Sweethearts of Rhythm. She then joined Christine Chatman‘s Orchestra with which she made her first recordings with Chatman in 1944. She recorded with Tiny Bradshaw‘s Orchestra from 1947 to 1950.

Her debut solo recordings, recorded as Mabel Smith, were for King Records in 1947. She was accompanied by Oran “Hot Lips” Page but had little commercial success.

OKEH

Okeh Records signed her up in 1952. Okeh producer Fred Mendelsohn gave her the stage name ‘Big Maybelle’ because of her loud yet well-toned voice. Her first recording for Okeh, “Gabbin’ Blues”, which you’ll hear on this week’s Phantom Dancer, was hit number 3 on the Billboard R&B chart, and was followed up by “Way Back Home” and “My Country Man” in 1953.

In 1955, she recorded the song “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin On“, which you’ll also hear on this week’s Phantom Dancer, produced by up-and-coming producer Quincy Jones. Jerry Lee Lewis credited Smith’s record as being the inspiration for his cover.

SAVOY

Savoy Records signed Big Maybelle in 1955. Her cover of “Candy” (1956) was one of her biggest sellers.

She appeared on stage at the Apollo Theater in New York City in 1957, and at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival where she sang “All Night Long/I Ain’t Mad at You”, (video of the week). She left savoy in 1959 and recorded for a few other labels in the 1960s, making her last hit single in 1967.

VIDEO OF THE WEEK

Big Maybelle at Newport Jazz Festival with jazz band in 1958. Oh, what a difference a jazz band makes!

Make sure you come back to this blog, Greg Poppleton’s Radio Lounge, every Tuesday, for the newest Phantom Dancer play list and Video of the Week!

6 OCTOBER PLAY LIST

Play List – The Phantom Dancer
107.3 2SER-FM Sydney, Live Stream, Digital Radio
Community Radio Network Show CRN #433

107.3 2SER Tuesday 6 October 2020
After the 2SER 12 noon news, 12:04 – 2:00pm (+10 hours GMT)
and Saturdays 5 – 5:55pm
National Program:
1ART ArtsoundFM Canberra Sunday 10 – 11pm
5GTR Mt Gambier Monday 2:30 – 3:30am
3MBR Murrayville Monday 3 – 4am
4NAG Keppel FM Monday 3 – 4am
2SEA Eden Monday 3 – 4am
2MIA Griffith Monday 3 – 4pm
2BAR Edge FM Bega Monday 3 – 4pm
3VKV Alpine Radio Monday 6 – 7pm
7MID Oatlands Tuesday 8 – 9pm
2MCE Bathurst / Orange / Central West NSW Wednesday 9 – 10am
2ARM Armidale Friday 12 – 1pm
7LTN Launceston Sunday 5 – 6am
3MGB Mallacoota Sunday 5 – 6am
6GME Radio Goolarri Broome Sunday 5 – 6am

Set 1
Dorsey Brothers
I’m Getting Sentimental Over You (theme) + Sentimental Baby
Dorsey Brothers Orchestra (voc) Lynn Roberts
‘All-Star Parade of Bands’
Magnolia Room
Hotel Claridge
WMC NBC Memphis
19 Jun 1953
When the Saints Come Marching Home
Dorsey Brothers Orchestra (voc) Johnny Ray
‘Stage Show’
WCBS TV CBS NY
1 Jan 1955
Capital Idea + Close
Dorsey Brothers Orchestra
‘All-Star Parade of Bands’
Magnolia Room
Hotel Claridge
WMC NBC Memphis
19 Jun 1953
Set 2
Woodchoppers’ Ball
Woodchoppers’ Ball
Woody Herman’s First Herd
‘Old Gold Show’
WABC CBS NY
2 Aug 1944
Blue Flame (theme) + Woodchoppers’ Ball
Woody Herman’s Third Herd
Starlite Roof
Edgewater Hotel
Madison, WI, CBS
12 Jul 1950
Woodchoppers’ Ball
Woody Herman’s First Herd
Palladium Ballroom
KNX CBS LA
17 Oct 1944
Set 3
Big Maybelle Pre-Solo Bands
The Boogie-Woogie Girl
Christine Chatman Orchestra (voc) Big Maybelle (as Mabel Smith)
Comm Rec
6 Apr 1944
One O’Clock Jump
International Sweethearts of Rhythm + AFRS Orchestra (36 piece band)
‘Jubilee’
AFRS Hollywood
Feb 1945
Ready, Set, Jump + Close
Tiny Bradshaw Orchestra
‘Jubilee’
AFRS Hollywood
21 Aug 1944
Set 4
Big Maybelle
Gabbin’ Blues
Big Maybelle (voc) Sam ‘The Man’ Taylor
Comm Rec
8 Oct 1952
Ring Ding Dilly + Candy
Big Maybelle (voc) Sam ‘The Man’ Taylor
‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Dance Party’
WCBS CBS NY
4 Sep 1956
Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On
Big Maybelle (voc) arranged and conducted by Quincy Jones
Comm Rec
21 Mar 1956
Set 5
A Date With The Duke
Chelsea Bridge
Duke Ellington Orchestra
‘A Date with the Duke’
Apollo Theatre
WJZ ABC NY
30 Jun 1945
In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree
Duke Ellington Orchestra
‘A Date with the Duke’
Regal Theatre
WENR ABC Chicago
26 May 1945
Blue Bells of Harlem
Duke Ellington Orchestra
‘A Date with the Duke’
Radio City
WJZ ABC NY
7 Jul 1945
Ring Dem Bells + Im Beginning to See the Light
Duke Ellington Orchestra
‘A Date with the Duke’
400 Restaurant
WJZ ABC NY
28 Apr 1945
Set 6
1930s Benny Goodman Quartets
Shine
Benny Goodman Quartet
‘Camel Caravan’
KNX CBS LA
10 Aug 1937
I Found a New Baby
Benny Goodman Quartet
‘Camel Caravan’
State Theatre
WDRC CBS Hartford Conn.
7 Feb 1939
Liza
Benny Goodman Quartet
‘Camel Caravan’
KNX CBS LA
17 Aug 1937
Deep Purple
Benny Goodman Quartet
‘Camel Caravan’
Earle Theatre
WCAU  CBS Phildelphia
14 Feb 1939
Set 7
MJB Demi-Tasse Revues
The Sun’s in my Heart
Jimmy Grier Orchestra (voc) The 3 Cheers
‘Cocoanut Grove’
Radio Transcription
TRANSCO LA
1932
Me
Gus Arnheim Orchestra (voc) Dave Marshall and Loyce Whiteman
‘Cocoanut Grove’
Radio Transcription
TRANSCO LA
1931
When We’re Alone
Jimmy Grier Orchestra (voc) Loyce Whiteman and Donald novis
‘Cocoanut Grove’
Radio Transcription
TRANSCO LA
1932
Sing a Little Jingle
Gus Arnheim Orchestra (voc) Jack Smith
‘Cocoanut Grove’
Radio Transcription
TRANSCO LA
1931
Set 8
Count Basie & Billy Eckstine
Blue ‘n’ Boogie (theme) + Airmail Special
Billy Eckstine Orchestra
‘Jubilee’
AFRS Hollywood
Mar 1945
How High the Moon + Hob Nail Boogie
Count Basie Orchestra
Birdland
WNBC NBC NY
31 Aug 1952
Mr Chips
Billy Eckstine Orchestra
‘Jubilee’
AFRS Hollywood
Mar 1945
Paradise Squat + Lullaby of Birdland (theme)
Count Basie Orchestra
‘Stars in Jazz’
Birdland
WNBC NBC NY
14 Jan 1953

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