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18 October 2022

(Until 18 October)

Blues – 2SER Radiothon Wk 2 Tues – Phantom Dancer

Greg Poppleton's Phantom Dancer swing jazz radio show

St Louis Blues features on this Tuesday’s annual 2SER radiothon Phantom Dancer. Time to subscribe and support 2SER community radio. Now is your moment to win great prizes when you pledge your support to 2SER which has been bringing you The Phantom Dancer with Greg Poppleton since 1985.

You’ll hear W.C Handy himself talk about St Louis Blues and play it on trumpet on a radio broadcast from 1940 on this week’s Phantom Dancer.

St Louis Blues with Louis Armstrong and his All-Stars (Edmond Hall clarinet solo, Trummy Young trombone) and the Lewisohn Stadium Symphony Orchestra conducted by Leonard Bernstein With W.C Handy (composer in hat) watching. From 1956…

The Phantom Dancer is your weekly non-stop mix of swing and jazz from live 1920s-60s radio and TV every week.

LISTEN to this week’s Phantom Dancer mix (online after 2pm AEST, Tuesday 18 October) and two years of Phantom Dancer mixes online at, at

W.C Handy playing St Louis Blues on the Ed Sullivan TV Show in 1948…


The Saint Louis Blues” (or “St. Louis Blues“) is a popular American song composed by W. C. Handy in the blues style and published in September 1914.

It was one of the first blues songs to succeed as a pop song and remains a fundamental part of jazz musicians’ repertoire (including mine).

The song has been called “the jazzman’s Hamlet“.

Here’s the St Louis Blues featured in the 1929 short ‘St Louis Blues’ starring Bessie Smith…

W.C. Handy said he had been inspired to compose the song by a chance meeting with a woman on the streets of St. Louis, Missouri, distraught over her husband’s absence. She lamented, “Ma man’s got a heart like a rock cast in de sea”, a key line of the song.[7] Handy’s autobiography recounts his hearing the tune in St. Louis in 1892: “It had numerous one-line verses and they would sing it all night.”

The form of St Louis Blues is unusual in that the verses are the now-familiar standard twelve-bar blues in common time with three lines of lyrics, the first two lines repeated, but it also has a 16-bar bridge written in the habanera rhythm, characterized by Handy as tango. The tango-like rhythm is notated as a dotted quarter note followed by an eighth note and two quarter notes, with no slurs or ties.

 { \new PianoStaff << \new Staff << \relative c'' { \clef treble \key g \major \time 2/2 \partial4. d8 d d <g, bes d>8 <g~ bes~ d~>4. <g bes d>2<br/>r8 <g c> c cis <g d'> <g bes>4.<br/><d~ fis~ a~>1<br/><d~ fis~ a~>2 <d fis a>8 <fis a c> <fis a c> <fis a c><br/>}<br/>>><br/>\new Staff << \relative c { \clef bass \key g \major \time 2/2 \partial4. r8 r4 g4. g'8 <bes d>4 g<br/><c, es g c>1<br/>d,4. fis’8 <a c>4 fis<br/><d, d'>4. fis’8 <a c>4 fis<br/>}<br/>>><br/>>> }<br/>” width=”635″ height=”119″></p><div></div></div></div><p>While blues often became simple and repetitive in form, “Saint Louis Blues” has multiple complementary and contrasting strains, similar to classic ragtime compositions.</p><p>Handy said his objective in writing the song was “to combine ragtime syncopation with a real melody in the spiritual tradition.”<sup id=

Writing about the first time “Saint Louis Blues” was played (1914), Handy noted that

The one-step and other dances had been done to the tempo of “Memphis Blues” … When “St Louis Blues” was written the tango was in vogue. I tricked the dancers by arranging a tango introduction, breaking abruptly into a low-down blues. My eyes swept the floor anxiously, then suddenly I saw lightning strike. The dancers seemed electrified. Something within them came suddenly to life. An instinct that wanted so much to live, to fling its arms to spread joy, took them by the heels.

The first audio recording of “Saint Louis Blues” was by the house band at Columbia Records, directed by Charles A. Prince in December 1915. You can hear it below…



After years of COVID restrictions, 2SER is getting back into the studios for radiothon – our biggest revenue raiser for the year – and we’re getting the family together in person!

From Oct 7 to 21 the station takes a break from regular programming to celebrate everything that makes 2SER great! The music, the talks and, most importantly, the 2SER family! Under the theme of We Are Family, we’ll be asking everyone to become financial subscribers or to donate.

2SER Breakfast presenter, Danny Chifley, said ”Subscribers and donors are so important for the station – they help us maintain our independence and provide us with some stability in an ever-shifting cultural and economic environment”

“When sponsorship of events abruptly evaporated at the start of the pandemic, our subscribers helped us stay afloat. When lightning struck our antenna three years ago, our donors got us right back on air”, said Danny. “So we love our family and we’re really excited to be reconnecting again”

Anyone who subscribes during radiothon goes into the draw for incredible prizes including a vintage turntable and record voucher from Egg Records, Newtown or a Complete Studio Kit from RØDE that contains everything you need to make professional, studio-quality recordings at home. There’s also small business subscriber prizes including an Atomic Brewery Dinner and Drinks for 10 people.

Call 9514 9500 or get online at and join the family!

Here’s that first recording of St Louis Blues from 1915…


Play List – The Phantom Dancer
107.3 2SER-FM Sydney

Community Radio Network Show CRN #566

107.3 2SER Saturday 18 October 2022
12:04 – 2:00pm (+10 hours GMT) and Saturdays 5 – 5:55pm
National Program
5GTR Mt Gambier Monday 2:30 – 3:30am
3MBR Murrayville Monday 3 – 4am
4NAG Keppel FM Monday 3 – 4am
2MIA Griffith Monday 3 – 4am
2BAR Edge FM Bega Monday 3 – 4am
2BRW Braidwood Monday 3 – 4am
2YYY Young Monday 3 – 4am
3VKV Alpine Radio Monday 6 – 7pm
7MID Oatlands Monday 6 -7pm
6GME Radio Goolarri Broome Tuesday 12am – 1am
2SEA Eden Tuesday 6 – 7pm
2MCE Bathurst Wednesday 9 – 10am
2RDJ Burwood Wednesday 12 – 1pm
1ART ArtsoundFM Canberra Friday 10 – 11am
2RRR Ryde Friday 11am -12 noon
2ARM Armidale Friday 12 – 1pm
5LCM Lofty FM Adelaide Friday 1 – 2pm
Denmark FM (West Australia) Saturdays 10 – 11am
Repeat: Wednesdays 10 – 11pm
7LTN Launceston Sunday 5 – 6am
3MGB Mallacoota Sunday 5 – 6am
3BBR West Gippsland Sunday 5 – 6pm

Set 1
St Louis Blues
St Louis Blues
Keith Atkinson (cl) Wally Portingale  Orchestra
‘Aermy on Parade’
2CH AWA Network
Oct 1943
St Louis Blues
W,C Handy (tp) with Henry Levine’s Dixieland Octet
‘Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street’
WJZ NBC Blue NYC16 Jun 1940

St Louis Blues
Charlie and his Orchestra
RRG Berlin
St Louis BluesWild Bill Davison
‘This is Jazz’
WOR Mutual NYC
10 May 1947
Set 2
St Louis Blues
St Louis Blues
Willie ‘The Lion’ Smith (piano solo) Joe Grasso (d)
‘Eddie Condon Jazz Concert’
24 Jun 1944
St Louis Blues (Le Tristezze di San Luigi)
Pippo Barzizza Orchestra (voc) Trio Lescano
Comm Rec
St Louis Blues
Gus Arhheim Orchestra (voc) Loyce Whiteman
‘Cocoanut Grove’
Radio Transcription
Los Angeles
Set 3
St Louis Blues
St Louis Blues
Paul Whiteman Orchestra (tb) Jack Teagarden
‘Paul whiteman’s Musical Varieties’
16 Feb 1936
St Louis Blues
Charlie Barnet Orchestra
‘One Night Stand’
AFRS Re-broadcast
Casino Gardens
Ocean Park Ca
3 Jan 1947
St Louis Blues
Louis Armstrong Orchestra (voc) Louis Armstrong
‘Norge Program’
Radio Transcription NYC
St Louis Blues
Die Goldene Sieben
Comm Rec
Nov 1937
Set 4
St Louis Blues
St Louis Blues
Count Basie Orchestra (voc) Jimmy Rushing
Hotel Penn
WCAE NBC Red Pittsburgh
8 Feb 1937
St Louis Blues
Fats Waller
Yacht Club NYC
14 Oct 1938
St Louis Blues
Artie Shaw Orchestra
Blue Room
Hotel Lincoln
28 Nov 1939
St Louis Blues
Artie Shaw Orchestra
Cafe Rouge
Hotel Pennsylvania
19 Oct 1939
Set 5
St Louis Blues
St Louis Blues
Roy Eldridge Orchestra
Arcadia Ballroom
St Louis Blues
Benny Goodman Orchestra (voc) Johnny Mercer
Fox Theatre
9 May 1939
St Louis Blues
Mildred Bailey (voc) Blue Barron Orchestra
‘Music Till Midnight’
St Louis Blues
Eddie Condon Group
‘Eddie Condon Jazz Concert”WJZ Blue NYC
27 Jan 1945
Set 6
St Louis Blues
St Louis Blues
Louis Prima Orchestra
‘Spotlight Bands’
Mitchell Field
Long Island
WOR Mutual NYC
15 Jan 1945
St Louis Blues
Benny Goodman Sexter
‘The Benny Goodman Show’
7 Oct 1946

St Louis BluesLouis Armstrong All-Stars‘Damon Runyon Memorial Jazz Concert’
WENR ABC Chicago
11 Dec 1948
St Louis Blues
Muggsy Spanier
Club Hangover
KCBS San Francisco
18 Apr 1953
Set 7
St Louis Blues
St Louis BluesCharlie Shavers Quartet
London House
WBBM CBS Chicago
May 1962
Set 8
St Louis Blues
All Gigs
12:04 pm - 2:00 pm
2SER Radio 107.3 Sydney

11 broadwat sydney nsw

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