Greg Poppleton

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04 June 2024

(Until 04 June)

Bob Rogers | Bill Holman Sax & Arranger for the Kenton Sound – Phantom Dancer

Phantom Dancer Radio Show

Bob Rogers, Australian radio legend, died this week aged 97 after almost 80 years of radio and TV broadcasting. Your Phantom Dancer feature this week is arranger Bill Holman who also died in his 90s in May 2024. He was the arranger who created the definitive Stan Kenton progressive jazz sound in the early 1950s and continued in music till this year.

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 4 June) and weeks of Phantom Dancer mixes online at, at https://2ser.com/phantom-dancer/

Greg Poppleton · 14 Jan 2017 Bob Rogers Interviews 1920s Singer Greg Poppleton 2CH Sydney

BOB ROGERS

Bob Rogers was an Australian disc jockey and radio broadcaster. He was noted for introducing Top 40 radio  to Australia in 1958, on 2UE, Sydney.

Rogers began his career as a panel operator for 3XY in Melbourne in 1942. He the was on-air six days a week as an announcer on 7HO Hobart, including presenting racing on Saturdays.

His DJ career started when he was given permission to start a Sunday afternoon music program, playing new records given to him by American sailors.

Rogers resigned in a pay dispute and took his music show to 4BH Brisbane in 1950.

In 1957, Rogers discovered the Slim Dusty song Pub With No Beer and was the first DJ in Australia to play the song and bring it to number one on the charts.

Bob Rogers presented Australia’s first Top 40 show on 2UE Sydney from 1958 to 1962.

For the next 8 years, Rogers was Australia’s top radio DJ.

He hosted a television talk show on TCN-9 Sydney, and then on ATN-7 Sydney from 1969 – 73.

In 1962 Rogers joined 2SM Sydney as one of the “Good Guys”. 2SM jumped in the ratings to number 1.

In 1964 Rogers was chosen to represent 2SM on The Beatles’ tour through Europe, Asia and Australia. He became known as The Fifth Beatle.

Rogers returned to 2UE and in 1976 he wrote ‘Rock And Roll Australia’, a book about the birth of the Australian rock industry.

In 1982, he started a chain of women’s dress shops.

In October 1976, Rogers joined 2GB Sydney.  While compering the 2GB morning program, in June 1977, Rogers was sacked, after he failed to use the seven-second-delay button, during an on-air conversation with John Singleton. Singleton’s use of a ‘four-letter word’ was broadcast.

In November 1995, Rogers accepted John Singleton’s offer to join Sydney radio station 2CH. On 21 February 2007, according to the Nielsen radio ratings survey, Bob Rogers’ Morning show became the fourth most heard radio programme in Sydney.

Rogers was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the 2010 Birthday Honours for “service to the media as a radio broadcaster”.

After suffering a stroke while on air in 2018, Rogers announced in November 2018 that he would stop presenting his morning programme. He continued presenting his ‘Reminiscing’ program on Saturdays until 3 October 2020.

A lo-fi aircheck of myself with Bob Rogers on 2CH talking about one of me 1920s-30s band albums:

Greg Poppleton · Bob Rogers Show Greg Poppleton

BILL HOLMAN

Through his acquaintance with Gene Roland, Holman was auditioned by Stan Kenton and hired as a tenor saxophone player for two years in March 1952.

After working with the band as an instrumentalist, Holman submitted writing to Kenton for the group.

His first writing was not an immediate success with Kenton, until he was given an assignment to write “Invention for Guitar and Trumpet” for Sal Salvador and Maynard Ferguson.

The chart was to become one of the recognized works for the Kenton orchestra from the album ‘New Concepts of Artistry in Rhythm’. It was used in the 1955 movie, ‘Blackboard Jungle’.

Kenton was attracted to Holman’s ability to integrate counterpoint and dissonance in subtle yet distinctive ways, and for his knack for making the Kenton band “swing”.

Holman became one of Kenton’s primary arrangers, creating a signature for the band.

His association with the Kenton orchestra lasted nearly 27 years; he contributed to Kenton’s albums ‘New Concepts of Artistry in Rhythm’, ‘Contemporary Concepts’ and the Grammy Award-winning ‘Adventures in Jazz’. Kenton featured Holman as a composer and arranger with Bill Russo on the 1954 album ‘Kenton Showcase’.

“In the course of some intense hanging out (with Gene Roland), I had played a recording of a 12-tone blues that I’d written (doesn’t everybody?) while studying at the Westlake College of Music in Hollywood. According to Gene Roland, who had been writing for Kenton for some time, Stan had been talking about a more contrapuntal, linear type of music, and Gene felt that my piece lay in the direction that Stan was considering. While I was away on a short trip with Charlie Barnet, Gene took the recording to Kenton, and when I returned, Stan called. We met, talked, and he asked me to write a couple of pieces for the band. Being young and ambitious, I reached too far in the writing and exceeded my limits – the charts were disasters and never heard of again – but Stan gamely suggested that I do another. By this time I’d heard some of the things that Gerry Mulligan was bringing in, and with a slightly better idea of what was going on, managed to come back down to earth and brought in a better effort, though it, too, was never heard of again.”

“Gerry Mulligan wrote eight to ten scores for the band (early 1952, just before he formed the famous quartet) and, while Young Blood, the most linear of these, was the only one to really thrill Stan, the players (by this time I was playing tenor in the band) loved to play and hear all of them. For me particularly, being only about ten charts out of music school and with no real jazz conception of my own, Gerry’s music played a great part in my finding my own voice.”

Classical influences from Béla Bartók were also used during this time. Two of the most important arrangements are on the Kenton album, <‘Contemporary Concepts’ (1955).

Holman talked about his arrangements of “What’s New?” and “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”: “The idea for these two tunes was to write long charts, based on standard tunes, but to make them like an original piece. Just use the changes or a (melodic) fragment to tie it together; in other words, make them like an original – although you don’t get royalties for it! But they were double the length of the usual chart. You could stretch out and do what you want.”

“I remember the day we were all in New York, as part of the ’54 All Star Concert Tour with the Kenton guys plus Shorty Rogers and his Quintet. They were going to continue on but I was going to stay there. I remember Shorty, Jack Montrose and I were walking down 48th Street where all the music stores were. We started looking through some scores and I found Bartok’s Third and Fourth Quartets.”

“I remember after the band left and I finally got down to writing these charts I was looking through the Bartok things and I got an idea for “What’s New”. Sometimes looking at something like that can give you an idea – not necessarily something that’s specifically in there – but just puts something you can use into your head. Just an approach. Stan said to make ’em long and not worry bout keeping the melody going all the time. The standard changes are there so you can follow them if you’re used to listening to jazz that way.”

Zoot Sims joined the group as the solo tenor saxophonist; Kenton asked Holman to write for Sims. Later Holman left the band after an intense discussion about the band’s shortcomings; this did not endanger Holman’s reputation as a composer and arranger for Kenton.

By the mid-1950s, when Holman was in his late 20s, Kenton was commissioning Holman to write as much as he could. He was writing sometimes two charts every week that included concert works, dance charts, originals, and vocals. During the 1952-55 period the two primary composers/arrangers who shaped the signature sound of the Kenton orchestra for years to come, were Holman and Bill Russo (who was a year younger than Holman).

Almost two-thirds of the music recorded by Kenton during this period were from these two writers. Two of the original works of Holman’s created for the band during that time include “Hav-a-Havana”.

The other work which has become the quintessential “Holman signature sound” of contrapuntal composition is “The Opener”.

Though Kenton’s taste would evolve and Holman was not functioning as chief arranger by the end of the 1950s, he continued to make key contributions to the Kenton repertoire to 1977 before Kenton’s death in 1979.

Bill Holman arranging and conducting big band age 95:

4 June PLAY LIST

Play List – The Phantom Dancer
107.3 2SER-FM Sydney
LISTEN ONLINE
Community Radio Network Show CRN #657

107.3 2SER Tuesday 4 June 2024
12:04 – 2:00pm (+10 hours GMT)
National Program
5UV Adelaide Monday 2:30 – 3:30am
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
7RPH Hobart Monday 3 – 4pm
3VKV Alpine Radio Monday 6 – 7pm
7MID Oatlands Monday 3am – 4 and 6 -7pm
2MCE Bathurst Wednesday 9 – 10am
1ART ArtsoundFM Canberra Friday 10 – 11am
and Sunday 11pm
Reading Radio (QLD) Friday 1am – 2
2RRR Ryde Friday 11am – 12
2ARM Armidale Friday 12 – 1pm
5LCM Lofty FM Adelaide Friday 1 – 2pm
6GME Radio Goolarri Broome Saturday 4am – 5am
Denmark FM (West Australia) Saturday 10 – 11am
Repeat: Wednesdays 10 – 11pm
7LTN Launceston Sunday 5 – 6am
3MGB Mallacoota Sunday 5 – 6am
3BBR West Gippsland Sunday 5 – 6pm
2SEA Sapphire Coast Eden Sunday 9 – 10pm

Set 1
Tommy Dorsey Orchestra
Spring Isn’t Everything
Tommy Dorsey Orchestra (voc) Stuart Foster
Casino Gardens
Ocean Park Ca
KECA ABC LA
Jun 1947
Bingo, Bango, Boffo
Tommy Dorsey Orchestra
Casino Gardens
Ocean Park Ca
KECA ABC LA
Jun 1947
There Are Such ThingsTommy Dorsey Orchestra (voc) Stuart Foster and the Town Criers
Casino Gardens
Ocean Park Ca
KECA ABC LA
Jun 1947
Swing High + For YouTommy Dorsey Orchestra (voc) Lucy Ann PolkCasino Gardens
Ocean Park Ca
KECA ABC LA
Jun 1947
Set 2
Your Hit Parade
The Lady in Red
Mark Warnow and his Orchestra
‘Your Hit Parade’
AFRS Re-broadcast
29 Sep 1945
Gotta Be This or That
Mark Warnow and his Orchestra (voc) Joan Edwards
‘Your Hit Parade’
AFRS Re-broadcast
29 Sep 1945
If I Loved You
Mark Warnow and his Orchestra (voc) The Hit Paraders
‘Your Hit Parade’
AFRS Re-broadcast
29 Sep 1945
On The Atcheson, Topeka and Santa Fe + Till the End of Time + This is My Lucky Day (close)
Mark Warnow and his Orchestra (voc) Dick Todd + Joan Edwards  (on Song #1)
‘Your Hit Parade’
AFRS Re-broadcast
29 Sep 1945
Set 3
Bill Holman
Artistry in Rhythm (theme)
Stan Kenton Orchestra (arr. Bill Holman)
‘Concert Encores’
Blue Note
WMAQ NBC Chicago
2 Apr 1953
Works
Stan Kenton Orchestra (arr. Bill Holman)
‘Concert Encores’
Blue Note
WMAQ NBC Chicago
2 Apr 1953
Hava Havana
Stan Kenton Orchestra (arr. Bill Holman)
‘Concert in Miniature’
Lakeside Ballroom
Dayton OH
WLW Cincinnati NBC
16 Sep 1952
Hava Havana
Stan Kenton Orchestra (arr. Bill Holman)
‘Encore Time on Stars in Jazz’
Birdland
WRCA NBC NYC
23 Apr 1953
Bags
Stan Kenton Orchestra (arr. Bill Holman)‘Concert in Miniature’
Hampton Casino
Hampton Beach NH
WBZ Boston NBC
21 Jul 1953
Set 4
Glen Gray 
Open + Smoke Rings (theme) + A Sure Thing
Glen Gray and the Casa Loma Orchestra (voc) Eugenie Baird
‘One Night Stand’
Tune Town Ballroom
St Louis MO
AFRS Re-broadcast
5 Apr 44
It’s Mellow
Glen Gray and the Casa Loma Orchestra
‘One Night Stand’
Tune Town Ballroom
St Louis MO
AFRS Re-broadcast
5 Apr 44
Long Ago and Far Away
Glen Gray and the Casa Loma Orchestra (voc) Bob Anthony
‘One Night Stand’
Tune Town Ballroom
St Louis MO
AFRS Re-broadcast
5 Apr 44
Fifth Avenue Sax
Glen Gray and the Casa Loma Orchestra (voc) Eugenie Baird
‘One Night Stand’
Tune Town Ballroom
St Louis MO
AFRS Re-broadcast
5 Apr 44
Set 5
Bill Eckstime
Blue and Boogie (theme) + Together
Billy Eckstine Orchestra (voc) Billy Eckstine
‘Jubilee’
AFRS Hollywood
Feb 1945
Mean to Me
Billy Eckstine Orchestra (voc) Sarah Vaughan
‘Jubilee’
AFRS Hollywood
Feb 1945
Without a Song
Billy Eckstine Orchestra (voc) Billy Eckstine
‘Jubilee’
AFRS Hollywood
Feb 1945
Mr Chips + Blue and Boogie (theme)
Billy Eckstine Orchestra
‘Jubilee’
AFRS Hollywood
Feb 1945
Set 6
Gene Krupa
Apurksody (theme) + Murdy Purdy
Gene Krupa Orchestra
Palomar Ballroom
KFLJ Los Angeles
28 Nov 1938
Wire Brush Stomp
Gene Krupa Orchestra
Palomar Ballroom
KFLJ Los Angeles
28 Nov 1938
I’ll Do It All Over Again
Gene Krupa Orchestra (voc) Anita O’Day
Hotel Astor Roof
WOR Mutual NYC
15 Aug 1945
These Foolish Things
Gene Krupa Orchestra
Hotel Astor Roof
WOR Mutual NYC
15 Aug 1945
Set 7
1934 Radio Transcriptions
When Summer is Gone (theme) + This is Romance
Hal Kemp Orchestra (voc) Wendall Mayhew
Radio Transcription
1934
Maniacs’s Ball
Glen Gray and the Casa Loma Orchestra
Radio Transcription
1934
Boo Boo Boo
Hal Kemp Orchestra (voc) Skinnay Ennis
Radio Transcription
1934
Linger Awhile
Glen Gray and the Casa Loma Orchestra
Radio Transcription
1934
Set 8
Dizzy Gillespie
I Waited for You (theme) + Our DelightDizzy Gillespie OrchestraRadio Sweden
Winter Palace
Stockholm
2 Feb 1948
I Cover the WaterfrontDizzy Gillespie Orchestra
Radio Sweden
Winter Palace
Stockholm
2 Feb 1948
Night in TunisiaDizzy Gillespie OrchestraBirdland
WCBS CBS NYC
Jun 1956
All Gigs
Radio 2SER 107.3 Sydney
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