Greg Poppleton

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Boswell Sisters on 1930s Radio – 16 June Phantom Dancer

The Boswell Sisters, 1920s-30s vocal group, is this week’s Phantom Dancer feature of the week with a set of radio transcriptions they made in 1930.

The Phantom Dancer is produced and presented by 1920s-30s singer and actor Greg Poppleton. The show has been on-air over 107.3 2SER Sydney since 1985.

You can hear it online from 12:04pm AEST Tuesday 12 June at

The finyl hour is vinyl.

Boswell Sisters


Martha, Connie and Vet were the 1920s-1930s harmony sensations, The Boswell Sisters.

They were yet another 1920s – 30s jazz stand-out who had classical backgrounds, having studied classical piano, cello, and violin respectively.

“We studied classical music . . . and were being prepared for the stage and a concert tour throughout the United States, but the saxophone got us,” Martha told the Shreveport Times in 1925.

The sisters’ older brother Clyde, also a classically trained musician, was the one who first got his sisters into jazz. He introduced them to cornetist Emmett Louis Hardy, who shaped the sisters’ knowledge of jazz harmony, syncopation and improvisation. Vet took up the banjo, Connie took up saxophone and Martha continued playing the piano. Hardy died of tuberculosis at age 22. Clyde died from flu at 18.

The trio played concerts and vaudeville in the early 1920s, gradually replacing their classical repertoire with jazz. They first recorded in 1925 and after arriving in Los Angeles in 1929 sang on radio shows and recorded film music.

You’ll hear a song from one of their 1930 Hollywood Continental Broadcasting Corporation transcriptions on The Phantom Dancer today.

They became nationally famous, then internationally famous, after they moved to New York City in 1930 with their own show over CBS.

boswell sisters 1955

They recorded for Brunswick from 1931-1935, recordings that are considered milestone in vocal jazz. Connee wrote the vocal arrangements, Glenn Miller wrote the band arrangements and engaged the best New York jazz musicians to accompany the sisters, including the Dorsey Brothers, Benny Goodman, Bunny Berigan, Fulton McGrath, Joe Venuti, Arthur Schutt, Eddie Lang, Joe Tarto, Manny Klein, Dick McDonough and Carl Kress. Connee also made more conventional solo records for Brunswick during the same period.

They had 20 hits in this time, appeared on film and experimental TV, toured Europe twice, and even made a recording released only in Australia. They influenced the Andrew Sisters in the US, the Trio Lescano in Italy, Allanovy Sestry in Czechoslovakia and the Harmony Sisters in Finland. Connie Boswell’s solo recordings were a major influence on Ella Fitzgerald.

Vet’s daughter and granddaughter published the book, The Boswell Legacy, in 2014.

And your Phantom Dancer video of the week is the Isham Jones music video, Underneath The Broadway Moon. Isham Jones was a bandleader and composer of many jazz songs including ‘It Had To Be You.’ Enjoy…


Play List – The Phantom Dancer
107.3 2SER-FM Sydney, Live Stream, Digital Radio
Community Radio Network Show CRN #441

107.3 2SER Tuesday 16 June 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
Swing ’43
Bicycle Bounce
Erskine Hawkins Orchestra
Comm Rec
New York City
American Patrol
Shep Fields and his New Music
‘One Night Stand’
AFRS Re-broadcast
Take It Down + What Is This Thing Called Love? (Close)
Leo Reisman Orchestra
‘Spotlight Bands’
National Press Club
Blue Network
Washington DC
23 Jan 1943
Set 2
Progressive Jazz from live 1952 – 1956 Radio
Open + The Dart Game
Shelly Manne Quintet
Basin Street
21 Apr 1956
All of Me
Duke Ellington Orchestra (voc) Bette Roche
Town Casino
NBC Cleveland OH
17 Sep 1952
Lover Come Back To Me + Jumping With Symphony Sid (Close)
Stan Getz Quartet with Shelly Manne (d)
Basin Street
21 Apr 1956
Set 3
Australian Swing from 1940s Radio
Waltzing Matilda
116th Rhythm Ensemble (voc) Gordon Andrews
Wally Portingale and the ‘All in Fun Revue’ Orchestra (voc) Jack White
‘Army on Parade’
2CH AWA Network
Aug 1943
Lili Marlene
Lawrie Brooks (voc) with Orchestra and Chorus
‘Montague Brierly Showman’
Set 4
The Boswell Sisters on Continental Broadcasting 1930
The Parade of the Blues
The Boswell Sisters
Radio Transcription
Continental Broadcasting System
The One I Love Just Can’t Be Bothered With Me
The Boswell Sisters
Radio Transcription
Continental Broadcasting System
There’s a Lull in My Life
The Boswell Sisters
Radio Transcription
Continental Broadcasting System
Set 5
Swing on ’44 Radio
No Love, No Nothin’
George Trevare and his Australians (voc) Al Royal
Comm Rec
Gulf Coast Blues
Charlie Barnet Orchestra
AFRS Hollywood
Feb 1944
Leap Frog (theme) + Love Is Just Around The Corner
Les Brown Orchestra
‘One Night Stand’
Peacock Room
Baker Hotel
Dallas TX
AFRS re-broadcast
9 Aug 1945
One O’Clock Jump
Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra
‘Command Performance’
AFRS Hollywood
Dec 1942
Set 6
Dance Bands on 1937 – 39 Radio
Oh, Babe, Maybe Some Day
Duke Ellington Orchestra
Cotton Club
WOR Mutual New York
24 Mar 1938
Sold American
Glenn Miller Orchestra
Meadowbrook Ballroom
Cedar Grove NJ
8 Mar 1939
Let’s Dance (theme) + That Naughty Waltz
Benny Goodman Orchestra
Madhattan Room
Hotel Pennsylvania
6 Nov 1937
Moonshine Over Kentucky + Heigh Ho
Bunny Berrigan Orchestra
Paradise Restaurant
3 May 1938
Set 7
Cab Calloway 1930 – 1950
Got A Darn Good Reason Now (For Being Good)
Cab Calloway Orchestra (voc) CC
Comm Rec
New York City
24 Jul 1930
Mississippi Mud + Minnie The Moocher (theme)
Cab Calloway Orchestra (voc) CC
KTSP Radio
St Paul-Minneapolis
28 May 1938
We The Cats Shall Hep You
Cab Calloway Orchestra (voc) CC
‘One Night Stand’
Club Zanzibar NY
AFRS Re-broadcast
16 Jul 1945
Ducktrot + Close
Cab Calloway’s Caballiers (voc) CC
‘Guest Star’
Radio Transciption NY
17 Sep 1950
Set 8
Modern Riffs in 1945 – 51 Radio Dance Bands
Seventh Avenue
Clyde Hart’s All-Stars (voc) Trummy Young
Comm Rec
New York City
Jan 1945
Hop, Skip and Jump
Artie Shaw’s Gramercy Five
‘Spotlight Bands’
San Luis Obispo Ca
Mutual Network
26 Sep 1945
Elevation + Heart to Heart (theme)
Eliot Lawrence Orchestra
Palladium Ballroom
2 Dec 1947
The Happening + Got To Go
Duke Ellington Orchestra
Meadowbrook Ballroom
Cedar Grove NJ
8 Jun 1951

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