Greg Poppleton

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Charlie and his Orchestra – Phantom Dancer 24 November 2020

Charlie and his Orchestra, the WW2 German English language propaganda orchestra is this week’s Phantom Dancer feature artist. You’ll also hear in the videos below pop swing by the Lutz Templin Orchestra which was booked by the Nazi Government to record as Charlie.


The Phantom Dancer is your non-stop mix of swing and jazz from live 1920s-60s radio and TV which I’ve been bringing you every week on 107.3 2SER Sydney since 1985. Listen here



The Charlie selections I’ve chosen are the least odious. Charlie and His Orchestra played Anglo-American pop songs in tight swing arrangements. Mostly, the vocalist, ‘Charlie’ (Karl Schwedler), sung the original lyrics and then sang a second chorus of propaganda lyrics. Sometimes just the original lyrics were sung. Some recordings were instrumental. Some had a female vocalist.

The Charlie Selections on this week’s Phantom Dancer come from two albums released by Harlequin in the early 90s with liner notes by Dr. Rainer E. Lotz

Dr Rainer E. Lotz and Horst J. P. Bergmeier wrote the definitive book on the subject in 1997, “Hitler’s Airwaves: The Inside Story of Nazi Radio Broadcasting and Propaganda Swing”

From a review of the book,

“The previously untold story of how the Nazi war machine used jazz and swing for propaganda. Independent scholars Bergmeier and Lotz have succeeded in crafting a work that will appeal to both a specialized audience and the general public. Most people know that jazz and swing were immediately banned upon Hitler’s ascension to power in 1933. Swing represented the decadent society of America, while jazz threatened the racial purity of the Aryan race. A deep-rooted anti-Semitism underlay these attitudes: Swing was one component of modernism (“the refuse of a rotting society”); and jazz was being used by the Jews to corrupt the Aryan race through “musical race defilement.”

Music at the home front had to conform to the traditionalist tastes of Hitler and the Nazi elite, but when it came to propaganda aimed at foreign countries, swing and jazz seemed the perfect bait. Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels was always sensitive to the enormous influence of the radio, which he viewed as second only to the press as the “most effective weapon in our struggle for existence.”

Strictly speaking, the book’s title is misleading; only one of the eight chapters deals with jazz and swing radio propaganda. Four chapters offer a historical introduction to the propaganda ministry and the development of radio in Germany after WW I. An additional chapter reviews the well-known rivalry within the Nazi hierarchy over propaganda; and the final two chapters deal with Nazi radio broadcasts over Europe. The authors have made good use of previously unseen documents to reconstruct the Nazi effort to use music as propaganda.

The CD accompanying the book includes catchy tunes and original radio broadcasts. A fascinating footnote to the history of the Nazi propaganda machine.”


Play List – The Phantom Dancer
107.3 2SER-FM Sydney, Live Stream Community Radio Network Show CRN #442

107.3 2SER Tuesday 24 November 2020 12:04 – 2:00pm (+11 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
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
1ART ArtsoundFM Canberra Friday 10 – 11am
2ARM Armidale Friday 12 – 1pm
5LCM Lofty FM Adelaide Friday 1 – 2pm
7LTN Launceston Sunday 5 – 6am
3MGB Mallacoota Sunday 5 – 6am
6GME Radio Goolarri Broome Sunday 5 – 6am
3BBR West Gippsland 5 – 6pm

Set 1
Duke Ellington 1937-47 Radio 
Feeling A Little Tomorrow Like I Feel Today
Duke Ellington Orchestra
‘Spotlight Bands’ Ciro’s Hollywood AFRS Re-broadcast 25 Jul 1947
I Wonder Why?
Duke Ellington Orchestra (voc) Bette Roche
‘Spotlight Bands’ Buffalo NY Blue Network 27 Nov 1943
Poco + Take The A Train (theme)
Duke Ellington Orchestra
El Patio Ballroom Lakeside KLZ CBS Denver CO 15 Jul 1942
Rockin’ in Rhythm + East St Louis Toodle-oo (theme)
Duke Ellington Orchestra
Cotton Club WOR Mutual NY 18 Mar 1937
Set 2
1940s Swing Bands 
Sunrise Serenade (theme) + Glow Worm
Frankie Carle Orchestra
‘Summer Electric Hour’ 2CH AWA Sydney Sep 1943
On The Atcheson, Topeka and Santa Fe
Chuck Foster Orchestra (voc) Shirley Richards
‘One Night Stand’ Terrace Room Hotel New Yorker AFRS Re-broadcast 13 Aug 1945
Trombone Solo + Close
Tommy Dorsey Orchestra
‘Tommy Dorsey and Company’ AFRS Hollywood 23 Jun 1943
Set 3
Raymond Scott 
Raymond Scott Orchestra
Blackhawk Restaurant WGN MBS Chicago 21 Oct 1940
War Dance For Wooden Indians + Close
Raymond Scott Orchestra
Bermuda Terrace Hotel Brunswick WBZ NBC Blue Boston 6 Dec 1941
Runnin’ Wild + Pretty Little Petticoat (theme)
Raymond Scott Orchestra
Blackhawk Restaurant WGN MBS Chicago 21 Oct 1940
Set 4
Charlie and his Orchestra 
The Sheik of Araby
Charlie and his Orchestra (voc) Charlie
Radio Transcription RRG Berlin 12 Jan 42
You Can’t Stop Me From Dreaming
Charlie and his Orchestra (voc) Charlie
Radio Transcription RRG Berlin 1941
Charlie and his Orchestra (voc) Charlie
Radio Transcription RRG Stuttgart May 1943
Hold Tight
Charlie and his Orchestra
Radio Transcription RRG Berlin 1942
Set 5
Friendly Fred 
I’ve Got Five Dollars (thme) + Copenhagen
Freddie Rich Orchestra
‘Friendly Five Footnotes’ Radio Transcription 1932
Hiding in the Shadows of the Moon
Freddie Rich Orchestra
‘Friendly Five Footnotes’ Radio Transcription 1932
Goin’ To Town
Freddie Rich Orchestra
‘Friendly Five Footnotes’ Radio Transcription 1932
Freddie Rich Orchestra
‘Friendly Five Footnotes’ Radio Transcription 1932
Set 6
1930s and 1950s Women Vocalists 
Everything I Have Is Yours
Ruth Etting
Comm Rec Los Angeles 21 Sep 1933
My Buddy
Eugenie Baird (voc) Paul Whiteman Orchestra
‘Forever Pops’ ABC Chicago 1950
All Day Long
Norma Oldham (voc) Duke Ellington Orchestra
Meadowbrook Ballroom Cedar Grove NJ WNBC NBC NY 6 Jun 1951
Yankee Doodle
Linda Keene (voc) Jack Teagarden Orchestra
‘Fitch Summer Bandwagon’ WABC CBS NY Nov 1939
Set 7
Freddy Martin and his Orchestra 
Freddy Martin and his Orchestra
‘Eden’s Liquid-Dry Shampoo’ Radio Transcription 1933
Set 8
1940s-60s Jazz Radio 
Undecided (theme) + St Louis Blues
Charlie Shavers Quartet
London House WBBM CBS Chicago May 1962
Boyd Raeburn Orchestra
Rose Room Palace Hotel KQW CBS San Francisco 27 Jul 1945
How High the Moon
Charlie Parker & Charlie Ventura
‘Symphony Sid Show’ Royal Roost WMCA NY 1949

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