Greg Poppleton

30 April - 2SER celebrates 45 years on air. Hear Sarah Vaughan & Duke Ellington LISTEN

07 November 2023

(Until 07 November)

Del Courtney Seven Decade Career 1933-93

Greg Poppleton's Phantom Dancer swing jazz radio show

Del Courtney was a pianist, bandleader, actor and composer whose career spanned seven decades. He played for four US presidents. He is your Phantom Dancer Feature artist this week.

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

DEL

Known as the “Old Smoothie” for the smooth dance tunes he and his band would play, Del Courtney started playing paino at age 9 and at university did a double degree in music and teaching

He formed his first band in 1933 at the Claremont Hotel, San Francisco, and became immensely popular in the Bay Area with record deals and radio shows.  His late 1930s bands included electric guitar and keyboards.

In the mid-1940s, he was a favourite at Chicago’s musically prestigious Blackhawk Restaurant, and by 1948 was playing his sixth engagement at the Rose Room at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco., another room the networks broadcast from daily

His band in 1948 was: George Rank, Seymour Solk , Billy Petri trumpets; Rick Meyer and Johnny Strong trombones; Doug Lowery, Rick Sanders, Johnny Shepherd and Ken MacCoulou reeds; Bob Moonan piano, Val Eddy double bass, Mel Severs guitar, and Ellis Stickey drums. The vocalists were Gloria Foster and Gil Vester. 

In October 1958, his album Dancing ‘Til Daybreak LP, which was released on Capitol Records.

In the 1960s he had a daily radio show over KSFO from the Tonga Room of the Fairmont Hotel, San Francisco.

On July 3, 1964, both Courtney and Les Malloy became the owners ofSan Francisco  radio station KSAN. Courtney was also musical director of The Oakland Raiders football club

In the mid-1990s swing revival, Courtney ,came out of retirement to front a big band, playing at the Blue Tropix Restaurant and Night Club and the Elks Club in Honolulu. He is credited with bringing big band swing to Hawaii in the 1930s.

He was still playing once a month at the age of 93. He died age 95.

He was married to the famous big band era swing singers Connie Haines, who sang with Tommy Dorsey as you’ll hear on this week’s Phantom Dancer, and Yvonne King from The King Sisters

He was also an actor and producer, known for The Hideous Sun Demon (1958), Harbor Command (1957) and Aloha Summer (1988). He had his own sponsored TV shows in the 1950s.

His theme song, which he composed, was ‘Good Evening’. His memoir was entitled “Hey! The Band’s Too Loud”.

Del Courtney oral history: https://ww1.namm.org/library/oral-history/del-courtney

7 November PLAY LIST

Play List – The Phantom Dancer
107.3 2SER-FM Sydney
LISTEN ONLINE
Community Radio Network Show CRN #626

107.3 2SER Tuesday 7 November 2023
12:04 – 2:00pm (+11 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
Ralph Marterie
Blue Lou
Ralph Marterie Orchestra
‘Treasury Show’
WBBM CBS Chicago
26 Dec 1954
My Old Flame
Ralph Marterie Orchestra
‘Treasury Show’
WBBM CBS Chicago
26 Dec 1954
The Girl Next Door
Ralph Marterie Orchestra (voc) Bill Walters
‘Treasury Show’
WBBM CBS Chicago
26 Dec 1954
Rock Rock + CloseRalph Marterie Orchestra (voc) Band
‘Treasury Show’
WBBM CBS Chicago
26 Dec 1954
Set 2
Count Basie
One O’Clock Jump (theme) + Ev’ry Tub
Count Basie Orchestra
‘America Dances’
WABC CBS NYC & BBC London
9 Jul 1938
Song of the Wanderer
Count Basie Orchestra (voc) Helen Humes
‘America Dances’
WABC CBS NYC & BBC London
9 Jul 1938
Flat Foot Floogie
Count Basie Orchestra
‘America Dances’
WABC CBS NYC & BBC London
9 Jul 1938
Lady Be Good
Count Basie’s Blue 6
‘America Dances’
WABC CBS NYC & BBC London
9 Jul 1938
Set 3
Del Courtney
Good Evening (theme) + The Man I Love
Del Courtney Orchestra
Aircheck
Rainbow Room
New Kenmore Hotel
Albany NY
31 Oct 1938
Good Evening (theme) + April Showers
Del Courtney Orchestra
‘One Night Stand’
Rose Room
Palace Hotel
San Francisco
AFRS Re-broadcast
7 Jan 1948
They’re Mine
Del Courtney Orchestra (voc) Gloria Foster
‘One Night Stand’
Rose Room
Palace Hotel
San Francisco
AFRS Re-broadcast
7 Jan 1948
London Fantasia Golden Earrings
Del Courtney Orchestra, Bob Moonan piano (voc) Gil Vester
‘One Night Stand’
Rose Room
Palace Hotel
San Francisco
AFRS Re-broadcast
7 Jan 1948
Set 4
Ray McKinley leading the Glenn Miller Orchestra
Swing Low Sweet Chariot
Ray McKinley leading the Glenn Miller Orchestra
Cafe Rouge
Hotel Statler
WCBS CBS NYC
1956
My Prayer
Ray McKinley leading the Glenn Miller Orchestra (voc) Ronnie Craig
Cafe Rouge
Hotel Statler
WCBS CBS NYC
1956
Bunkhouse Boogie
Ray McKinley leading the Glenn Miller Orchestra (voc) Ray McKinley
Cafe Rouge
Hotel Statler
WCBS CBS NYC
1956
Moonlight Cocktail
Ray McKinley leading the Glenn Miller Orchestra
Cafe Rouge
Hotel Statler
WCBS CBS NYC
1956
Set 5
Tommy Dorsey
Open + Swing Low Sweet Chariot
Tommy Dorsey Orchestra
Meadowbrook Ballroom. Cedar Grove, New Jersey
WABC CBS NYC
11 Feb 1941
I’m Gettin’ Sentimental Over You – opening theme + Dark Eyes
Tommy Dorsey Orchestra
Hotel Astor Roof
WEAF NBC Red NYC
22 Jun 1940
Everything Happens to Me
Tommy Dorsey Orchestra (voc) Frank SinatraMeadowbrook Ballroom. Cedar Grove, New Jersey
WABC CBS NYC
11 Feb 1941
I’m Nobody’s Baby
Tommy Dorsey Orchestra (voc) Connie Haines
Hotel Astor Roof
WEAF NBC Red NYC
22 Jun 1940
Set 6
Trad Jazz
Open + Ballin’ the Jack
Kid Ory’s Creole Jazz Band
Club Hangover
KCBS San Francisco
10 Oct 1954
Sadie Green the Vamp of New Orleans
Turk Murphy’s San Francisco Jazz Band
Easy Street
KCBS San Francisco
9 Dec 1958
St James Infirmary
Kid Ory’s Creole Jazz Band
Club Hangover
KCBS San Francisco
10 Oct 1954
Memphis Blues + Bay City (theme)
Turk Murphy’s San Francisco Jazz Band
Easy Street
KCBS San Francisco
9 Dec 1958
Set 7
Artie Shaw & Helen Forrest
Nightmare (theme) + Deep in a Dream
Artie Shaw Orchestra (voc) Helen Forrest
Blue Room
Hotel Lincoln
WEAF NBC Red NYC
2 Dec 1958
Basin street Blues + Ride, Red, Ride
Artie Shaw Orchestra (voc) Helen ForrestSummer Terrace
Ritz Carlton Hotel
WNAC NBC Red Boston
19 Aug 1939
I Won’t Tell a Soul
Artie Shaw Orchestra (voc) Helen Forrest
Blue Room
Hotel Lincoln
WEAF NBC Red NYC
2 Dec 1958
Don’t Worry About Me + Carioca + Nightmare (theme0
Artie Shaw Orchestra (voc) Helen Forrest
Summer Terrace
Ritz Carlton Hotel
WNAC NBC Red Boston
19 Aug 1939
Set 8
Modern Jazz
Now’s the Time
Charlie Parker
Storeyville
Copley Square Hotel
WHDH Boston
22 Sep 1953
20th Century BluesSir Charles Thompson All-Stars
Comm Rec
NYC
4 Sep 1945
Groovin’ High
Charlie Parker
Storeyville
Copley Square Hotel
WHDH Boston
22 Sep 1953
All Gigs
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
2SER Radio 107.3 Sydney
Directions

Available now! Get your copy

Newsletter

Keep in touch with the monthly newsletter