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Dixieland Revival – Phantom Dancer 21 April 2020

Dixieland revival. Your feature artists on this week’s Greg Poppleton Phantom Dancer are all (but one) broadcasting from San Francisco in the 1950s. They are Jimmy Dorsey (in a radio transcription), Muggsy Spanier, Kid Ory and Turk Murphy – all part of the Dixieland revival that went worldwide from the late 1930s into the 1960s (in Australia).

The Phantom Dancer, your non-stop 2 hour mix of swing and jazz from live 1920s-60s radio, is produced and presented by 1920s-30s singer and actor Greg Poppleton can be heard online from 12:04pm AEST Tuesday 21 April at

The last hour is all vinyl.


Dixieland revival was a movement of the late 1930s to the 1950s (in the US) reviving earlier improvisational jazz. It was a reaction to the arranged music of swing orchestras. The traditional front lines consisting of trumpets, trombones, and clarinets, and ensemble improvisation over a two-beat rhythm.

The term “Dixieland” was applied to early jazz by traditional jazz revivalists, starting in the 1940s and 1950s. The name is a reference to the “Old South”, specifically anything south of the Mason-Dixon line. The term encompasses earlier brass band marches, French Quadrilles, biguine, ragtime, and blues with collective, polyphonic improvisation. While instrumentation and size of bands varied, the “standard” band consisted of of a “front line” of trumpet (or cornet), trombone, and clarinet, with a “rhythm section” of at least two of the following instruments: guitar or banjo, string bass or tuba, piano, and drums. Louis Armstrong’s All-Stars was the band most popularly identified with Dixieland during the 1940s, although Armstrong’s own influence during the 1920s was to move the music beyond the traditional New Orleans style.

The definitive Dixieland sound is created when one instrument (usually the trumpet) plays the melody or a recognizable paraphrase or variation on it and the other instruments of the “front line” improvise around that melody. This creates a more polyphonic sound than the arranged ensemble playing of the big band sound or the straight “head” melodies of bebop.

During the 1930s and 1940s, the earlier group-improvisation style fell out of favor with the majority of younger black players, while some older players of both races continued on in the older style. Though younger musicians developed new forms, many beboppers revered Armstrong and quoted fragments of his recorded music in their own improvisations.

The Dixieland revival in the late 1940s and 1950s brought many semi-retired musicians a measure of fame late in their lives as well as bringing retired musicians back onto the jazz circuit after years of not playing (e.g., Kid Ory and Red Nichols). Many Dixieland groups of the revival era consciously imitated the recordings and bands of decades earlier. Other musicians continued to create innovative performances and new tunes. For example, in the 1950s a style called “Progressive Dixieland” sought to blend polyphonic improvisation with bebop-style rhythm. Spike Jones and His New Band and Steve Lacy played with such bands. This style is sometimes called “Dixie-bop”. Lacy went on to apply that approach to the music of Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus, Duke Ellington, and Herbie Nichols.

Muggsy Spanier

Muggsy Spanier


“Chicago style” is often applied to the sound of Chicagoans such as Jimmy McPartland, Eddie Condon, Muggsy Spanier, and Bud Freeman. The rhythm sections of these bands substitute the string bass for the tuba and the guitar for the banjo. Musically, the Chicagoans play in more of a swing-style 4-to-the-bar manner. The New Orleanian preference for an ensemble sound is deemphasized in favor of solos. Chicago-style Dixieland also differs from its southern origin by being faster paced, resembling the hustle-bustle of city life. Chicago-style bands play a wide variety of tunes, including most of those of the more traditional bands plus many of the Great American Songbook selections from the 1930s by George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Cole Porter, and Irving Berlin. Non-Chicagoans such as Pee Wee Russell and Bobby Hackett are often thought of as playing in this style. This modernized style came to be called Nicksieland, after Nick’s Greenwich Village night club, where it was popular, though the term was not limited to that club.

Turk Murphy at Club Hangover

Turk Murphy at Club Hangover


The “West Coast revival” is a movement that was begun in the late 1930s by Lu Watters and his Yerba Buena Jazz Band in San Francisco and extended by trombonist Turk Murphy. It started out as a backlash to the Chicago style, which is closer in development towards swing. The repertoire of these bands is based on the music of Joe “King” Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong, and W.C. Handy. Bands playing in the West Coast style use banjo and tuba in the rhythm sections, which play in a two-to-the-bar rhythmic style.

Much performed traditional Dixieland tunes include: “When the Saints Go Marching In”, “Muskrat Ramble”, “Struttin’ with Some Barbecue”, “Tiger Rag”, “Dippermouth Blues”, “Milenberg Joys”, “Basin Street Blues”, “Tin Roof Blues”, “At the Jazz Band Ball”, “Panama”, “I Found a New Baby”, “Royal Garden Blues” and many others. All of these tunes were widely played by jazz bands of the pre-WWII era, especially Louis Armstrong. They came to be grouped as Dixieland standards beginning in the 1950s.

Your Phantom Dancer Video of the Week is ‘Yes Suh!’ 26/Jul/32 NYC., THE RHYTHMAKERS: Red Allen (t) Jimmy Lord (cl) Pee Wee Russell (ts) Fats Waller (p,v) Eddie Condon (bj) Jack Bland (g) Pops Foster (b) Zutty Singleton (d) Billy Banks(v). Enjoy!


Play List – The Phantom Dancer
107.3 2SER-FM Sydney, Live Stream, Digital Radio
Community Radio Network Show CRN #433

107.3 2SER Tuesday 21 April 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 Mon 2:30 – 3:30am
4NAG Keppel FM 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
2ARM Armidale Friday 12 – 1pm
7LTN Launceston 5 – 6am
3MGB Mallacoota Sunday 5 – 6am

Set 1
Prehistoric Stan Kenton from 1941 Radio
Artistry in Rhythm
Stan Kenton Orchestra
Radio Transcription
C. P. MacGregor Studios
Los Angeles
Nov 1941
A Setting In Motion
Stan Kenton Orchestra
Radio Transcription
C. P. MacGregor Studios
Los Angeles
20 Sep 1941
Blues in F Minor
Stan Kenton Orchestra
Radio Transcription
C. P. MacGregor Studios
Los Angeles
6 Jan 1942
El Choclo
Stan Kenton Orchestra
Radio Transcription
C. P. MacGregor Studios
Los Angeles
Oct 1941
Set 2
Swing Band Leaders Speak on the Radio
Sunrise Serenade
Glenn Miller Orchestra
Glen Island Casino
New Rochelle NY
15 Nov 1938
When I Get It + Blue Lou + Close
Harry James Orchestra lead by Tommy Dorsey
Casino Gardens
Ocean Park
12 Aug 1944
Benny Goodman Quartet
‘For The Record’
Set 3
Lounge Music on 1920s – 1950s Radio
Sugarloaf Mambo
Bernard ‘Whitey’ Berquist’ and the Chicago NBC Symphony Orchestra
19 Jun 1956
On The Wood Pile
Harry Bruer (xylophone) with the Colonial Club Orchestra
‘Brunswick Brevities’
White Sails + Time On My Hands
Johnny Saab (organ)
‘Musical Interlude’
WJSV CBS Washington DC
21 Sep 1939
Set 4
From Birdland over WNBC in 1952
Coleman Hawkins and Roy Eldridge Orchestra
‘Stars in Jazz’
Stardust + Lady Be Good
Kai Winding Group
‘Stars in Jazz’
2 Sep 1952
Set 5
The 1950s Dixie Revival on Radio
Jimmy Dorsey ‘Dorseyland Band’
‘Marine Corp Show’
Radio Transcription
Los Angeles
Squeeze Me
Muggsy Spanier and his Dixieland All-Stars
‘Club Hangover’
KCBS San Francisco
11 Apr 1953
St James Infirmary
Kid Ory’s Creole Jazz Band
‘Club Hangover’
KCBS San Francisco
10 Oct 1954
Memphis Blues + Bay City (close)
Turk Murphy’s San Francisco Jazz Band
‘Easy Street’
KCBS San Francisco
9 Dec 1958
Set 6
Early Radio Appearances By Famous Singers
The Hoboken Four (Frank Sinatra’s first radio appearance)
‘Major Bowes’ Original Amateur Hour’
From The Bottom Of My Heart
Frank Sinatra (voc) Harry James Orchestra
‘America Dances’
Famous Door
Jul 1938
I’m Happy About The Whole Thing
Doris Day (voc) Barney Rapp and his New Englanders
Sign of the Drum
Cincinnati Ohio NBC
17 Jun 1939
I Cried For You
Bing Crosby
7 Nov 1931
Set 7
Harmony Singers on 1930s – 1940s Radio
When My Dreamboat Goes Home
The King Sisters with Frank DeVol
‘Radio Transcription’
Los Angeles
Chi Baba, Chi Baba
Lionel Hampton Orchestra (voc) Herman McCoy and the Hamp-Tones
Casa Manana
Culver City Ca
20 Jul 1947
That Sly Ol’ Gentleman
Benny Goodman Orchestra (voc) Martha Tilton and the Quintones
‘Camel Caravan’
4 Apr 1939
Tiger Rag
The Inkspots
WFIL NBC Red Philadelphia
12 Jul 1939
Set 8
Swinging on 1940s Radio
Open + Tea For Two
Bob Strong Orchestra
Glen Island Casino
New Rochelle NY
WOR Mutual NY
5 Aug 1944
Theme + Quiet Riot
Buddy Rich Orchestra
‘Spotlight Bands’
Quonset Naval Air Station
Rhode Island
Blue Network
25 Jan 1946
The Elks’ Parade
Bobby Sherwood Orchestra
Terrace Room
New Jersey
17 Feb 1945
Duke Ellington Orchestra
‘A Date With The Duke’
Evansville Indiana
16 Jun 1945

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