Greg Poppleton

21 May - Hear 1940s Jazz Harpsichord on this week's Phantom Dancer LISTEN

01 June 2021

(Until 01 June)

Edmundo Ros Rumba King – Phantom Dancer 1 June 2021

(Free event)

Greg Poppleton's Phantom Dancer swing jazz radio show

Edmundo Ros, Rumba King was a Trinidadian-Venezuelan musician, vocalist, arranger and bandleader who became a household name in Britain. He led a highly popular Latin American orchestra, made over 800 records, and owned one of London’s leading nightclubs.

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Edmund William Ross was born in Port of SpainTrinidad.His mother Luisa Urquart was a Venezuelan teacher, thought to be descended from indigenous Caribs. His father, William Hope-Ross, was of Scottish and black descent. Ros began his musical career in the Venezuelan army.
He was timpanist in the Venezuelan Symphony Orchestra and was a member of the Caracas Martial Band. He moved to London in 1937 on a Venezuelan Government scholarship to study harmony, composition and orchestration at the Royal Academy of Music. At the same time he was the vocalist and percussionist in Don Marino Baretto’s band at the Embassy Club. He recorded several sides as a sideman to Fats Waller, who was visiting London in 1938.
His five-piece Rumba Band was a runaway hit, playing for high society and international royalty. His music was so popular that then-Princess Elizabeth had her first public dance to the sound of Ros’ band in the 1940s. As queen, she would award him the Order of the British Empire for his services to entertainment. Ros was effectively London’s “ambassador for Latin American music,” his son Douglas told the Associated Press.
The prolific artist made more than 800 recordings over the course of his career. His 1949 number, “The Wedding Samba,” sold 3 million copies. His band was a fixture at Regent Street’s Coconut Grove club, which he bought in 1951 and counted Britain’s Princess Margaret, Monaco’s Prince Rainier and Sweden’s Prince Bertil among its regulars. The club’s demanding standards — ladies wearing broad-brimmed hats or trousers were denied admittance — kept the clientele exclusive through the 1950s, but the relaxation of Britain’s gambling laws in the 1960s began to hit his takings. Ros sold the club and later retired to the Spanish resort city of Alicante.


In August 1940, Ros formed his own orchestra, performing as Edmundo Ros and His Rumba Band in the style of Lecuona Cuban Boys. Hee cut his first tracks with Parlophone in 1941, the first number being “Los Hijos de Buda”.  Ros’s bands were always based in London nightclubs or restaurants. The first was the Cosmo Club in Wardour Street; then followed the St Regis Hotel, Cork Street, the Coconut Grove and the Bagatelle Restaurant, that opened the doors for Ros and high society.
All the leaders of Allied Countries in World War II and the Royal Family came there to dine and listen to Edmundo’s Rumba Band. At the Bagatelle a visit from Princess Elizabeth and party made his name. The future queen danced in public for the first time to Edmundo’s music. By then, with his gently rhythmic style and engaging vocals, he was enormously popular with the public generally, and his orchestra was often invited to play at Buckingham Palace.
By 1946 Ros owned a club, a dance school, a record company and an artistes’ agency. His band grew to 16 musicians and was renamed Edmundo Ros and His Orchestra.

His 1949 hit, “The Wedding Samba“, sold three million 78s. His album Rhythms of The South (1958) sold a million copies. He was with Decca Records from 1944 to 1974, and altogether he made more than 800 recordings. In 1951 Ros bought the “Coconut Grove” on Regent Street and in 1964 renamed it “Edmundo Ros’s Dinner and Supper Club”. The club became popular for ts atmosphere and music, but it closed in 1965, when legalised casino gambling had drawn away many of its best customers.
During the 1950s and 1960s the Ros orchestra appeared frequently on BBC Radio, continuing into the early 1970s on Radio Two Ballroom. In 1975, during Ros’s seventh tour of Japan, his band’s Musicians’ Union shop steward tried to usurp Ros’s authority by making arrangements with venues behind his back. Upon their return to the UK Ros organised a celebratory dinner after a BBC recording session and announced the disbanding of the orchestra. He destroyed almost all the band charts which conclusively ended the orchestra’s existence.
In 1994, Edmundo conducted and sang with the BBC Big Band with Strings at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London. The other conductor was Stanley Black.[3] The concert was broadcast over BBC Radio 2 .


Ros was initiated into the exclusive entertainment fraternity, the Grand Order of Water Rats on October 4, 1964. A year and a half later he was made a Freeman of the City of London, having been admitted to the Freedom of the Worshipful Company of Poulters on 5 January 1965 and subsequently clothed with the Livery of the Poulters’ Company on 22 June 1965. He was a Freemason, initiated into the Chelsea Lodge No 3098 and a Founder Member and Worshipful Master of Lodge of Ascension No 7358; on retirement a member of Sprig of Acacia Lodge No 41, Javea, Spain. He became a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music in 1991.
He normally was nicknamed by fans and journalists as the King of Latin Music. In the 2000 New Year Honours, Ros (then aged 90), was appointed by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in ceremony at Buckingham Palace. He turned 100 on 7 December 2010.


Play List – The Phantom Dancer
107.3 2SER-FM Sydney LISTEN ONLINE Community Radio Network Show CRN #493

107.3 2SER Tuesday 1 JUNE 2021 12:04 – 2:00pm (+10 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 – 4am 2BAR Edge FM Bega Monday 3 – 4am 2BRW Braidwood Monday 3 – 4am 3VKV Alpine Radio Monday 6 – 7pm 7MID Oatlands Monday 6 -7pm 6GME Radio Goolarri Broome Tuesday 12am – 1am 2MCE Bathurst Wednesday 9 – 10am 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 3BBR West Gippsland Sunday 5 – 6pm

Set 1
1950s One Night Stand Radio 
Because of You
Blue Barron Orchestra (voc) Betty Clark
‘One Night Stand’ Palladium Ballroom Hollywood AFRS Re-broadcast 20 Nov 1951
Dancing Tambourine
Ralph Flanagan Orchestra
‘One Night Stand’ Cafe Rouge Hotel Statler NYC AFRS Re-broadcast 26 Sep 1950
Hello Young Lovers + Close
Art Wayner Orchestra (voc) Ginny Powell
‘One Night Stand’ The Latin Quarter NYC AFRS Re-broadcast 31 Jul 1951
Set 2
1930s Women Jazz Singers 
Good For You Bad For Me
Boswell Sisters
Continental Broadcasting System Transcription Hollywood 1930
Dodge Orchestra (voc) Kay Thompson
‘The Dodge Show’ Radio Transcription 22 Jan 1936
Odds and Ends / Among My Souvenirs + Theme (I Wanna Be Loved)
Johnny Green Orchestra (voc) Ruth Etting
‘The Oldsmobile Program’ WABC CBS NYC 6 Mar 1934
Set 3
1920s Commercial Sides 
Florida Rhythm
Ross Deluxe Syncopators (voc) Frank Houston
Comm Rec Savannah Ga 22 Aug 1927
Hello, Lola!
Mound City Blues Blowers
Comm Rec NYC 14 Nov 1929
In Dat Morning
Jimmie Lunceford and his Chickasaw Syncopators
Comm Rec Memphis 6 Jun 1930
Set 4
Edmundo Ros 
Theme + 34A Samba
Edmundo Ros and his Rumba Band
‘Variety Bandbox’ Camberwell Palace London BBC 1950
Zinga -Zinga-Zinga-Boom + Theme
Edmundo Ros and his Rumba Band (voc) Edmundo Ros + Band
‘Variety Bandbox’ Camberwell Palace London BBC 1950
Brazilian Nuts
Edmundo Ros Orchestra
BBC London 1969
Brazil + The Coffee Song + Cuban Love Song (theme)
Edmundo Ros Orchestra (voc) Edmundo Ros
BBC London 1969
Set 5
1940s Radio Swing Bands 
Theme + Jeep Rhythm
Jimmie Lunceford Orchestra
‘Spotlight Bands’ Jefferson Barracks Missouri Mutual Network 23 Nov 1945
Diggin’ Dyke
International Sweethearts of Rhythm
‘Jubilee’ AFRS Hollywood Jan 1945
Lazy River
Louis Armstrong Orchestra (voc) Louis Armstrong
‘Spotlight Bands’ Dallas Tx Blue Network 17 Aug 1943
Keep the Home Fires Burning + Close
Charlie Barnet Orchestra
‘For The Record’ WEAF NBC NYC 11 Sep 1944
Set 6
Women Dance Band Singers 
Somebody Loves Me
Peggy Lee
‘Peggy Lee Show’ Aircheck 1947
Long Ago and Far Away
Doris Day
Cafe Rougr Hotel Pennsylvania WABC CBS NY 7 Jul 1944
It Had To Be You
Peggy Mann
‘For The Record’ WEAF NBC NYC 7 Aug 1944
Just a-Sittin’ and a-Rockin’
June Christy
Palladium Ballroom KNX CBS LA 27 Nov 1945
Set 7
1935 Dance Bands 
Theme + Isn’t Love the Grandest Thing?
Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians (voc) Trio
‘Esso Boulevarde’ WABC CBS NY 7 Oct 1935
Theme + Way Down Yonder in New Orleans
Glen Gray and the Casa Loma Orchestra
‘Camel Caravan’ WABC CBS NY 12 Dec 1935
Hot Lips (theme) + Jada
Henry Busse Orchestra
Radio Transcription Los Angeles 1935
What a Little Moonlight Can Do
Benny Goodman Orchestra (voc) Helen Ward
Palomar Ballroom KFI NBC Red LA 22 Aug 1935
Set 8
Modern Jazz on Radio 
Ben Webster
Aircheck 1962
How High The Moon
Lester Young (voc) Ella Fitzgerald
‘Symphony Sid Show’ Royal Roost WMCA NY 27 Nov 1948
All Gigs
12:04 pm - 2:00 pm
2SER 107.3 Sydney
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