Greg Poppleton

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First Nighters – Phantom Dancer 5 January 2021

First nighters for the first Phantom Dancer of 2021 – your non-stop mix of swing and jazz from live 1920s-60s radio and TV hosted by me, Greg Poppleton.

Hear excepts from the 1939 radio first nighters of Morton Gould’s ‘American Symphonette #2’, the first all African-American Variety show on NBC in 1948, and Duke Ellington introducing his Shakesphere suite over CBS from the 1957 Ravinia Festival

You can hear The Phantom Dancer online now at https://2ser.com/phantom-dancer/

FIRST NIGHTERS

Every week The Phantom Dancer brings you a feature artist. This week, it’s first nighter feature programs. Excerpts from three historic first nighters with some explaination about why they are so important below…

morton gould

AMERICAN SYMPHONETTE No.3 RADIO PREMIER – WOR MBS New York City / CBC CANADA, 1939

Joseph Stevenson writes,
“This 1939 composition is one of the most convincing classical attempts to create a jazz spirit. It succeeds in doing so without the presence of any jazz players or use of improvisation. Nevertheless, jazz devices of coloration are used, such as wire brushes on drums, glissandi and lip slurs, and chord voicings that are common to jazz arrangements of the time. In addition, the themes (and their scales and harmonies) are jazz- and blues-derived. So successful was Gould in devising “jazz” themes for this symphonette that the second movement, “Pavane” has been widely quoted in actual jazz performances by such masters as John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie, and Glenn Miller. The outer two movements of this three-movement piece are marked “Moderately fast” and “Very fast–Racy,” respectively. Incidentally, you have heard and are quite familiar with the theme of the Pavane, whether you know it or not. Outstanding listening. Gould is notable for creating excellent music, perfectly crafted, seemingly almost commercial in intent and yet, when really listened to, revealing unusual breadth. I always conclude listening to this piece believing that it is a true masterpiece without even trying to be. Wonderfully ingratiating music.”

savoy ballroom

‘SWINGTIME AT THE SAVOY’ WNBC NBC NY, 28 Jul 1948

New York Times headline: “The News of Radio; All-Negro Variety Show, ‘Swingtime at the Savoy,’ Will Bow Tonight on NBC”

“An all-Negro variety show, entitled “Swingtime at the Savoy,” will have its premiere at 8 o’clock tonight on NBC. The regular cast will include Lucky Millinder and his orchestra, Miller and Lee, comedians; Jackie (Moms) Pabley, comedienne, and the King Odem Quartet.” New York Times, 28 July 1948

ravinia festival

RAVINIA FESTIVAL – DUKE ELLINGTON SHAKESPHERE SUITE PREMIER, CBS 1 JUL 1957

The Ravinia Festival is the oldest outdoor music festival in the United States, with a series of outdoor concerts and performances held every summer from June to September. In Ravinia Park’s first summer of 1905, it hosted the New York Philharmonic, and the prairie style Martin Theater dates from this time period. It has been the summer home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) since 1936. Located in Highland Park, Illinois, the festival operates on the grounds of the 15 ha Ravinia Park, with a variety of outdoor and indoor performing arts facilities – Wiki

“In 1957, Duke Ellington premiered the latest in what would become a series of suites based on various subjects and inspirations. This one, inspired by the plays of William Shakespeare, had its U.S. premier at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago and was broadcast (much, but not all of it) via CBS Radio on July 1st, with the performance already underway. An album of the suite was planned and recorded, slated for release in November of 1957, but apparently the stereo version was scrapped and only the mono version was available until 1999. The world premier of the piece was given at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, where Ellington and his band were scheduled to play for two nights. It was there that Ellington got the idea to do a suite based on Shakespearean themes, and along with his co-writer Billy Strayhorn, worked on the suite to be premiered the following year at the festival. So the actual world premier of most of Such Sweet Thunder took place at Stratford around June 30 1957, but it wasn’t complete and no recording of it exists.” Gordon Skene.

Now, tirelessly searching YouTube for a swingy, jazzy, instructive, or ‘weird and wonderful’ Video of the Week, I’ve found this for your ocular delectation, a whole set of soundies by the 1940s all-women swing orchestra, International Sweethearts of Rhythm, recently featured on your Phantom Dancer with Greg Poppleton. Enjoy!

Make sure you come back to this blog, Greg Poppleton’s Radio Lounge, every Tuesday, for the newest Phantom Dancer play list and Video of the Week!

Thank you.

5 JANUARY PLAY LIST

Play List – The Phantom Dancer
107.3 2SER-FM Sydney, Live Stream
Community Radio Network Show CRN #469

107.3 2SER Tuesday 5 January 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 Sunday 5 – 6pm

Set 1
Swing on 1930s Radio
Open + Panamania
Leith Stevens Orchestra
‘Saturday Night Swing Club’
WABC CBS NY
12 Jun 1937
Naila (Delibes)
Arnold Johnson Orchestra
Comm Rec (unissued)
Variety Records
New York City
26 May 1937
RCA Radio Ad + Wolverine Blues + Study In Brown (theme)
Larry Clinton Orchestra
‘RCA Campus Club’
Glen Island Casino
New Rochelle
WEAF NBC Red NY
2 Jul 1938
Set 2
Latin Sounds on 1946-53 Radio
Open + Chiu Chiu
Desi Arnez Orchestra
Ciro’s
KNX CBS LA
1946
Bolero
Sergio Torres Orchestra (voc) unannounced woman singer
‘Chiclets Program’
XEW Mexico City
1949
Chi sas? Chi sas?
Xavier Cugat Orchestra
‘All-Star Parade of Bands’
Hotel Last Frontier
NBC Las Vegas
30 Nov 1953
Set 3
1943-44 Swing Radio
Joshua
Richard Himber Orchestra
‘Spotlight Bands’
Aniston, Alabama
Blue Network
13 Nov 1943
I’ve Got You Under My Skin
Leo Reisman Orchestra
‘Spotlight Bands’
National Press Club
Washington DC
Blue Network
23 Jan 1943
I Got Rhythm + Close
Lenny Conn Orchestra
‘One Night Stand’
Los Angeles
AFRS Re-broadcast
1949
Set 4
Special Music Programs
First Movement
Morton Gould Orchestra
‘American Symphonette No. 3’
WOR MBS/CBC New York City
1939
Open + I’ve Got Rhythm + Money Money (calypso)
Lucky Millinder Orchestra with Noble Sissle and the Hall Sisters
‘Swingtime At The Savoy’
WNBC NBC NY
28 Jul 1948
Circle of Fourths + Jam With Sam
Duke Ellington Orchestra
‘Ravinia Festival’
WBBM CBS Chicago
1 Jul 1957
Set 5
1939 Radio Singers
We Three
Johnny Messner Orchestra (voc) Johnny Messner
Radio Transcription
New York City
1939
Stairway To The Stars
Teddy Wilson Orchestra (voc) Thelma Carpenter
‘America Dances’
CBS NY / BBC London
1939
From The Bottom Of My Heart
Harry James Orchestra (voc) Frank Sinatra
‘America Dances’
CBS NY / BBC London
19 Jul 1939
Chew, Chew Your Bubblegum
Chick Webb Orchestra (voc) Ella Fitzgerald
Southland Cafe
WNAC NBC Boton
4 May 1939
Set 6
Traditional Jazz on 1939 – 1951 Radio
Way Down Yonder In New Orleans (theme) + Maple Leaf Rag
Wild Bill Davison
‘This Is Jazz’
WOR Mutual NY
19 Apr 1947
You’re Driving Me Crazy
Bob Crosby Bobcats
‘Camel Caravan’
WABC CBS NY
18 Jul 1939
Snag It
Henry ‘Red’ Allen Dixielanders
‘Doctor Jazz’
Stuyvesant Casino
WMGM NY
1950
There’ll Be Some Changes Made + I Would Do Anything For You
Eddie Condon Group (voc) Red McKenzie
‘Eddie Condon Town Hall Jazz Concert’
Town Hall
WJZ Blue NY
16 Sep 1944
Set 7
Benny Goodman On The Air
The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise
Benny Goodman Quintet
‘Jubilee’
AFRS Re-broadcast
Jan 1948
Clarinade
Benny Goodman Orchestra
Meadowbrook Gardens
Culver City Ca
KECA ABC LA
26 Jan 1946
Sweet Georgia Brown
Benny Goodman Quintet
‘Spotlight Bands’
Springfield Mass.
Blue Network
29 Sep 1943
Jack Benny-Gary Cooper Skit + One O’Clock Jump
Benny Goodman Orchestra
‘Jack Benny Show’
WEAF NBC NY
13 Dec 1942
Set 8
Modern Sounds on 1940s-50s Radio
All of Me + VIP’s Boogie
Duke Ellington Orchestra (voc) Bette Roche
Town Casino
NBC Cleveland
1952
Hot House
Barry Ulanov’s All Star Modern Jazz Musicians
‘Bands For Bonds’
WOR MBS NY
13 Sep 1947
Painted Rhythm
Stan Kenton Orchestra
Palladium Ballroom
KNX CBS LA
27 Nov 1945
Fine and Dandy
Slim Gaillard Quintet
‘Symphony Sid Show’
WJZ ABC NY
2 Jun 1951

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