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Giant Bottle – Phantom Dancer 26 May 2020

A giant bottle of a soft drink you’ll hear about in a 1932 ad on this week’s two hour non-stop swing jazz mix of live 1920s-60s radio, is your Greg Poppleton Phantom Dancer feature.

The Phantom Dancer has been produced and presented by 1920s-30s singer and actor Greg Poppleton since 1985. It can be heard online from 12:04pm AEST Tuesday 26 May at

The last hour is all vinyl.


Australia is a land of giant things as tourist attractions – the giant prawn, the big banana, the giant ram – but Alabama in the US had a big soft drink bottle. Though the bottle burnt down in the mid-1930s, its location is still called ‘The Bottle’. Here it is…

the giant bottle

NiHi was a brand of soft drink in the US that was popular for its novelty flavours. The 1932 radio ad on this week’s Phantom Dancer praises Nihi’s ‘true fruit orange’. Fans of MASH would know that the character Radar drank Grape Nihi. Some other Nihi (pronounced Knee High) fizzy drink flavours included Chocolate, Root Beer, Lemonade, Wild Red, Blue Cream, and Peach. There were many more.


The site of the giant bottle is now identified by a historical marker.

The marker reads,

“Built in 1924, and billed as ‘the world’s largest bottle’, The Bottle (also known as The Twist Inn) was built by John F. Williams, owner of the Nehi Bottling Company, in Opelika, Alabama. The Bottle stood 64 feet (19.5 m) tall, and measured forty-nine feet (14.94 m) in diameter at the base, and 16 feet (4.88 m) at the cap. The ground floor was a grocery store and service station, and the second and third floors were living quarters and storage. The neck of the Bottle had windows so as to be used as an observation tower. The bottle cap was the roof. Inside there was a spiral oak stairway. The Bottle became a gathering place for tourists and locals alike to swap yarns and have parties every Friday night on the balcony above the service station. President¬†Franklin Delano Roosevelt stopped briefly at The Bottle after visiting Auburn. The bottle burned one morning in te fall of 1936. Even though the structure no longer exists, the name survives on Alabama maps which still identify the area as ‘The Bottle’.”

Your Phantom Dancer Video(s) of the Week

Tune into band leader Griff William’s dance band show from the late 1940s / early 50s over WBKB TV (CBS) Chicago. Three clips + a fourth WKBK news from 1964 and the start of their Acuion Movie, Dragstrip Riot’ – Enjoy!!!


Play List – The Phantom Dancer
107.3 2SER-FM Sydney, Live Stream, Digital Radio
Community Radio Network Show CRN #438

107.3 2SER Tuesday 26 May 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 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
2MCE Bathurst / Orange / Central West NSW Wednesday 9 – 10am
2ARM Armidale Friday 12 – 1pm
7LTN Launceston Sunday 5 – 6am
3MGB Mallacoota Sunday 5 – 6am
6GME Radio Goolarri Broome Sunday 5 – 6am

Set 1
Modernistic 1950s Dance Bands
Artistry in Rhythm (theme) + Tabu
Stan Kenton Orchestra
‘Concert in Miniature’
Lakeside Ballroom
Dayton OH
WLW NBC Cincinnati
16 Sep 1952
Savings Bonds Ad + The Stars and Stripes Forever
Ralph Flanagan Orchestra
‘Treasury Bandstand’
Cafe Rouge
Hotel Statler
Wending My May Back Home + Close
Eliot Lawrence Orchestra
‘Jazz Is My Beat’
New York City
AFRTS Re-broadcast
Set 2
Early Live 1930s Radio
Open + Music In My Fingers
George Shackley Ensemble (voc) Veronica Wiggins
‘Nihi Program’
Radio Transcription
New York City
Margie + Do You Ever Think Of Me? + Sweet Sue
Jimmie Grier Orchestra
Cocoanut Grove
Ambassador Hotel
KFI NBC Gold Network LA
Melancholy Moon + Pineapple Ad + It Gonna Rain No More + Aloha Oe
Wendall Hall
‘The Pineapple Picadour’
WMAQ NBC Chicago
2 Apr 1931
Set 3
Super Jive From 1937 – 38 Radio
Dark Forest (theme) + Limehouse Blues
Earl Hines Orchestra
Grand Terrace Room
WMAQ NBC Red Chicago
3 Aug 1938
A Study in Blue
Larry Clinton Orchestra
Hotel Park Central
7 Jul 1939
When It’s Sleepy Time Down South + Camel Hop
Benny Goodman Orchestra
Madhattan Room
Hotel Pennsylvania
20 Oct 1937
Set 4
1940s Dance Bands
Voglio Fischiettiare (I Like To Whistle)
Nuccia Natali and Vocal Trio with Orchestra
Comm Rec
The Sheik of Araby
Russ Morgan Orchestra
‘One Night Stand’
AFRS Re-broadcast
28 Apr 1944
Art Kassels and his Kassels-in-the-Air Orchestra
Blackhawk Restaurant
WGN Chicago
Set 5
Jazz and Pop on 1940 Radio
It Never Entered My Head
Shep Fields and his Rippling Rhythm Orchestra (voc) Hal Derwin
Radio Transcription
New York City
Open + Down For The Count
Glenn Miller Orchestra
Cafe Rouge
Hotel Pennsylvania
6 Nov 1940
St Louis Blues
Roy Eldridge
‘Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street’
21 Apr 1940
Four Beat Shuffle + Pretty Little Petticoat (theme)
Raymond Scott Orchestra
Panther Room
Hotel Sherman
WMAQ NBC Red Chicago
Set 6
New Orleans Jazz on Radio
Open + Way Down Yonder in New Orleans
Louis Armstrong All-Stars
‘New Orleans Movie Opening’
Wintergarden Theatre
19 Jun 1947
Open + At The Jazz Band Ball
Eddie Condon Group
‘Eddie Condon Jazz Concert’
Town Hall
30 Sep 1944
I Ain’t Gonna Give Nobody None Of My Jelly Roll
Bud Freeman Summa Cum Laude Orchestra
Panther Room
Hotel Sherman
WMAQ NBC Red Chicago
20 May 1940
That’s A’Plenty + Relaxin’ At The Touro (theme)
Muggsy Spanier Dixieland All-Stars
Club Hangover
KCBS CBS San Francisco
18 Apr 1953
Set 7
Big Bands on 1947 Radio
Who’s Got The Ball?
Harry James Orchestra
The Click
WFIL Philadelphia
22 Dec 1947
Tommy Dorsey Orchestra (voc) The Town Criers
Casino Gardens
Ocean Park Ca
6 Dec 1947
Everybody Eats When They Come To My House
Cab Calloway’s Caballiers (voc) CC
‘Guest Star’
New York City
Passion Flower
Duke Ellington Orchestra
‘One Night Stand’
Ciro’s Hollywood
AFRS Re-broadcast
Jul 1947
Set 8
Charlie Parker on WMCA NY 1949
Chasin’ The Bird
Charlie Parker Sextet
‘Symphony Sid Show’
Royal Roost
12 Mar 1949
Charlie Parker Quintet
‘Symphony Sid Show’
Royal Roost
19 Feb 1949
Scrapple From The Apple
Charlie Parker Quintet
‘Symphony Sid Show’
Royal Roost
22 Jan 1949

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