Greg Poppleton

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

15 June 2021

(Until 15 June)

Hal Kemp Launched by Royal Drummer – Phantom Dancer 15 June 2021

Greg Poppleton's Phantom Dancer swing jazz radio show

Hal Kemp, is this week’s Phantom Dancer feature artist. You’ll hear his dance orchestra in broadcasts from 1934 to 1939. He was the tripling trumpets king, developing a unique sound for a ‘sweet band’ that made his orchestra one of the most popular of the Swing Era. And having the Prince of Wales, the future Eddie 8, sit in on drums with the band during an Atlantic crossing, kicked off his career.

The Phantom Dancer is your non-stop mix of swing and jazz from live 1920s-60s radio and TV hosted presented by me, Greg Poppleton.

You can hear past Phantom Dancer mixes online now at Meanwhile, this Phantom Dancer mix will be online after 2pm AEST, Tuesday 15 June, at


First up, the Hal Kemp Orchestra in action from the short, “Here’s Hal!”. Bandleader Hal Kemp leads his band in his own arrangement of “In an 18th Century Drawing Room”…  


James Hal Kemp was a US reeds player, bandleader, composer and arranger. He formed his first band in high school. At 19 he led the University of North Carolina band – the Carolina Club Orchestra.
They went to England, where they made their first recordings in London, and on their return journey made the acquaintance of the Prince of Wales, who performed with them. As a result, the band was mentioned in US press reports, so on their return they received several offers of contracts.
In 1927, Kemp formed his own orchestra, which at various times featured Skinnay EnnisBunny Berigan, and John Scott Trotter. The band became a popular jazz orchestra in the late 1920s. 



In the 1930s, Kemp’s band turned to “sweet” dance music. From 1932 to 1934, they performed at the Blackhawk Restaurant in Chicago, and appeared regularly on radio broadcasts. They became well-known nationally, and secured a contract with Brunswick Records.
Most of the vocals on their recordings were by Skinnay Ennis, whose vocal style and the arrangements by Trotter, which featured staccato triplets by the trumpeters and clarinets played through megaphones, gave Kemp’s records a distinctive sound.
Kemp and his orchestra had a number of hit records, including “Shuffle Off to Buffalo” (1933), “In the Middle of a Kiss” (1935), “There’s a Small Hotel” (1936), “When I’m With You” (1936), “This Year’s Kisses” (1937), and “Where or When” (1937). Saxie Dowell in the Kemp Orchestra wrote what is still a children’s favourite, “Three Little Fishies” which he sings in this 1936 short…

In 1936, John Scott Trotter left the orchestra to join Bing Crosby and was succeeded as arranger by Hal Mooney and Lou Busch. Ennis left in 1938, and Bob Allen became the band’s featured singer.
From 1937, Kemp recorded for Victor Records. His other recordings included “Got A Date With An Angel”, “Heart Of Stone”, “Lamplight”, “The Music Goes ‘Round And Around”, “You’re The Top”, “Bolero”, “Gloomy Sunday” and “Lullaby Of Broadway”.
Hal Kemp died in Madera, California in 1940, aged 36, following a road accident while driving from Los Angeles to a performance in San Francisco in foggy conditions. His car was hit by an oncoming truck. He died in hospital from pneumonia two days later. The orchestra remained operational for some time after Kemp’s death, led by singer Art Jarrett. It disbanded in the early 1940s.
One more band clip. First released in 1941, this short was filmed the day before Kemp was killed in a fatal automobile accident in 1940. It was re-released in 1953. The music includes “The Joke’s On You,” sung by band vocalist Maxine Grey, and “Trade Winds,” sung by band vocalist Robert Allen). The band also plays “I’ll Be Missing You”, and concludes with “Begin the Beguine.” This is not the same short as the 1938 Paramount short of the same name…  


Play List – The Phantom Dancer
107.3 2SER-FM Sydney LISTEN ONLINE Community Radio Network Show CRN #495

107.3 2SER Tuesday 15 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
1940s One Night Stand Radio 
Minnie the Moocher (theme) + Foo a Little Ballyhoo
Cab Calloway Orchestra
‘One Night Stand’ New Zanzibar Club New York City AFRS Re-broadcast Jul 1945
You’re My Thrill
Charlie Barnet Orchestra (voc) Betty Perry
‘One Night Stand’ Casino Gardens Ocean Park Ca AFRS Re-broadcast 3 Jan 1947
Northwest Passage + Blue Flame (theme)
Woody Herman Orchestra
‘One Night Stand’ Cafe Rouge Hotel Pennsylvania NYC AFRS Re-broadcast 23 Aug 1945
Set 2
Friendly Five Footnotes 
I’ve Got Five Dollars (theme) + It’s the Girl
Freddie Rich Orchestra (voc) Freddie Rich
‘Friendly Five Footnotes’ Radio Transcription New York City 1932
I’m With You
Freddie Rich Orchestra (voc) Freddie Rich
‘Friendly Five Footnotes’ Radio Transcription New York City 1932
Roll on Mississippi + I’ve Got Five Dollars (theme)
Freddie Rich Orchestra
‘Friendly Five Footnotes’ Radio Transcription New York City 1932
Set 3
Francophone Radio 
Honeysuckle Rose
Django Reinhardt with the ATC Band
‘Beaucoup de Music’ AFN Paris 1 Dec 1945
Song of Paris + close
Maurice Duvier Orchestra (voc) Lucille Dumont
‘Rhythms de Paris’ CBC Montreal 2 Nov 1951
Improvisation No. 6
Django Reinhardt
‘Beaucoup de Music’ AFN Paris 1 Dec 1945
Set 4
Hal Kemp 
When Summer is Gone (theme) + You’ve Got Me Crying Again
Hal Kemp Orchestra (voc) Skinnay Ennis
‘Lavena Program’ Radio Transcription New York 1934
A Heart of Stone
Hal Kemp Orchestra (voc) Shinnay Ennis
‘Lady Esther Serenade’ WABC CBS NYC 26 Aug 1936
Hal Kemp Orchestra (voc) Shinnay Ennis
‘Chesterfield Show’ WABC CBS NY 1937
Got a Daye with an Angel + Close
Hal Kemp Orchestra
‘R. H Macy Morning Show’ WOR Mutual NYC Oct 1935
Set 5
Stan Kenton 1953 
Theme + Casual Jazz
Stan Kenton Orchestra
‘Concert in Miniature’ Hampton Casino Hampton Beach NH WBZ NBC Boston 21 Jul 1953
Stan Kenton Orchestra
‘Concert Encores’ Blue Room WMAQ NBC Chicago 2 Apr 1953
Artistry in Rhythm
Stan Kenton Orchestra
‘Concert in Miniature’ Ross Auditorium KFSD NBC San Diego 10 Feb 1953
Set 6
Glenn Miller in German 
In The Mood (theme) + Stardust
Glenn Miller Orchestra
‘Wehrmacht Hour’ American Broadcasting Station in Europe (ABSIE) London Nov 1944
Anvil Chorus
Glenn Miller Orchestra
‘Wehrmacht Hour’ American Broadcasting Station in Europe (ABSIE) London Nov 1944
String of Pearls
Glenn Miller Orchestra
‘Wehrmacht Hour’ American Broadcasting Station in Europe (ABSIE) London Nov 1944
Little Brown Jug + Close
Glenn Miller Orchestra
‘Wehrmacht Hour’ American Broadcasting Station in Europe (ABSIE) London Nov 1944
Set 7
1920s-30s Women Singers 
Dancing on the Ceiling
Jessie Matthews
Comm Rec London 4 May 1934
Look For The Silver Lining
Marilyn Miller and Lawrence Gray
Soundtrack Hollywood Jun 1929
Everything’s in Rhythm with my Heart
Jessie Matthews
Comm Rec London 18 Sep 1935
Helen Morgan
Comm Rec New York City 14 Feb 1928
Set 8
Someone to Watch Over Me + Somebody Loves Me + Fascinating Rhythm + Dawn of a New Day
Roy Bargy and Walter Gross (pianos) Lynn Murray Chorus
‘Everybody’s Music’ WABC CBS NY 10 Jun 1938
Medley of Ellington Hits
Duke Ellington Orchestra
Carnegie Hall New York City 13 Nov 1948
They Can’t Take That Away From Me + Nice Work If You Can Get It + Love Walked InPaul Whiteman Orchestra (voc) Maxine Sullivan
‘Everybody’s Music’ WABC CBS NY 10 Jun 1938
All Gigs
12:04 pm - 2:00 pm
2SER 107.3 Sydney

Available now! Get your copy


Keep in touch with the monthly newsletter