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26 March 2024

(Until 26 March)

Horrie Dargie – Harmonica Genius – Phantom Dancer

Greg Poppleton's Phantom Dancer swing jazz radio show

Horrie Dargie was an Australian harmonica player and clarinetist, television compère (Personally Yours (1959), BP Super Show (1959–1962) and The Delo and Daly Show (1963–1964)), talent manager, music label founder (Go!! Records) and music arranger. His Horrie Dargie Quintet was awarded the first gold record in Australia for ‘Horrie Dargie Concert’ (1952). Horrie is your Phantom Dancer feature artist this week.

The Phantom Dancer is your weekly non-stop mix of swing and jazz from live 1920s-60s radio and TV every week.

LISTEN to this week’s Phantom Dancer mix (online after 2pm AEST, Tuesday 26 March) and weeks of Phantom Dancer mixes online at, at https://2ser.com/phantom-dancer/

HORRIE

Horace Dargie was given a harmonica by his father and, from the age of ten, he practised the instrument for five hours a day.

A self-taught musician, Horrie Dargie, began his musical career as a diatonica harmonica player. At 16-years-old, in 1933, he joined the Yarraville Mouth Organ Band.

He joined the Victorian Mouth Organ Band conducted by William Ketterer.

In the early 1930s Dargie took up the chromatic harmonica and won a variety competition for professional and amateurs, PandA Parade on local radio station 3KZ in 1937.

The Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) hired him as a harmonica player to tour Australia for three months from November 1937.

He started his tour in Tasmania and broadcast from a radio studio, which he preferred to concert halls as his effects are “concentrated in the one volume of sound, and not thinned by the spread of sound in a hall.”

In February 1938 he joined ABC-sponsored Jim Davidson’s Dance Band alongside hill-billy comedian Bobby Dyer on “an extended tour of capital cities and provincial centres.”

In March of that year they performed at Tivoli Theatre, Broken Hill.

Some tour performances were broadcast on local radio stations.

Dargie’s first recording was with Davidson’s orchestra in 1938, issued via Columbia Records.

After the tour Dargie moved to Sydney where he studied clarinet and orchestration, before starting his own harmonica school there.

With Henry “Doc” Bertram on bass harmonica; Alec Lois, Ron Metcalfe and George Williamson on chromatics and Roy Shea on chords he formed a harmonica group, the Rockin’ Reeds.

The group released six recordings by 1941. From early March to late April 1942 Horrie Dargie and His Rockin’ Reeds played a weekly programme on ABC radio.

DARGIE

Dargie enlisted in the Australian Army’s Entertainment Unit on 13 November 1942, where he became a Warrant Officer Class 2. He served in New Guinea (December 1943–September 1944), Darwin (May–July 1945) and in the occupational forces in Japan (March 1946–February 1947). He was discharged in March 1947 and returned to Sydney.

He formed the Horrie Dargie Quintet (also known as the Horrie Dargie Harlequintet) in 1949.

By 1952 the Quintet had risen in popularity and played their farewell concert at the Sydney Town Hall in November 1952 before leaving for England. The line-up of the quintet was Dargie on clarinet, harmonica, vocals; Bertram on bass, harmonica, vocals; Reg Cantwell on piano; Joe Hudson on drums, harmonica, vocals; Vern Moore on guitar, harmonica, vocals.

By chance, a recording was made on a wire recorder using just one microphone – the 10-inch record of the performance, Horrie Dargie Concert (1953) became Australia’s first gold record, selling 75,000 copies.

While in England they appeared several times on BBC television via BBC from 1953.

The quintet’s line-up, in January 1955, was Dargie (harmonica, clarinet, saxophone, vocals), Bertram (bass, harmonica), Cantwell (piano), Hudson (drums, harmonica) and Moore (saxophone, guitar, trombone, harmonica). One of their numbers “The Green Door” (1956) become a hit in its own right.

While performing in London in late 1955 Dargie contracted polio and was hospitalised – apparently he collapsed on stage. The disease affected his diaphragm and legs, at the time he was told he would not be able to play a wind instrument again. He once described the illness as a “bit of a problem” – he was paralysed except for his right arm and he could swallow. With persistence he recovered and returned to his music career by June of the following year.

Upon their return to Australia in 1958 they performed at the Tivoli, Sydney.

The quintet appeared on Stan Freberg Show in June 1959, which was filmed at ATN-7 studios, Epping.[25] Dargie took up positions at the then-affiliated TV stations ATN-7 (Sydney) and GTV-9 (Melbourne), where he was in charge of the talent division – variety was popular at the time – he worked on four or five shows a week. He compèred BP Super Show (1959–1962), Personally Yours (1962) and The Delo and Daly Show (1963–1964) and organised on-air talent and guests. The latter programme was produced by DYT Productions, which had been established by Dargie with Arthur Young and Johnny Tillbrook.

Dargie compèred the first nationwide-edition of The Price Is Right in 1963 on Seven Network, which had previously had rival versions in Melbourne (1958) and Sydney (1957–1958). By 1963 ATN-7 was affiliated with HSV-7 (Melbourne).

DYT Productions also produced The Go!! Show (1964–1967) for ATV-0 (Melbourne).[27] It was a pop music show, which regularly featured solo entertainers Johnny Young, Ian Turpie and Olivia Newton-John. DYT Productions established the related Go!! Records in 1964 to promote artists, which appeared on the show; with distribution by Astor Records. In August 1967, ATV-0 abruptly cancelled The Go!! Show and the loss of its promotional outlet led to the demise of the Go!! label in the following year.

Dargie provided musical arrangements for film Crocodile Dundee and TV series The Leyland Brothers. Under the musical directorship of Sven Libaek, he also participated in the background music in the 1960s TV show Nature Walkabout (hosted by Vincent Serventy). Dargie played background music for TV series Skippy the Bush Kangaroo. One of Dargie’s last recordings was for pop music group the Reels’ third studio album, Beautiful (May 1982).

26 Mar PLAY LIST

Play List – The Phantom Dancer
107.3 2SER-FM Sydney
LISTEN ONLINE
Community Radio Network Show CRN #646

107.3 2SER Tuesday 26 March 2024
12:04 – 2:00pm (+11 hours GMT)
National Program
5UV Adelaide Monday 2:30 – 3:30am
5GTR Mt Gambier Monday 2:30 – 3:30am
3MBR Murrayville Monday 3 – 4am
4NAG Keppel FM Monday 3 – 4am
2MIA Griffith Monday 3 – 4am
2BAR Edge FM Bega Monday 3 – 4am
2BRW Braidwood Monday 3 – 4am
2YYY Young Monday 3 – 4am
7RPH Hobart Monday 3 – 4pm
3VKV Alpine Radio Monday 6 – 7pm
7MID Oatlands Monday 3am – 4 and 6 -7pm
2MCE Bathurst Wednesday 9 – 10am
1ART ArtsoundFM Canberra Friday 10 – 11am
and Sunday 11pm
Reading Radio (QLD) Friday 1am – 2
2RRR Ryde Friday 11am – 12
2ARM Armidale Friday 12 – 1pm
5LCM Lofty FM Adelaide Friday 1 – 2pm
6GME Radio Goolarri Broome Saturday 4am – 5am
Denmark FM (West Australia) Saturday 10 – 11am
Repeat: Wednesdays 10 – 11pm
7LTN Launceston Sunday 5 – 6am
3MGB Mallacoota Sunday 5 – 6am
3BBR West Gippsland Sunday 5 – 6pm
2SEA Sapphire Coast Eden Sunday 9 – 10pm

Set 1
Stan Kenton
Open + Walkin’ Shoes
Stan Kenton Orchestra
‘Concert in Miniature’
George Auditorium
CBU CBC Vancouver BC Canada
3 Feb 1953
Gone With the Wind
Stan Kenton Orchestra
‘Concert in Miniature’
George Auditorium
CBU CBC Vancouver BC Canada
3 Feb 1953
WorksStan Kenton Orchestra
‘Concert in Miniature’
George Auditorium
CBU CBC Vancouver BC Canada
3 Feb 1953
Over the RainbowStan Kenton Orchestra‘Concert in Miniature’
George Auditorium
CBU CBC Vancouver BC Canada
3 Feb 1953
Set 2
Lounge Music
Theme + Cecilia
Lenny Herman Quintet
Golden Thread Room
Hotel New Yorker
WCBS CBS NYC
1957
Kisses are Better than Roses
Lenny Herman Quintet (voc) Alan Shurr
Golden Thread Room
Hotel New Yorker
WCBS CBS NYC
1957
Don’t Forbid Me
Lenny Herman Quintet (voc) The Hermanaires

Golden Thread Room
Hotel New Yorker
WCBS CBS NYC
1957
Medley: You Gotta Be Tender / My Blue Heaven
The Banana Boat Song + Oh, You Beautiful Doll + Close
Lenny Herman Quintet (voc) Gumpy

Golden Thread Room
Hotel New Yorker
WCBS CBS NYC
1957
Set 3
Horrie Dargie
Intro and Singing Ad
Horrie Dargie Quartet (voc) Quartet
‘BP Super Show’
HSV 7 TV
Melbourne
1961
She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain
Bob Dyer and his Mountain Men
Comm Rec
Melbourne
5 Sep 1940
There’s a Gold Mine in the Sky
Jim Davidson’s Dandies
Comm Rec
Sydney
18 May 1938
Open + The Butcher, The Baker, The Candlestick Maker
Bob Dyer and his Mountain Men (voc) Bob Dyer and Band
‘The Last of the Hillbillies’
3DB Melbourne
1940
Way Fer Down in the Holler
Bob Dyer and his Mountain Men (voc) Bob Dyer & Band
Comm Rec
Melbourne
23 Aug 1940
I’m An Old Cowhand
Bob Dyer and his Mountain Men (voc) Bob Dyer and Band
‘The Last of the Hillbillies’
3DB Melbourne
1940
Set 4
Paris via Shortwave
I’ve Got You Under My Skin + Easy To Love + I’ve Got You Under My Skin
Norman Clouthier Orchestra
‘Paris By Night’
NBC Blue, Paris Mondial, PTT
Paris and New York
21 Mar 1939
Tango de Bley + La Madelon
Marcelle Bordas (voc) Wal Berg Orchestra
‘Paris By Night’
NBC Blue, Paris Mondial, PTT
Paris and New York
21 Mar 1939
Set 5
Bix Biedebecke 1920s Sides
Singing the Blues
Frankie Trambauer Orchestra
Comm Rec
4 Feb 1927
Humpty Dumpty
Frankie Trambauer Orchestra
Comm Rec
28 Sep 1927
Ostrich Walk
Frankie Trambauer Orchestra
Comm Rec
9 May 1927
Krazy Kat
Frankie Trambauer Orchestra
Comm Rec
28 Sep 1927
Set 6
Benny Goodman
Delilah
Benny Goodman Orchestra
Meadowbrook Ballroom
Cedar Grove NJ
WABC CBS NYC
20 Sep 1941
Time Was
Benny Goodman Orchestra (voc) Tommy Taylor
Meadowbrook Ballroom
Cedar Grove NJ
WABC CBS NYC
20 Sep 1941
Minnie’s in the Money
Benny Goodman Orchestra (voc) Benny Goodman
‘Spotlight Bands’
Cornell University
Ithaca NYC
Blue Network
25 Sep 1943
I Found a New Baby + Close
Benny Goodman Orchestra
‘Spotlight Bands’
Cornell University
Ithaca NYC
Blue Network
25 Sep 1943
Set 7
1940s Pop 
Open the Door, Richard
Your Hit Parade Orchestra (voc) The Hit Paraders
‘Your Hit Parade’
WEAF NBC NYC
1 Mar 1947
Somebody Loves Me
Peggy Lee (voc) Dave Barbour Orchestra
‘The Chesterfield Supper Club’
KFI NBC LA
1948
Ol’ Buttermilk Sky
Andy Russell
‘Your Hit Parade’
WEAF NBC NYC
22 Feb 1947
As Long As I’m Dreaming
Peggy Lee (voc) Dave Barbour Orchestra
‘The Chesterfield Supper Club’
KFI NBC LA
1948
Set 8
Dixie
Theme + Struttin’ With Some BBQHenry Red Allen Dixielanders‘Doctor Jazz’
Central Plaza
WMGM NYC
24 Feb 1952
St James InfirmaryHenry Red Allen Dixielanders
‘Doctor Jazz’
Central Plaza
WMGM NYC
24 Feb 1952
Fine and Dandy + You Rascal You
Louis Armstrong All-Stars
‘Guest Star’
Radio Transcription
7 May 1950
All Gigs
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
2SER Radio 107.3 Sydney
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