Greg Poppleton

27 February Phantom Dancer - Non-stop mix of swing & jazz from live 1920s-60s radio LISTEN

2SER Radio 107.3 Sydney
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09 January 2024

(Until 09 January)

Jack Hylton: Britsh King of Jazz | Phantom Dancer

Greg Poppleton's Phantom Dancer swing jazz radio show

Jack Hylton was an English pianist, composer, band leader and impresario. He was called the “British King of Jazz” and “The Ambassador of British Dance Music” because of his worldwide popularity, unusually large ensembles and polished arrangements. After 1940 he became a successful theatrical businessman. He’s 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 9 January) and weeks of Phantom Dancer mixes online at, at https://2ser.com/phantom-dancer/

JACK

Jack Hylton learnt piano to accompany his amateur singer father who was also a cotton yarn twister.

Hylton later sang to the customers when his father bought a pub, becoming known as the “Singing Mill-Boy”. He was a relief pianist for various bands.

In 1905 he joined a pierrot troupe and went on to conduct the orchestra of a touring pantomime.

In 1913 he moved to London where he initially worked as an organist at a cinema .

A year later he was working as a pianist in the 400 Club and playing with the Stroud Haxton Band.

During the First World War he moved to be a musical director of the band of the 20th Hussars, and later in the Army Entertainment Division (N.A.C.B.)

After the First World War, Hylton formed a double act with comedian Tommy Handley to little success, also collaborating in a number of short-lived stage shows.

In 1919 he moved to Blackpool, where he composed and sold songs to tourists.

He returned to London, playing with the “Queens” Dance Orchestra, wrote arrangements of popular songs and recorded them for His Master’s Voice and Zonophone under the label “Directed by Jack Hylton” (being credited in lieu of a pay rise), his records carrying the new style of jazz-derived American dance music.

After being dismissed by his own bandmates from the Queen’s Hall in 1922, Hylton set up his own band, and a number of other orchestras under the Jack Hylton Organisation.

Even though he was not professionally trained for business, he brought his band to success when the Great Depression hit hard during the 1930s.

His good reputation allowed him to make contacts with famous jazz artists. He is credited for bringing Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong and others to Britain and Europe in the 1930s.

HYLTON

As an ensemble of more than 20 musicians, the Hylton orchestra quickly stood out from the rest.

Hylton often embarked on lengthy tours of England, which ultimately moulded the concept most Britons had of jazz.

By the mid-1920s he was usually referred as the “British King of Jazz”, a notion Hylton initially dismissed.

As late as 1926, he thought of jazz as “a bunch of noises” popular at the end of the First World War, “when everything was topsy-turvy”.

Hylton first appeared on radio through station 2LO in 1924, and cut HMV’s first electric record the following year.

The second half of the 1920s marked Hylton’s highest point of prominence. After recovering from a near-fatal car accident – which took place on 20 January 1927, on the way to the HMV studios at Hayes, Middlesex – he made the first in a string of “continental tours” that lasted until 1930.

In 1931, Hylton became a director and major shareholder of the new Decca record label.

He was decorated by the French government in 1932, recorded with Paul Robeson, and made the first transatlantic entertainment broadcast with Paul Whiteman and his orchestra.

In late 1933, Hylton left Decca after refusing to take a pay cut. He spent 1934 touring Europe again. In 1935, he appeared in his first feature film, the musical comedy She Shall Have Music.

That same year, Hylton performed in the United States. He had repeatedly attempted this for almost a decade, but had been opposed by the musicians’ unions.

Standard Oil signed Hylton for a radio show on CBS. Union pressure led him to return to the UK in 1936, although his singer Pat O’Malley and pianist Alec Templeton stayed in America to successful careers.

On returning to Britain, he was criticised for adopting the then-popular swing rhythm, so he kept playing in his well-established style, including a series of new concert recordings.

After a new tour of Europe in 1937, which included a performance at the Scala in Berlin. Hylton began appearing on radio more frequently, starring in Radio Luxembourg’s Rinso Radio Revue until 1939 which you’ll hear on this week’s Phantom Dancer.

He appeared in the BBC’s Band Waggon, as well as its 1940 film adaptation.

TV

Hylton and his band also made a number of appearances on BBC television in the 1930s, on one of which Ernie Wise made his television debut.

The Jack Hylton orchestra disbanded in 1940 as many of its members were called up for service,

Jack continued to conduct orchestras for radio in the years to come, leading the Glenn Miller Orchestra when it visited England in 1943.

During the war, he took the London Philharmonic Orchestra around Britain, giving promenade concerts.

He became an impresario, discovering new stars and managing radio, film and theatre productions, from ballets to circuses. His productions dominated the London theatres with such productions as The Merry Widow, Kiss Me, Kate, and Kismet.

In 1950 he reunited with a number of his former employees, many of whom had become successful in their own right, for that year’s Royal Command Performance, billed as “The Band that Jack Built”. Despite their success, Hylton resisted calls for his return to band-leading.

In November 1955, he was contracted as Advisor of Light Entertainment to Associated-Rediffusion (A-R), winner of the London weekday franchise in the recently established ITV network. He founded Jack Hylton Television Productions, Ltd. in that same month to produce a range of light entertainment programming exclusively for A-R. In spite of their popularity, however, the company’s productions were of low quality, with performers even apologising in front of millions of viewers at times. The last shows made by the company were broadcast in 1960.

In 1965 a televised tribute to Hylton, The Stars Shine for Jack, was held in London at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane with many artists including Arthur Askey, the Crazy Gang, Marlene Dietrich, Dickie Henderson and Shirley Bassey.

Last week, on the first set, I played a Bobby Sherwood Orchestra aircheck instead of the listed Coleman Hawkins and Roy Eldridge ‘Stars in Jazz’ remote which you’ll hear this week. Enjoy!

9 January PLAY LIST

Play List – The Phantom Dancer
107.3 2SER-FM Sydney
LISTEN ONLINE
Community Radio Network Show CRN #635

107.3 2SER Tuesday 9 January 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
Stars in Jazz
Theme + Disorder at the Border
Coleman Hawkins – Roy Eldridge
‘Stars in Jazz’
Birdland
WNBC NBC NYC
1952
Stuffy
Coleman Hawkins – Roy Eldridge
‘Stars in Jazz’
Birdland
WNBC NBC NYC
1952
I Only Have Eyes For You
Arthur Prysock
‘Stars in Jazz’
Birdland
WNBC NBC NYC
1952
Set 2
Connee Boswell
Theme + I Got Rhythm
Freddy Rich Orchestra
‘Florida’s Treat’
Radio Transcription
1935
I Can’t Give You Anything But Love
Freddy Rich Orchestra (voc) Connee Boswell
‘Florida’s Treat’
Radio Transcription
1935
The Glory of Love
Freddy Rich Orchestra (voc) Harry Richman

‘Florida’s Treat’
Radio Transcription
1935
When I’m With You + Close + I Love a Parade
Freddy Rich Orchestra

(voc) Connie Boswell
‘Florida’s Treat’
Radio Transcription
1935
Set 3
Jack Hylton
Mausie
Jack Hylton Orchestra
Comm Rec
London
22 Jul 1931
We Shall Have Music
The American Band Of The AEF Under The Direction Of Jack Hylton. (voc) Johnny Desmond. Introduced by Glenn Miller
Allied Expeditionary Forces Programme of the BBC
London
12 Oct 1944
Time Alone Will Tell
The American Band Of The AEF Under The Direction Of Jack Hylton (voc) Gloria Brent
Allied Expeditionary Forces Programme of the BBC
London
12 Oct 1944
September in the Rain + Close
Jack Hylton Orchestra (voc) Dick Mercer and Mrs Goodsort
‘Rinso Radio Review’
Radio Luxembourg
26 Dec 1937
Today I Feel So Happy
Jack Hylton Orchestra (voc) Pat O’MalleyComm Rec
London
7 Sep 1931
Set 4
Jack Barrow
Pagan Love Song
Jack Barrow Orchestra
‘One Night Stand’
Aragon Ballroom
Ocean Park Ca
AFRS Re-broadcast
1947
Mi Vida + Dancing in the Dark
Jack Barrow Orchestra
‘One Night Stand’
Aragon Ballroom
Ocean Park Ca
AFRS Re-broadcast
1947
Moonglow
Jack Barrow Orchestra (voc) Dolores
‘One Night Stand’
Aragon Ballroom
Ocean Park Ca
AFRS Re-broadcast
1947
Medley: The Egg and I + I Can’t Believe It Was All Make Believe + Hawaiian War Chant (close)
Jack Barrow Orchestra
‘One Night Stand’
Aragon Ballroom
Ocean Park Ca
AFRS Re-broadcast
1947
Set 5
Harry James
How Long Has This Been Going On?
Harry James Orchestra (voc) Pam Garner
El Patio Ballroom
KCBS San Francisco
20 May 1961
Orfeu Negro (Black Orpheus)
Harry James Orchestra
El Patio Ballroom
KCBS San Francisco
20 May 1961
I’m Beginning to See the Light
Harry James Orchestra (voc) Pam Garner
El Patio Ballroom
KCBS San Francisco
20 May 1961
Two O’Clock Jump
Harry James Orchestra
El Patio Ballroom
KCBS San Francisco
20 May 1961
Set 6
Trad Jazz
Get It Fixed
Graeme Bell and his Dixieland Jazz Band
3AW Melbourne
1949
Chicago
Jimmy Dorsey and his Dorseyland Band
Radio Transcription
NYC
1950
Georgia Bo Bo
Graeme Bell and his Dixieland Jazz Band (voc) Ade Monsborough
3AW Melbourne
1949
Way Down Yonder in New Orleans
Jimmy Dorsey and his Dorseyland Band
Radio Transcription
NYC
1950
Set 7
Cocoanut Grove 1930s
Theme + What Did I Do With It?
Jimmy Grier Orchestra (voc) Margaret Lawrence
Radio Transcription
Los Angeles
1932
I’m Through with Love
Gus Arnheim Orchestra (voc) Loyce WhitemanRadio Transcription
Los Angeles
1931
Brother Can You Spare a Dime?
Phil Harris Orchestra (voc) Phil Harris
Radio Transcription
Los Angeles
1933
St Louis Blues
Gus Arnheim Orchestra (voc) Loyce Whiteman
Radio Transcription
Los Angeles
1931
Set 8
Duke Ellington 1960s
Congo Square
Duke Ellington Orchestra
Aircheck
27 Aug 1960
Hello DollyDuke Ellington Orchestra
‘One Night Stand’
Steel Pier
Atlantic City NJ
AFRTS Re-broadcast
1964
Danke Schoen
Duke Ellington Orchestra
‘One Night Stand’
Steel Pier
Atlantic City NJ
AFRTS Re-broadcast
1964
All Gigs
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