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25 June 2024

(Until 25 June)

Jim Davidson King of Australian Swing – Phantom Dancer 25 June 2024

Greg Poppleton's Phantom Dancer swing jazz radio show

Jim Davidson was a drummer who lead the ABC Radio Dance Orchestra in Sydney 1936 – 41. It was Australia’s most popular swing orchestra and dance band. After World War Two he was head of light entertainment at BBC London. He’s your Phantom Dancer feature 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 25 June) and weeks of Phantom Dancer mixes online at, at https://2ser.com/phantom-dancer/

JIM

James Hutchinson Davidson began his music in brass bands world about 1917 at age 15, and switched to drums.

In 1924 he joined Jimmie Elkins’ Orchestra, which played the theatre circuit in Sydney and Melbourne.

The Elkins Orchestra also played for dancers at the Coogee Casino in 1925 and the Manly Dungowan in 1926,

They broadcast over radio 2FC Sydney. They were the first band to record electrically at the Columbia Graphophone factory in Homebush, Sydney, on the day before the factory’s official opening on 14 October, 1926.

In 1927 Variety printed: “Jimmie Elkins has the best jazz band in Australia at present.”
Later in 1927, Elkins’ brass section was augmented by a young trumpeter from New Zealand — Jim Gussey. Davidson and Gussey were to be close associates until World War Two.

Following a long run at the Wintergarden Theatre Sydney, the Elkins Ork moved into the Wentworth Hotel, one of Sydney’s top hotels in the 1920s.

In October, 1928, Elkins retired from music to study architecture. Most of his band went into Jack Woods’ Orchestra at the Ambassadors Restaurant. Davidson was Woods’ deputy leader.

Ambassadors burned down in February 1931. Davidson went into pianist Gordon Rawlinson’s Bnad at the Oriental Cafe. Soon Davidson took over as band leader. It quickly became known as the hottest band in town.

In August, 1932, Davidson arranged a Rhythm Concert at Hillier’s Cafe, doubling the size of his regular group with Jim Gussey (tpt), Tom Stevenson (tbn), Chic Donovan, Pete Cantrell (reeds) and Orm Wills (bass). This was a great success; but its most important factor was the presence in the audience of entrepreneur Jim Bendrodt.

Bendrodt’s Palais Royal was suffering a drop in business, and he saw Davidson and his music as the solution to his problems.

In 1933 Bendrodt opened his New Palais Royal opened with a Gala Ball featuring Jim Davidson and his Orchestra.

The night broke attendence records, according to Bendrodt, and the next night, the first “popular” night drew 5,000 dancers.

Davidson’s hugely successful Sydney season was followed by one at the St Kilda Palais de Danse in Melbourne.

The orchestra returned to Sydney in 1934, and later that year Davidson signed a contract with the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC). He enlarged his Orchestra and took it to Melbourne, from where its broadcasts were relayed to all States.

They were back at the Palais Royal in 1936 season. And in October 1936, the whole band was placed under contract, and became Jim Davidson’s ABC Dance Band.

It now broadcast from 2FC Sydney and over ABC stations in the towns they toured.

In June 1941, Davidson and seven of his musicians enlisted in the Australian Army. Jim Gussey took over as leader of the ABC Dance Band which continued until Mrach 1976..

Davidson formed an Army Entertainment Group which he took to the Middle East. After the war he went to London as head of the BBC Light Entertainment.

25 June PLAY LIST

Play List – The Phantom Dancer
107.3 2SER-FM Sydney
LISTEN ONLINE
Community Radio Network Show CRN #660

107.3 2SER Tuesday 25 June 2024
12:04 – 2:00pm (+10 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 Thursday 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
Larry Clinton
Dipsy Doodle (theme) + Study in Brown
Larry Clinton Orchestra
‘One Night Stand’
Meadowbrook
Cedar Grove NJ
AFRS Re-broadcast
18 Dec 1948
I Went Down to Virginia
Larry Clinton Orchestra (voc) Helen Lee
‘One Night Stand’
Meadowbrook
Cedar Grove NJ
AFRS Re-broadcast
18 Dec 1948
People Will Say We’re in Love + When My Sugar Walks Down the StreetLarry Clinton Orchestra (voc) Helen Lee
‘One Night Stand’
Meadowbrook
Cedar Grove NJ
AFRS Re-broadcast
18 Dec 1948
The Lady is a Tramp + CloseLarry Clinton Orchestra‘One Night Stand’
Meadowbrook
Cedar Grove NJ
AFRS Re-broadcast
18 Dec 1948
Set 2
Spike Jones
Sheik of Araby (theme) + By the Sea
Spike Jones and his City Slickers
‘Corn’s A’Poppin”
AFRS Re-broadcast
1 Oct 1949
Musical Roundtable + Tico Tico
Spike Jones and his City Slickers with Lena Romay
‘Corn’s A’Poppin”
AFRS Re-broadcast
1 Oct 1949
Say Something Sweet
Spike Jones and his City Slickers (voc) Prof. Beetlebaum
‘Corn’s A’Poppin”
AFRS Re-broadcast
1 Oct 1949
When a Gypsy Makes his Violin Cry + Close (When Yuba Played the Rhumba on the Tuba)
Spike Jones and his City Slickers (voc) Sir Frederick Gas
‘Corn’s A’Poppin”
AFRS Re-broadcast
1 Oct 1949
Set 3
Jim Davidson and the Australian Broadcasting Commission Dance Orchestra
This Year’s Crop of Kisses
Jim Davidson and the Australian Broadcasting Commission Dance Orchestra(voc) Alice Smith
Comm Rec
Sydney
1936
Marmalade
Jim Davidson and the Australian Broadcasting Commission Dance Orchestra
Comm Rec
Sydney
2 Jun 1936
The Girl on the Police Gazette
Jim Davidson and the Australian Broadcasting Commission Dance Orchestra (voc) Dick Cranbourne
Comm Rec
Sydney
1936
Annie Laurie
Jim Davidson and the Australian Broadcasting Commission Dance Orchestra (voc) Alice Smith
Comm Rec
Sydney
2 Jun 1936
Behind Those Swinging Doors
Jim Davidson and the Australian Broadcasting Commission Dance Orchestra (voc) Dick Cranbourne, Alice Smith, Gordon Rawlinson, Jim Gussey and BandComm Rec
Sydney
2 Nov 1938
Set 4
Bob Crosby Show
Open + Tonight You Belong to Me
Bob Crosby Orchestra (voc) Bob Crosby & The Modernaires
Television City
KNX-TV CBS Hollywood
1956
AFRTS Re-Broadcast
True Love
Bob Crosby Orchestra (voc) Carol Richards
Television City
KNX-TV CBS Hollywood
1956
AFRTS Re-Broadcast
Don’t Be Cruel
Bob Crosby Orchestra (voc) Alan Copeland
Television City
KNX-TV CBS Hollywood
1956
AFRTS Re-Broadcast
Canadian Sunset + Close
Bob Crosby Orchestra (voc) Bob Crosby
Television City
KNX-TV CBS Hollywood
1956
AFRTS Re-Broadcast
Set 5
Blue Barron
Do You Care?
Blue Barron Orchestra (voc) Jimmy BrownRadio Transcription
1938
That’s Right, I’m Wrong
Blue Barron Orchestra (voc) Charlie Fisher
Radio Transcription
1939
Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gives to Me
Blue Barron Orchestra (voc) The Three Blue Notes
Radio Transcription
1938
Roller Skating on a Rainbow
Blue Barron Orchestra (voc) The Three Blue Notes
Radio Transcription
1939
Set 6
Jan Savitt
What Goes on Here in My Heart?
Jan Savitt snd his Top Hatters
KYW NBC Red
Philadelphia
17 Oct 1938
Monday Morning
Jan Savitt snd his Top Hatters (voc) Carlotta Dale
KYW NBC Red
Philadelphia
17 Oct 1938
A-Tisket A-Tasket
Jan Savitt snd his Top Hatters (voc) The Three Toppers
KYW NBC Red
Philadelphia
17 Oct 1938
Change Partners
Jan Savitt snd his Top Hatters (voc) Bon Bon
KYW NBC Red
Philadelphia
17 Oct 1938
Set 7
Duke Ellington
Blues is the Night
Duke Ellington Orchestra
‘A Date with the Duke’
Toledo OH
AFRS Re-broadcast
9 Jun 1945
Can’t You Read Between the Lines
Duke Ellington Orchestra
‘A Date with the Duke’
Toledo OH
AFRS Re-broadcast
9 Jun 1945
Hop, Skip and Jump
Duke Ellington Orchestra
‘A Date with the Duke’
Toledo OH
AFRS Re-broadcast
9 Jun 1945
Solid Old Man
Duke Ellington Orchestra
‘A Date with the Duke’
Toledo OH
AFRS Re-broadcast
9 Jun 1945
Set 8
Modern Jazz
C-Jam BluesInternational All-Stars (including Stan Hasselgard and Tadd Dameron)Aircheck
Dec 1947
How High the MoonInternational All-Stars (including Stan Hasselgard and Tadd Dameron)
Aircheck
Dec 1947
SI Don’t Stand a Ghost of a Chance + Just You, Just MeLester Young‘Symphony Sid Show’
Royal Roost
WMCA NYC
27 Nov 1948
All Gigs
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
2SER Radio 107.3 Sydney
Directions

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