Greg Poppleton

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Leonid Utesov – Phantom Dancer 10 November 2020

Leonid Osipovich Utesov (Russian: Леонид Осипович Утёсов); real name Lazar (LeyzerIosifovich Vaysbeyn or Weissbein (Лазарь (Лейзер) Иосифович Вайсбейн) was a famous Soviet estrada singer and comic actor who became the first pop singer to be awarded the prestigious title of People’s Artist of the USSR in 1965. Hear all Phantom Dancers with Greg Poppleton, Tuesdays 12:04-2pm and Saturdays 5-5:56pm on 107.3 2SER Sydney and online at 2ser.com

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Leonid Utyosov was brought up in OdessaRussian Empire and attended the Faig School of Commerce, from which he dropped out and joined the Borodanov Circus troupe as an acrobat. He started his stage career in 1911 in Kremenchuk, then returned to Odessa, changed his artistic name to Leonid Utyosov, and performed as a stand up comedian with the Rosanov troupe and with the Rishelyavsky Theatre. In 1917, he won a singing competition in GomelBelarus, then performed in Moscow.

In the 1920s, he moved to Leningrad and set up one of the first Soviet jazz bands. In Leningrad, he began collaboration with the popular composer, Isaak Dunayevsky, which turned out to be a breakthrough for both artists. At that time, Utyosov built a band of the finest musicians available in Leningrad, and created a style all his own – a jazz show with stand up comedy, which blended several styles, ranging from Russian folk songs to a variety of international cosmopolitan genres.

In 1928, Utyosov toured Europe and attended performances of American jazz bands in Paris, which influenced his own style. During the 1930s, Utyosov and his band, called “Thea-Jazz” (a portmanteau of Theatrical Jazz) had a regular gig at the Marble Hall of the Kirov Palace of Culture in Leningrad. Utyosov’s jazz band also performed at the Leningrad Maly Opera theatre, at the “Svoboda-teatr,” and at the Leningrad Music Hall. In his performances, Utyosov delivered a variety of musical styles, including such genres as American jazz, Argentine tango, French chanson, upbeat dance, and Russian folk music.

His popularity was on the rise in the 1930s when he co-starred with Lyubov Orlova in the comedy Jolly Fellows. In it, Utyosov performed the hit tango, “Serdtse” (Heart). During World War II, Utyosov performed on the front lines, helping lift the spirits of the Soviet soldiers fighting against the Nazis. On Victory Day (9 May 1945), he performed on Sverdlov Square in Moscow.

Utyosov lived in Moscow for the rest of his life, albeit in many of his songs he alluded to his native town of Odessa, where a monument to him was dedicated in 2000.

Richard Stites writes:

In the years of the “red jazz age” (1932–1936) European and Soviet bands were heard in dozens of cities. The kings were Alexander Tsfasman and Leonid Utesov. … Utesov – musically far less gifted – was actually more popular than Tsfasman, partly because of the spectacular success of his comedy film Happy-Go-Lucky Guys, but mostly because his Odessa background and his circus and carnival road experience on the southern borscht belt gave him a clowning manner. He resembled his idol, the personable Ted (“Is everybody happy?”) Lewis more than he did any of the great jazz figures of the time. In fact, Utesov was the typical estrada entertainer – quick witted, versatile, and funny. He was not only one of the stars of the 1930s but also a personal favorite of Stalin.

10 NOVEMBER PLAY LIST

Play List – The Phantom Dancer
107.3 2SER-FM Sydney, Live Stream Community Radio Network Show CRN #440

107.3 2SER Tuesday 10 November 2020 12:04 – 2:00pm (+11 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 – 4pm 2BAR Edge FM Bega Monday 3 – 4pm 3VKV Alpine Radio Monday 6 – 7pm 7MID Oatlands Tuesday 8 – 9pm 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 6GME Radio Goolarri Broome Sunday 5 – 6am 3BBR West Gippsland Sunday 5 – 6pm

Set 1
Benny Goodman 1939 Radio 
Let’s Dance + Pic-a-Rib
Benny Goodman Orchestra
‘Camel Caravan’ WEAF NBC Red NY 14 Oct 1939
Moonlight Serenade
Benny Goodman Orchestra
‘Camel Caravan’ WEAF NBC Red NY 9 Sep 1939
King Porter Stomp + Goodbye
Benny Goodman Orchestra
‘Camel Caravan’ WEAF NBC Red NY 14 Oct 1939
Set 2
African Rhythms 
Field Recordings
Various
‘Biography in Rhythm’ WRCA NBC NY Jun 1955
Afro-Cuban Suite
Machito and his Afro-Cuban Band
‘Biography in Rhythm’ WRCA NBC NY Jun 1955
Set 3
Machito 
Theme + Carambola
Machito and his Afro-Cuban Band (voc) Machito & Graziella
‘Symphony Sid Show’ Birdland WJZ ABC NY 1951
Cao Cao
Machito and his Afro-Cuban Band (voc) Graziella
‘Symphony Sid Show’ Birdland WJZ ABC NY 1951
Tanga
Machito and his Afro-Cuban Band with Zoot Sims
‘Symphony Sid Show’ Birdland WJZ ABC NY 1951
Set 4
Leonid Utesov 
Komsommol
Leonid Utesov and the RSFSR Orchestra
Melodia Records Moscow 1942
Mishka Odesset
Leonid Utesov and the RSFSR Orchestra
Melodia Records Moscow 1942
Baron von der Pshek
Leonid Utesov and the RSFSR Orchestra
Melodia Records Moscow 1943
Aosha
Leonid Utesov and daughter and the RSFSR Orchestra
Melodia Records Moscow 1943
Set 5
Helen Forrest and Harry James 
Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me
Harry James Orchestra (voc) Helen Forrest
Palladium Ballroom KNX CBS LA 1943
Theme + You’re In Love With Someone Else
Harry James Orchestra (voc) Helen Forrest
Hotel Astor Roof WABC CBS NY 28 Aug 1942
Pennies From Heaven
Harry James Orchestra (voc) Helen Forrest
Palladium Ballroom KNX CBS LA 1943
My Beloved is Rugged + Backbeat Boogie
Harry James Orchestra (voc) Helen Forrest
‘Treasury War Bond Show’ Radio Transcription Mar 1942
Set 6
Fats Waller Organ 
Sloppy Water Blues
Fats Waller pipe organ
Comm Rec Camden NJ 14 Jan 1927
Bouncin’ on a V-Disc
Fats Waller pipe organ
V-Discs New York City 23 Sep 1943
Messin’ Around the Blues
Fats Waller pipe organ
 
Comm Rec Camden NJ 14 Jan 1927
Solitude
Fats Waller pipe organ
 
V-Discs New York City 23 Sep 1943
Set 7
1940s Swing Radio 
Contrasts (theme) + King Porter Stomp
Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra
‘Spotlight Bands’ Blue Network 11 Feb 1945
Blue Rain
Glen Gray and the Casa Loma Orchestra (voc) Connie Morgan
‘Spotlight Bands’ Blue Network 19 Nov 1943
We’ll Be Together Again
Les Brown Orchestra (voc) Jane Harvey
Cafe Rouge Hotel Pennsylvania WABC CBS NY 28 Dec 1945
Dinah + Gypsy Love Song
Cab Calloway Orchestra
‘One Night Stand’ Club Zanzibar NYC AFRS Re-broadcast 16 Jul 1945
Set 8
1940s Bop Radio 
The Street Beat
Sir Charles Thompson All-Stars
Comm Rec 4 Sep 1945
Chasin’ The Bird
Charlie Parker
‘Symphony Sid Show’ Royal Roost WMCA NY 12 Mar 1949
Round Midnight
Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie
‘Symphony Sid Show’ Birdland WJZ ABC NY 31 Mar 1951

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