Greg Poppleton

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Lord Invader 1940s Calypso – Phantom Dancer 7 April 2020

Lord Invader is this week’s Phantom Dancer feature artist. He was a Calypso singer and composer who began performing in the 1930s and recorded in the US from 1941 to 1959. We hear one of his 1941 sides today, introduced by actor Vincent Price. He composed ‘Rum and Coca Cola’, a hit for The Andrew Sisters.

The Phantom Dancer produced and presented by 1920s-30s singer and actor Greg Poppleton can be heard online from 12:05pm AEST Tuesday 7 April at

The final hour of the mix is all vinyl.

lord invader


Lord Invader was born in Trinidad. He first came to notice in 1937 when he began performing in the capital, Port of Spain.

He competed in the very first  Calypso King competition and recorded for Bluebird records.

The Decca label invited him to New York City in 1941 to record.

He wrote many calypso lyrics, his most famous ‘Rum and Coca-Cola‘, was plagiarised by Morey Amsterdam and became a hit for the Andrews Sisters.

The melody had been previously published as the work of Venezuelan calypso composer Lionel Belasco on a song titled “L’Année Passée,” which was in turn based on a folk song from Martinique. Invader wrote lyrics to the tune.

The song became a local hit and was at the peak of its popularity when Amsterdam visited the island in September 1943 as part of a U.S.O. tour.

In 1948, after years of litigation, both plaintiffs won their cases, with Lord Invader receiving an award of $150,000 in owed royalties. However, Morey Amsterdam was allowed to retain copyright to the song. Lord Invader wrote a follow-up song to “Rum and Coca-Cola”, titled “Yankee Dollar”.

In the early 1940s, radio stations in the USA refused to play Lord Invader’s original version on the grounds of its using the trademarked name, and its references to prostitution and alcohol.

Invader later opened a calypso club in Trinidada and toured the U.S, Britain and Europe.


Birdsong had a place on US radio from the mid-1920s into the 1950s.

The show that started it all was American Radio Warblers, a program selling birdseed.

Organist Preston Sellers performed with TEN canaries.

The show ran for almost 30 years, finishing on the Mutual Network from Chicago.

Trill, I mean thrill, to Preston and ‘The Original Feathered Stars of the Air’ in this commercial 78 recording…


Play List – The Phantom Dancer
107.3 2SER-FM Sydney, Live Stream, Digital Radio
Community Radio Network Show CRN #431

107.3 2SER Tuesday 7 April 2020
After the 2SER 12 noon news, 12:04 – 2:00pm (+10 hours GMT)
and Saturdays 5 – 5:55pm
National Program:
1ART ArtsoundFM Canberra Sunday 10 – 11pm
5GTR Mt Gambier Mon 2:30 – 3:30am
4NAG Keppel FM 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
2ARM Armidale Friday 12 – 1pm
7LTN Launceston 5 – 6am
3MGB Mallacoota Sunday 5 – 6am

Set 1
Live 1950s Big Band Swing Radio
Theme + Dancing in the Dark
Jerry Gray and his Band of Today
Edgewater Beach Hotel
WMAQ NBC Chicago
8 Jun 1951
The Song is You
Buddy Morrow Orchestra
‘Let’s Go With Music’
Radio Transcription
Jam with Sam + Caravan
Duke Ellington Orchestra
Town Casino
NBC Cleveland OH
17 Sep 1952
Set 2
1930s Calypso, Turkish and Persian Music announced by Vincent Price
New York Subway
Lord Invader
‘The World in Music’
AFRS Hollywood
Shake Around
Lord Beginner
‘The World in Music’
AFRS Hollywood
Odalisque and Zara
Unknown Turkish then Persian Orchestra
‘The World in Music’
AFRS Hollywood
Set 3
1944 Jump and Swing On The Air
That’s The Stuff You Gotta Watch
Buddy Johnson Orchestra (voc) Ella Johnson and Band
Comm Rec
New York City
4 Oct 1944
Accentuate the Positive
Louis Armstrong Orchestra (voc) Louis Armstrong
‘One Night Stand’
New Zanzibar Cafe NY
AFRS Re-broadcast
18 Mar 44
To Me You Are Beautiful + Flying Home
Lionel Hampton Orchestra
‘One Night Stand’
Civic Auditorium
Oakland Ca
AFRS Re-broadcast
4 Jun 44
Set 4
Dance Bands on ‘One Night Stand’
Oh You Beautiful Doll (theme) + Lullaby of Broadway
Music in the Foster Fashion (voc) Chuck Foster
‘One Night Stand’
Terrace Room
Hotel New Yorker NY
AFRS Re-broadcast
13 Aug 1945
Let’s Take It Slow
Shep Fields and his New Music
‘One Night Stand’
AFRS Re-broadcast
Medley: A Pretty Girl is Like a Melody / Mandy / All By Myself
Frankie Carle (piano and rhythm)
‘One Night Stand’
Cocoanut Grove
Ambassador Hotel LA
AFRS Re-brodcast
Set 5
Crooners on 1930s Radio
I’ll Follow You
Bing Crosby
Comm Recording
New York City
28 Oct 1932
Under The Palms
Donald Novis (voc) Gus Arnheim Orchestra
‘Cocoanut Grove’
Radio Transcription
TRANSCO Hollywood
Rudy Vallee
‘Fleishman Yeast Hour’
WEAF NBC Red New York
I’ve Had My Moments + I’m Not Lazy I’m Dreaming
Russ Columbo
‘Hollywood on the Air’
15 Jul 1934
Set 6
Famous Name Bands on 1940s Radio
Mister Pastor Goes To Town
Tony Pastor Orchestra
New York City
Feb 1942
Blue Cellophane
Duke Ellington Orchestra
‘Downbeat Awards’
Chicago Opera House
Blue Network Chicago
25 Mar 1945
Body and Soul (theme) + Chant of the Groove
Coleman Hawkins Orchestra
Savoy Ballroom
Aircheck NYC
Paducah + Clarinet a la King
Benny Goodman Orchestra (voc) Benny Goodman
‘Spotlight Bands’
Springfield Mass
Blue Network
29 Sep 1943
Set 7
Forgotten Singers from 1939-40 Radio
“I” The Living “I” (Gilbert and Sullivan)
Erskine Hawkins Orchestra (voc) Ida James
Comm Rec
New York City
8 Apr 1939
Oh, You Crazy Moon
Bea wain (voc) Your Hit Parade Orchestra
‘Your Hit Parade’
7 Oct 1939
Looking For Yesterdays
Artie Shaw Orchestra (voc) Anita Boyer
New York City
26 Oct 1940
I Cried For You
Bunny Berrigan Orchestra (voc) Kitty Lane
Trianon Ballroom
WCLE Cleveland OH
9 Apr 1939
Set 8
Radio Bands Inspired by BeBop
Elevation + Heart to Heart (theme)
Elliot Lawrence Orchestra
Palladium Ballroom
5 Dec 1947
God Child
Chubby Jackson Orchestra
‘Symphony Sid Show’
Royal Roost
12 Mar 1949
How High The Moon
Allen Eager
Jun 1953
Bye Bye Blues
Benny Goodman Sextet
‘One Night Stand’
The Click
AFRS Re-broadcast
3 Jun 1948

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