Greg Poppleton

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Med School Dropout Eddy Howard Leads Famous Orchestra – Phantom Dancer 11 January 2022

Med School dropout Eddy Howard, singer, band leader and composer of ‘Careless’ (his theme song), ‘If I Knew Then’, ‘My Last Goodbye’, and ‘A Million Years Ago’, is this week’s Phantom Dancer feature artist.

LISTEN to this week’s Phantom Dancer mix (online after 2pm AEST, Tuesday 11 January) and two years of Phantom Dancer mixes online at, at https://2ser.com/phantom-dancer/

I’m Greg Poppleton, The Phantom Dancer producer and presenter every week on 107.3 2SER radio Sydney since 1985.

Eddy Howard singing with Dick Jurgens Orchestra. How different is the radio transcription of Ragtime Cowboy Joe (19120 played on this week’s Phantom Dancer to this 1939 commercial waxing…

TROMBONE THEN SINGER

Edy Howard studied medicine at Stanford University before dropping out to become a singer of romantic ballads on Los Angeles radio. Later he sang with bands led by Ben Bernie and Dick Jurgens.

He first auditioned for, and then joined the Jurgens Orchestra, as a trombonist. With a limited knowledge of music, he committed the audition charts to memory and got the job.

By the time Jurgens discovered that Howard had not enough sight-reading skills to hold down the trombone chair, he had also discovered Howard’s ability as a vocalist. Jurgens hired someone else to play trombone. He gave Eddy Howard a guitar and made him band vocalist.

Jurgens said that it didn’t matter how well Howard played guitar, his vocals made the band.

Eddy Howard singing with his vocal trio and Orchestra in 1949…

ORCHESTRA

In 1939, Howard started his own band, and he was the regular vocalist on It Can Be DoneEdgar A. Guest‘s 1941 radio programme on the Blue Network, from Wednesday to Friday.

The first No. 1 single for Howard and his Orchestra, “To Each His Own“, spent five non-consecutive weeks at the top of the U.S. pop chart in 1946. The song was a tie-in with the 1946 Paramount film, To Each His Own, which brought Academy Awards for Olivia de Havilland and screenwriter Charles Brackett. The recording by Howard was released by Majestic Records and reached the Billboard chart on July 11, 1946, spending a total of 19 weeks on the chart. It sold over two million copies by 1957 and was awarded a gold disc by the RIAA.

Howard’s orchestra was heard on The Gay Mrs. Featherstone on NBC (April 18 – October 10, 1945) and on NBC’s The Sheaffer Parade, sponsored by Sheaffer Pens (September 14, 1947 – September 5, 1948).

In 1949, Howard signed to Mercury Records. His popularity continued into the 1950s with tracks such as “Maybe It’s Because”, and “(It’s No) Sin“, which became Howard’s second No. 1 tune, sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.

Howard’s last hit was “The Teen-Ager’s Waltz”, which peaked at No. 90 on the Billboard Top 100 chart in 1955.

In 1952–1953 he was heard on CBS on Thursday nights at 10:45pm, with further broadcasts on Tuesdays at 10pm in 1955–1956. The rise of rock music led to a decline in Howard’s popularity.

In a change of roles, Howard was the host on Just for You, an hour-long variety program on NBC in 1954. The staff orchestra of WMAQ Chicago provided the music.

Howard’s star rose again during the 1960s, as part of the revival of interest in Big Band music and old-time radio.

He went into semi-retirement and his some-time saxophonist, vocalist-bandleader Norman Lee, procured the rights to use the Eddy Howard Orchestra name and the band’s arrangements. Lee and the Orchestra became a dance-band staple throughout the U.S. midwest. Based out of Wichita, Kansas, they toured extensively and recorded on their own label, Marian Records.

By the late 1960s, Lee dropped the Eddy Howard name and led the orchestra under his own name, though several Howard standards remained featured in their repertoire. The organization dissolved in the wake of the murder of Lee and his wife by one of the band’s former trumpet players on 6 December 1978.

Here’s Eddy Howard’s theme, which he co-wrote with Dick Jurgens…

11 JANUARY PLAY LIST

Play List – The Phantom Dancer
107.3 2SER-FM Sydney
LISTEN ONLINE

Community Radio Network Show CRN #526

107.3 2SER Tuesday 11 January 2022
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 – 4am
2BAR Edge FM Bega Monday 3 – 4am
2BRW Braidwood Monday 3 – 4am
3VKV Alpine Radio Monday 6 – 7pm
7MID Oatlands Monday 6 -7pm
6GME Radio Goolarri Broome Tuesday 12am – 1am
2MCE Bathurst Wednesday 9 – 10am
1ART ArtsoundFM Canberra Friday 10 – 11am
2ARM Armidale Friday 12 – 1pm
5LCM Lofty FM Adelaide Friday 1 – 2pm
Denmark FM (West Australia) Saturdays 10 – 11am
Repeat: Wednesdays 10 – 11pm
7LTN Launceston Sunday 5 – 6am
3MGB Mallacoota Sunday 5 – 6am
3BBR West Gippsland Sunday 5 – 6pm

Set 1
1940s Swing Radio
Open + Hallelujah + The Song is You
Jerry Wald Orchestra (voc) dick Merrick
‘Spotlight Bands’
AFRS Re-broadcast
28 Oct 1944
Bugle Call Rag
Gene Krupa Orchestra
Pacific Square
KFSD Mutual San Diego
3 Mar 1945
Desperate Desmond + Close
Buddy Rich Orchestra
‘Spotlight Bands’
AFRS Re-broadcast
24 Dec 1945
Set 2
Count Basie Rock’n’Roll
One O’Clock Jump (theme) + Blee Blop Blues
Count Basie Orchestra
‘Rock’n’Roll Dance Party’
WCBS CBS NY
21 Apr 1956
Shake a Hand + I’ll Be True To You
Count Basie Orchestra (voc) Faye Adams
‘Rock’n’Roll Dance Party’
WCBS CBS NY
21 Apr 1956
All Right, OK, You Win
Count Basie Orchestra (voc) Joe Williams
‘Rock’n’Roll Dance Party’
WCBS CBS NY
21 Apr 1956
Basie Land + One O’Clock Jump (theme)
Count Basie Orchestra
‘Rock’n’Roll Dance Party’
WCBS CBS NY
21 Apr 1956
Set 3
Early Recorded Radio
Open + My Sweeter Than Sweet + She’s So Unusual
Studio Orchestra
Opening WNER and W9XF
Chicago
1930
(9XF Chicago was a shortwave and mechnaical TV station)
Dancing to Save Your Sole
Philco Orchestra (tp) Bob Effros
‘Philco Hour’
Radio Transcription
New York City
1930
Blues Skies + Bye Bye Blues + My Future Just Passed + I Love You So Much
Philco Orchestra (voc) Ruth Glenn & Catherine Kent
‘Philco Hour’
Radio Transcription
New York City
1930
Boy! Oh! Boy! I’ve Got It Bad
Philco Orchestra (voc) Boswell Sisters
‘Philco Hour’
Radio Transcription
New York City
1931
Set 4
Eddy Howard
Careless (theme) + Thou Swell + Homesick, That’s All
Eddy Howard Orchestra (voc) Eddy Howard
Aragon Ballroom
WGN Chicago
5 Dec 1945
The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down
Dick Jurgens Orchestra (voc) Eddy Howard
Comm Rec
NYC
1938
Martha
Dick Jurgens Orchestra (voc) Eddy Howard
Comm Rec
NYC
1938
Medley + So Long For Now
Eddy Howard Orchestra (voc) Eddy Howard
Aragon Ballroom
WGN Chicago
5 Dec 1945
Set 5
European Dance Bands
Musik, Musik, Musik
Marika Roekk (voc and tap dancing)
From the film,
‘Hallo Janine’
Berlin
1939
Son Belle
Natalino Otto
Comm Rec
Turin
1948
Hallo, Dobra Vece
Unknown
Comm Rec
Prague
1930s
Set 6
1940s Harry James
Joe Blow
Harry James Orchestra
Aircheck
1943
Cherokee
Harry James Orchestra
Southland Cafe
WNAC NBC Red Boston
19 Mar 1940
But Not For Me
Harry James Orchestra (voc) Helen Forrest
Hotel Astor Roof
WABC CBS NY
28 Aug 1942
Jeffries’ Blues
Harry James Orchestra
Aircheck
Blue Room
Hotel Lincoln NYC
22 May 1941
Set 7
Mildred  Bailey
I’ll Get By
Mildred Bailey (voc) Paul Baron Orchestra
‘Music Till Midnight’
WABC CBS NYC
1944
She’s Funny That Me
Mildred Bailey (voc) Paul Baron Orchestra
‘Music Till Midnight’
WABC CBS NYC
19 Jan 1945
I Dream of You
Mildred Bailey (voc) Paul Baron Orchestra
‘Music Till Midnight’
WABC CBS NYC
1944
T’aint Me
Mildred Bailey (voc) Paul Baron Orchestra
‘Music Till Midnight’
WABC CBS NYC
24 Nov 1944
Set 8
Modern Jazz
Bebop
Howard McGee Sextet
Aircheck
Los Angeles
29 Apr 47
Three Little Words
Gene Krupa Quartet
London House
WBBM CBS Chicago
13 Mar 1959
Hot House
Charlie Parker (as); Miles Davis (tpt); Al Haig (p); Tommy Potter (b); Max Roach (d)
‘Symphony Sid Show’
Royal Roost
WMCA NY
12 Dec 1948
Salt Peanuts
Charlie Parker (as); Miles Davis (tpt); Al Haig (p); Tommy Potter (b); Max Roach (d) (voc) Charlie Parker
‘Symphony Sid Show’
Royal Roost
WMCA NY
12 Dec 1948

Back to the News

11 January 2022

(Until January 11)

Med School Dropout Eddy Howard Leads Famous Orchestra – Phantom Dancer 11 January 2022

Greg Poppleton's Phantom Dancer swing jazz radio show

Med School dropout Eddy Howard, singer, band leader and composer of ‘Careless’ (his theme song), ‘If I Knew Then’, ‘My Last Goodbye’, and ‘A Million Years Ago’, is this week’s Phantom Dancer feature artist.

LISTEN to this week’s Phantom Dancer mix (online after 2pm AEST, Tuesday 11 January) and two years of Phantom Dancer mixes online at, at https://2ser.com/phantom-dancer/

I’m Greg Poppleton, The Phantom Dancer producer and presenter every week on 107.3 2SER radio Sydney since 1985.

Eddy Howard singing with Dick Jurgens Orchestra. How different is the radio transcription of Ragtime Cowboy Joe (19120 played on this week’s Phantom Dancer to this 1939 commercial waxing…

TROMBONE THEN SINGER

Edy Howard studied medicine at Stanford University before dropping out to become a singer of romantic ballads on Los Angeles radio. Later he sang with bands led by Ben Bernie and Dick Jurgens.

He first auditioned for, and then joined the Jurgens Orchestra, as a trombonist. With a limited knowledge of music, he committed the audition charts to memory and got the job.

By the time Jurgens discovered that Howard had not enough sight-reading skills to hold down the trombone chair, he had also discovered Howard’s ability as a vocalist. Jurgens hired someone else to play trombone. He gave Eddy Howard a guitar and made him band vocalist.

Jurgens said that it didn’t matter how well Howard played guitar, his vocals made the band.

Eddy Howard singing with his vocal trio and Orchestra in 1949…

ORCHESTRA

In 1939, Howard started his own band, and he was the regular vocalist on It Can Be DoneEdgar A. Guest‘s 1941 radio programme on the Blue Network, from Wednesday to Friday.

The first No. 1 single for Howard and his Orchestra, “To Each His Own“, spent five non-consecutive weeks at the top of the U.S. pop chart in 1946. The song was a tie-in with the 1946 Paramount film, To Each His Own, which brought Academy Awards for Olivia de Havilland and screenwriter Charles Brackett. The recording by Howard was released by Majestic Records and reached the Billboard chart on July 11, 1946, spending a total of 19 weeks on the chart. It sold over two million copies by 1957 and was awarded a gold disc by the RIAA.

Howard’s orchestra was heard on The Gay Mrs. Featherstone on NBC (April 18 – October 10, 1945) and on NBC’s The Sheaffer Parade, sponsored by Sheaffer Pens (September 14, 1947 – September 5, 1948).

In 1949, Howard signed to Mercury Records. His popularity continued into the 1950s with tracks such as “Maybe It’s Because”, and “(It’s No) Sin“, which became Howard’s second No. 1 tune, sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.

Howard’s last hit was “The Teen-Ager’s Waltz”, which peaked at No. 90 on the Billboard Top 100 chart in 1955.

In 1952–1953 he was heard on CBS on Thursday nights at 10:45pm, with further broadcasts on Tuesdays at 10pm in 1955–1956. The rise of rock music led to a decline in Howard’s popularity.

In a change of roles, Howard was the host on Just for You, an hour-long variety program on NBC in 1954. The staff orchestra of WMAQ Chicago provided the music.

Howard’s star rose again during the 1960s, as part of the revival of interest in Big Band music and old-time radio.

He went into semi-retirement and his some-time saxophonist, vocalist-bandleader Norman Lee, procured the rights to use the Eddy Howard Orchestra name and the band’s arrangements. Lee and the Orchestra became a dance-band staple throughout the U.S. midwest. Based out of Wichita, Kansas, they toured extensively and recorded on their own label, Marian Records.

By the late 1960s, Lee dropped the Eddy Howard name and led the orchestra under his own name, though several Howard standards remained featured in their repertoire. The organization dissolved in the wake of the murder of Lee and his wife by one of the band’s former trumpet players on 6 December 1978.

Here’s Eddy Howard’s theme, which he co-wrote with Dick Jurgens…

11 JANUARY PLAY LIST

Play List – The Phantom Dancer
107.3 2SER-FM Sydney
LISTEN ONLINE

Community Radio Network Show CRN #526

107.3 2SER Tuesday 11 January 2022
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 – 4am
2BAR Edge FM Bega Monday 3 – 4am
2BRW Braidwood Monday 3 – 4am
3VKV Alpine Radio Monday 6 – 7pm
7MID Oatlands Monday 6 -7pm
6GME Radio Goolarri Broome Tuesday 12am – 1am
2MCE Bathurst Wednesday 9 – 10am
1ART ArtsoundFM Canberra Friday 10 – 11am
2ARM Armidale Friday 12 – 1pm
5LCM Lofty FM Adelaide Friday 1 – 2pm
Denmark FM (West Australia) Saturdays 10 – 11am
Repeat: Wednesdays 10 – 11pm
7LTN Launceston Sunday 5 – 6am
3MGB Mallacoota Sunday 5 – 6am
3BBR West Gippsland Sunday 5 – 6pm

Set 1
1940s Swing Radio
Open + Hallelujah + The Song is You
Jerry Wald Orchestra (voc) dick Merrick
‘Spotlight Bands’
AFRS Re-broadcast
28 Oct 1944
Bugle Call Rag
Gene Krupa Orchestra
Pacific Square
KFSD Mutual San Diego
3 Mar 1945
Desperate Desmond + Close
Buddy Rich Orchestra
‘Spotlight Bands’
AFRS Re-broadcast
24 Dec 1945
Set 2
Count Basie Rock’n’Roll
One O’Clock Jump (theme) + Blee Blop Blues
Count Basie Orchestra
‘Rock’n’Roll Dance Party’
WCBS CBS NY
21 Apr 1956
Shake a Hand + I’ll Be True To You
Count Basie Orchestra (voc) Faye Adams
‘Rock’n’Roll Dance Party’
WCBS CBS NY
21 Apr 1956
All Right, OK, You Win
Count Basie Orchestra (voc) Joe Williams
‘Rock’n’Roll Dance Party’
WCBS CBS NY
21 Apr 1956
Basie Land + One O’Clock Jump (theme)
Count Basie Orchestra
‘Rock’n’Roll Dance Party’
WCBS CBS NY
21 Apr 1956
Set 3
Early Recorded Radio
Open + My Sweeter Than Sweet + She’s So Unusual
Studio Orchestra
Opening WNER and W9XF
Chicago
1930
(9XF Chicago was a shortwave and mechnaical TV station)
Dancing to Save Your Sole
Philco Orchestra (tp) Bob Effros
‘Philco Hour’
Radio Transcription
New York City
1930
Blues Skies + Bye Bye Blues + My Future Just Passed + I Love You So Much
Philco Orchestra (voc) Ruth Glenn & Catherine Kent
‘Philco Hour’
Radio Transcription
New York City
1930
Boy! Oh! Boy! I’ve Got It Bad
Philco Orchestra (voc) Boswell Sisters
‘Philco Hour’
Radio Transcription
New York City
1931
Set 4
Eddy Howard
Careless (theme) + Thou Swell + Homesick, That’s All
Eddy Howard Orchestra (voc) Eddy Howard
Aragon Ballroom
WGN Chicago
5 Dec 1945
The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down
Dick Jurgens Orchestra (voc) Eddy Howard
Comm Rec
NYC
1938
Martha
Dick Jurgens Orchestra (voc) Eddy Howard
Comm Rec
NYC
1938
Medley + So Long For Now
Eddy Howard Orchestra (voc) Eddy Howard
Aragon Ballroom
WGN Chicago
5 Dec 1945
Set 5
European Dance Bands
Musik, Musik, Musik
Marika Roekk (voc and tap dancing)
From the film,
‘Hallo Janine’
Berlin
1939
Son Belle
Natalino Otto
Comm Rec
Turin
1948
Hallo, Dobra Vece
Unknown
Comm Rec
Prague
1930s
Set 6
1940s Harry James
Joe Blow
Harry James Orchestra
Aircheck
1943
Cherokee
Harry James Orchestra
Southland Cafe
WNAC NBC Red Boston
19 Mar 1940
But Not For Me
Harry James Orchestra (voc) Helen Forrest
Hotel Astor Roof
WABC CBS NY
28 Aug 1942
Jeffries’ Blues
Harry James Orchestra
Aircheck
Blue Room
Hotel Lincoln NYC
22 May 1941
Set 7
Mildred  Bailey
I’ll Get By
Mildred Bailey (voc) Paul Baron Orchestra
‘Music Till Midnight’
WABC CBS NYC
1944
She’s Funny That Me
Mildred Bailey (voc) Paul Baron Orchestra
‘Music Till Midnight’
WABC CBS NYC
19 Jan 1945
I Dream of You
Mildred Bailey (voc) Paul Baron Orchestra
‘Music Till Midnight’
WABC CBS NYC
1944
T’aint Me
Mildred Bailey (voc) Paul Baron Orchestra
‘Music Till Midnight’
WABC CBS NYC
24 Nov 1944
Set 8
Modern Jazz
Bebop
Howard McGee Sextet
Aircheck
Los Angeles
29 Apr 47
Three Little Words
Gene Krupa Quartet
London House
WBBM CBS Chicago
13 Mar 1959
Hot House
Charlie Parker (as); Miles Davis (tpt); Al Haig (p); Tommy Potter (b); Max Roach (d)
‘Symphony Sid Show’
Royal Roost
WMCA NY
12 Dec 1948
Salt Peanuts
Charlie Parker (as); Miles Davis (tpt); Al Haig (p); Tommy Potter (b); Max Roach (d) (voc) Charlie Parker
‘Symphony Sid Show’
Royal Roost
WMCA NY
12 Dec 1948
All Gigs
12:04 pm - 2:00 pm
2SER 107.3 Sydney
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