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Paul Lavalle ‘Symphonic Rhumba’ – Phantom Dancer 30 June 2020

Paul Lavalle composer, arranger, clarinettist and saxophonist, is this week’s Phantom Dancer feature artist with two recordings from NBC’s ‘Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street’ radio series.

The Phantom Dancer is produced and presented by 1920s-30s singer and actor Greg Poppleton. The show has been on-air over 107.3 2SER Sydney since 1985.

You can hear it online from 12:04pm AEST Tuesday 30 June at

The finyl hour is vinyl.


Paul Laval from 1938 and Paul Lavalle after the 1940s was the stagename of Joseph Usifer. He made one record in 1938, a sophisticated swing arrangement in the style of Raymond Scott in 1938.

Lavalle won a scholarship to Juilliard and was a student of composition of Joseph Schillinger. He played in many 1930s bands, including one in Havana, Cuba. In 1933 he became an arranger and clarinetist in the NBC house orchestra. His composition Symphonic Rhumba (1939), was broadcast by the NBC Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Leopold Stokowski, on December 6, 1942.

On this week’s Phantom Dancer you’ll hear two Lavalle originals,’The Bullfrog and the Finch’ and ‘The Angie Wangie Blues’ broadcast over NBC’s Blue Network.


Lavalle worked on The Dinah Shore Show (1939–40), The Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street (1940–44), Plays for Americans (1942), Highways in Melody, The Stradivari Orchestra (1943), Strictly Business (1940), The Ted Steele Show (1942), and Dough Re Mi (1942-1943).

On radio he collaborated with Victor Borge, Mario Lanza, Robert Merrill and Dinah Shore. In November 1944, his jazz composition ‘Always’ made it to number 29 on the top 40 charts.

Lavalle was selected over several applicants to become the conductor of the Band of America in 1948. They performed on the weekly radio program Cities Service Concerts on NBC Radio for eight years and almost 400 programs. Each program began with the introduction: “Forty-eight states… 48 stars… 48 men marching down the main street of everybody’s hometown! Here comes the Cities Service Band of America, conducted by Paul Lavalle!”


In 1949, Lavalle and the band became one of the first musical groups to appear weekly on television.

On May 18, 1961, Paul Lavalle and the Greatest Band in America joined singer Kay Armen in a 30-minute episode of the ABC-TV series ‘Music For a Spring Night’ entitled ‘Concert in the Park.’ Beginning in 1964, the Band of America toured extensively and also became the official band of the 1964 New York World’s Fair, an engagement that lasted into 1965.

In 1967, he was instrumental in forming the 100-member All-American High School Band (by 1968 known as McDonald’s All-American High School Band) which participated in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and Tournament of Roses Parade

Lavalle guest conducted many orchestras, including the ABC Symphony, CBS Symphony, NBC Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic and Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1966 he became the conductor for the Radio City Music Hall Symphony Orchestra, and he returned two years later to serve as director of music and as principal conductor until 1975. In 1981 he began conducting the Wilton, Connecticut, Chamber Orchestra.

Your Phantom Dancer Video of the Week is Paul Lavalle’s Symphonic Rhumba (1939), broadcast by the NBC Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Leopold Stokowski, on December 6, 1942…


Play List – The Phantom Dancer
107.3 2SER-FM Sydney, Live Stream, Digital Radio
Community Radio Network Show CRN #443

107.3 2SER Tuesday 30 June 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 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
2MCE Bathurst / Orange / Central West NSW Wednesday 9 – 10am
2ARM Armidale Friday 12 – 1pm
7LTN Launceston Sunday 5 – 6am
3MGB Mallacoota Sunday 5 – 6am
6GME Radio Goolarri Broome Sunday 5 – 6am

Set 1
Swing and Dance Bands on 1937 Radio
Let’s Dance (theme) + Minnie The Moocher’s Wedding Day
Benny Goodman Orchestra
Madhattan Room
Hotel Pennsylvania
WOR Mutual New York City
21 Oct 1937
Am I Blue?
Bunny Berrigan Orchestra
‘Saturday Night Swing Club’
12 Jun 1937
September In The Rain + Ad + Close
Jack Hylton Orchestra (voc) Dick Mertre + Ad by ‘Mrs Goodsort’
‘The Rinso Review’
International Broadcasting Company London
Radio Normandy
26 Dec 1937
Set 2
Count Basie on 1954 – 56 Radio
One O’Clock Jump + You For Me
Count Basie Orchestra
‘Treasury Bandstand’
American Legion Park, Ephrata Pa
WLAN ABC Lancaster Pa
2 Sep 1954
Sent For You Yesterday
Count Basie Orchestra (voc) Jimmy Rushing
‘Fifth Anniversary of Birdland’
16 Dec 1954
All Right OK You Win
Count Basie Orchestra (voc) Joe Williams
9 Dec 1956
Set 3
The Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street WJZ NY 1941
Open + Ida
Henry Levine Dixieland Octet
‘The Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street’
30 Jun 1941
The Bullfrog and The Robin
Paul Lavalle Woodwinds
‘The Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street’
30 Jun 1941
Angie Wangie Blues + Close
Paul Lavalle Woodwinds
‘The Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street’
25 Aug 1941
Set 4
Jazz Radio in 1960
Intro + Love Letters
Rodolfo Alchourron Quartet
‘Esto Es Jazz’
LR1 Radio el Mundo, Buenos Aires
28 May 1960
Theme + Sweet and Lovely
Lee Konitz
‘Jazz International’
AFRTS Hollywood
16 Jun 1960
Rhythm A Ning
Thelonius Monk Quintet
‘The World Jazz Series’
Connie Mack Park
WCAU CBS Philadelphia
3 Mar 1960
Set 5
Medium Tempo Swing On 1940s Radio
Bluebirds In The Moonlight
Dick Freeman and his Trocadero Orchestra (voc) Barbara James
Comm Rec
Mar 1940
Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra
‘One Night Stand’
Frolics Club Miami
AFRS Re-broadcast
18 Jul 1944
I Never Knew
Raymond Scott’s Captivators
‘Morning Music’
10 Jan 1943
Shoo Shoo Baby
Charlie Spivak Orchestra (voc) Irene Day
‘One Night Stand’
Century Room
Commodore Hotel NY
AFRS Re-broadcast
Set 6
Small Groups from the Big Bands on the Radio
Mel Powell Trio (from the Glenn Miller Orch.)
Comm Rec
The Sad Sack
Gramercy 5 (from the Artie Shaw Orchestra
‘Spotlight Bands’
Santa Ana Ca
ABC Los Angeles
3 Oct 1945
Softly As In A Morning Sunrise
Benny Goodman Trio
‘Camel Caravan’
3 jan 1939
Wire Brush Stomp
Gene Krupa Trio
‘Spotlight Bands’
Newport Rhode Island
Blue Network
2 Oct 1944
Set 7
Swing From 1930s Germany
Musik! Musik! Musik!
Otto Stenzel von der Scala Berlin mit seinem Tanzorchester (voc) Wilfred Sommer
Comm Rec
7 Jun 1939
Aus Lauter Liebe
Die Goldene Sieben (voc) Peter Igelhoff
Comm Rec
Jul 1937
Über die Dächer der großen Stadt
Hans Carste Orchestra (voc) Schuricke-Terzett
Comm Rec
Wenn Wir Uns Einmal Wiederseh’n
Joop Carlquist und sein Hawaiian-Tanzorchester
Comm Rec
Set 8
Mod Women Jazz Singers On The Air
Once In A While
Sarah Vaughan
‘Jazz Club USA’
Washington DC
25 Dec 1949
Just A’Sittin’ And A’Rockin’
Julie Christie
‘One Night Stand’
Palladium Ballroom LA
AFRS Re-broadcast
27 Nov 1945
Patti Page
‘One Night Stand’
Click, Philadelphia
AFRS Re-broadcast
3 Jun 1948
My Baby Just Cares For Me + The Lady Is A Tramp
Jaye P. Morgan
‘Second Timex All-Star Jazz Show’
30 Apr 1958

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