Greg Poppleton

21 May - Hear 1940s Jazz Harpsichord on this week's Phantom Dancer LISTEN

23 February 2021

Phil Harris – Phantom Dancer 23 February 2021

Greg Poppleton's Phantom Dancer swing jazz radio show

Phil Harris is this week’s Phantom Dancer feature artist. Wonga Phil Harris was a drummer, band leader, singer, comedian, actor, Academy Award winner and voice-over artist.

His first name, Wonga, is a Cherokee word meaning fast messenger.

The Phantom Dancer is your non-stop mix of swing and jazz from live 1920s-60s radio and TV hosted by me, Greg Poppleton. Hear past Phantom Dancer online now at

This show will be online after 2pm AEST, Tuesday 23 February at


Phil Harris’ parents were circus performers. Phil started playing in his father’s tent band as a drummer at age 9. He began his dance band career as a drummer in San Francisco, first in 1925 with the Henry Halstead Orchestra, which toured Australia in 1927. In the late 20s he formed an orchestra with Carol Lofner which had a three year engagement at the St. Francis Hotel. The Lofner-Harris orchestra recorded for VictorColumbiaDecca, and Vocalion.



In 1933, he made a short film for RKO called So This Is Harris!. It won the Academy Award for best live action short subject. He followed with a feature-length film, Melody Cruise. He starred in I Love a Bandleader (1945) with Leslie Brooks. He appeared in The Wild Blue Yonder a.k.a. “Thunder Across the Pacific” (1951), alongside Forrest Tucker and Walter Brennan. He made a cameo appearance in the Warner Bros. musical, Starlift, with Janice Rule and Dick Wesson, and was featured in The High and the Mighty with John Wayne in 1954.

He made many TV appearances guesting on the Ed Sullivan Show and Dean Martin Show in the 1960s As a singer, he had a #1 hit in 1950 with the novelty record, “The Thing”. He was an avid golfer and won many amateur golf tournaments. Took over managing the Bing Crosby Golf Tournament after Crosby’s death


On this week’s Phantom Dancer you’ll hear Phil Harris from a radio transcription simulating a broadcst from the Cocoanut Grove of the Ambassador Hotel where his band was resident in 1933-34. In 1936, Harris became musical director of The Jell-O Show Starring Jack Benny singing and leading his band. When Harris showed a knack for giving snappy one-liners, he joined the cast.

In 1946, after serving in the US Navy during WW2, Harris and wife Alice Faye began co-hosting The Fitch Bandwagon, a comedy-variety program that followed the Jack Benny show on Sunday nights. On The Fitch Bandwagon and its later incarnation as The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show, Harris played a vain, stumbling husband, while Faye played his sarcastic but loving wife. The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show ran until 1954. Harris was concurrently on Jack Benny’s show from 1948 to 1952.


Harris was a popular voice actor for animated films – he played Baloo in The Jungle Book (1967), Thomas O’Malley in The Aristocats (1970), Little John in Robin Hood (1973), and Patou in Rock-a-Doodle (1991).


Play List – The Phantom Dancer
107.3 2SER-FM Sydney LISTEN ONLINE Community Radio Network Show CRN #476

107.3 2SER Tuesday 23 February 2021 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 4RPH Brisbane Sunday 3 – 4am 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
1945 Radio Dance Bands 
Moonlight Serenade (theme) + Sun Valley Jump
Tex Beneke and the Glenn Miller Orchestra
‘Spotlight Bands’ Cedar Rapids Iowa Blue Network 1945
I’m Beginning To See The Light
Ray Noble Orchestra (voc) Trudy Irwin and the Smart Set
‘By Request’ KNX CBS LA 13 Jun 1945
Dark Eyes + Close
Jimmy Joy Orchestra
‘Spotlight Bands’ Hartigan TX Blue Network 6 Jan 1945
Set 2
1940s-50s Mod Jazz Bands 
Open + Who’s Sorry Now?
Ray Anthony Orchestra
‘One Night Stand’ Cafe Rouge Hotel Statler NYC AFRS Re-broadcast 1952
Old Man Bebop
Dizzy Gillespie
AFRS Radio Transcriptions 1946
El Greco + Let’s Dance (theme)
Benny Goodman Orchestra
‘One Night Stand’ Palladium Ballroom Hollywood AFRS Re-broadcast 1949
Set 3
Phil Harris 
Young and Healthy
Phil Harris Orchestra (voc) Phil Harris and The Three Ambassadors
Cocoanut Grove Radio Transcription Los Angeles 1933
The Girl in the Little Green Hat
Phil Harris Orchestra (voc) Lee Norton
Cocoanut Grove Radio Transcription Los Angeles 1933
Come On, Get Up
Phil Harris Orchestra (voc) Leah Raye
Cocoanut Grove Radio Transcription Los Angeles 1933
Set 4
Women on Radio 
Theme + 24 Hours of Sunshine
The Andrew Sisters, Dick Haymes, Jerry Gray Orchestra
‘Guest Star’ Radio Transcription New York City 8 Jan 1950
If I Loved You + Lady Be Good (close)
Georgia  Gibbs (voc) Paul Whiteman Orchestra
Madhattan Room Pennsylvania Hotel AFRS Re-broadcast 22 Jul 1945
That Ol’ Black Magic + Close
Jo Stafford, The Starlighters, Paul Weston Orchestra
‘Guest Star’ Radio Transcription New York City 22 May 1949
Set 5
1940s Australian Swing 
Don’t Sweetheart Me
George Trevare Orchestra (voc) Joan Blake
Comm Rec Sydney 1944
Let’s Have One For The Road
George Trevare Orchestra (voc)
Comm Rec Sydney 1944
Long Ago and Far Away
George Trevare Orchestra (voc) al Royal
Comm Rec Sydney 1944
Set 6
Radio Trad 
Back to Coajingolong
George Trevare Orchestra
Comm Rec Sydney 1945
September in the Rain
Eddie Condon
‘Eddie Condon Jazz Concert’ WJZ Blue NY 21 Oct 1944
Levee Blues
Jimmy Dorsey Dorseyland Band (voc) Charlie Teagarden
Radio Transcription 1950
Gin Mill Blues + Close
Bob Crosby Orchestra
‘Swing Concert’ Congress Hotel WMAQ NBC Red Chicago 18 May 1937
Set 7
 Lseter Young 1950s Radip 
Lullaby of Birdland (theme)
Lester Young Quintet
Birdland WABC ABC NY 5 Sep 1956
Three Little Words
Lester Young Quintet
Birdland WABC ABC NY 5 Sep 1956
Lullaby of Birdland (theme)
Lester Young Quintet
Birdland WABC ABC NY 7 Aug 1956
Lester Leaps In
Lester Young Quintet
Birdland WABC ABC NY 7 Aug 1956
Set 8
Benny Goodman Small Groups 
Oh, Baby!
Benny Goodman Sextet
Meadowbrook Gardens Culver City Ca AFRS Re-broadcast 26 Jan 1946
Limehouse Blues
Benny Goodman Sextet
Meadowbrook Gardens Culver City Ca AFRS Re-broadcast 26 Jan 1946
Sweet Georgia Brown
Benny Goodman Quintet
‘Spotlight Bands’ Springfield Mass Mutual Network 29 Sep 1943
Sweet Lorraine
Benny Goodman Trio
Meadowbrook Gardens Culver City Ca AFRS Re-broadcast 26 Jan 1946
All Gigs
12:04 pm
2SER 107.3

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