Greg Poppleton

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16 April 2024

(Until 16 April)

Ray Noble – English and U.S Dance Band Leader – Phantom Dancer

Greg Poppleton's Phantom Dancer swing jazz radio show

Raymond Stanley ‘Ray’ Noble was a swing band leader, composer, arranger, radio host, television and film comedian and actor in both this native England and the United States. He is your Phantom Dancer feature artist this week.

The Phantom Dancer is your weekly non-stop mix of swing and jazz from live 1920s-60s radio and TV every week.

LISTEN to this week’s Phantom Dancer mix (online after 2pm AEST, Tuesday 16 April) and weeks of Phantom Dancer mixes online at, at https://2ser.com/phantom-dancer/

ENGLAND

Ray Noble wrote lyrics and music for many popular songs during the Golden Age of British Dance Bands, notably for his longtime friend and singer, Al Bowlly, including “Love Is the Sweetest Thing”, “Cherokee”, “The Touch of Your Lips”, “I Hadn’t Anyone Till You”.

Noble studied at the Royal Academy of Music.

In 1927 he won a competition for the best British dance band orchestrator.

In 1929, he became leader of the New Mayfair Dance Orchestra, an HMV Records studio band that featured members of many of the top hotel orchestras of the day.

Ray Noble recorded prolifically during this time and US Victor released several of his HMV recordings, including “Butterflies in the Rain”, “Mademoiselle”, “My Hat’s on the Side of My Head” and “The Very Thought of You”.

The most popular vocalist with Noble’s studio band was Al Bowlly, who joined in 1930.

During this time, Noble co-wrote “Turkish Delight”, “By the Fireside” and “Goodnight, Sweetheart”. The latter song was a number one hit for Guy Lombardo in the American charts. It was also used (with vocals by Al Bowlly) on the original Star Trek television series episode “The City on the Edge of Forever”.

US CAREER

Ray Noble moved to New York City in 1934 on the success of his New Mayfair Dance Orchestra records.

Noble took Al Bowlly and his drummer Bill Harty to the US and asked trombonist Glenn Miller to recruit American musicians to complete the band.

Miller played trombone in the Ray Noble orchestra. The American Ray Noble band had a successful run at the Rainbow Room in New York City with Bowlly as principal vocalist.

Although Noble was not a singer, he did appear twice as an upper-class Englishman on two of his more popular New York records, 1935’s “Top Hat” and 1937’s “Slumming on Park Avenue”.

Noble was also an arranger who scored many record hits in the 1930s: “Mad About the Boy” (1932), “Paris in the Spring” (1935) and “Easy to Love” (1936),

Noble and his orchestra appeared in the 1937 film A Damsel in Distress with Fred Astaire, Joan Fontaine, George Burns and Gracie Allen.

Noble played a somewhat “dense” character who was in love with Gracie Allen. Bowlly returned to England in 1938, but Noble continued to lead bands in America, moving into an acting career portraying a stereotypical upper-class English idiot.

Noble played the piano, but seldom did so with his orchestra. In a movie short from the 1940s featuring Ray Noble and Buddy Clark (one of his most popular band singers), Ray Noble is asked by the announcer to play one of his most popular hits. He sits down at the piano and plays “Goodnight, Sweetheart”.

Ray Noble provided music for many radio shows such as The Chase and Sanborn Hour, The Charlie McCarthy Show, Burns and Allen and On Stage with Cathy and Elliott Lewis and also guest-appeared in some of their films.

He worked with Bergen for nearly fifteen years, playing the foil to McCarthy and the slow-witted Mortimer Snerd, and his orchestra appeared with Edgar Bergen in the 1942 film Here We Go Again.

He also provided the orchestration for the 1942 Lou Gehrig biopic The Pride of the Yankees starring Gary Cooper. Noble’s last major successes as a bandleader came with Buddy Clark in the late 1940s.

16 April PLAY LIST

Play List – The Phantom Dancer
107.3 2SER-FM Sydney
LISTEN ONLINE
Community Radio Network Show CRN #649

107.3 2SER Tuesday 16 April 2024
12:04 – 2:00pm (+10 hours GMT)
National Program
5UV Adelaide Monday 2:30 – 3:30am
5GTR Mt Gambier Monday 2:30 – 3:30am
3MBR Murrayville Monday 3 – 4am
4NAG Keppel FM Monday 3 – 4am
2MIA Griffith Monday 3 – 4am
2BAR Edge FM Bega Monday 3 – 4am
2BRW Braidwood Monday 3 – 4am
2YYY Young Monday 3 – 4am
7RPH Hobart Monday 3 – 4pm
3VKV Alpine Radio Monday 6 – 7pm
7MID Oatlands Monday 3am – 4 and 6 -7pm
2MCE Bathurst Wednesday 9 – 10am
1ART ArtsoundFM Canberra Friday 10 – 11am
and Sunday 11pm
Reading Radio (QLD) Friday 1am – 2
2RRR Ryde Friday 11am – 12
2ARM Armidale Friday 12 – 1pm
5LCM Lofty FM Adelaide Friday 1 – 2pm
6GME Radio Goolarri Broome Saturday 4am – 5am
Denmark FM (West Australia) Saturday 10 – 11am
Repeat: Wednesdays 10 – 11pm
7LTN Launceston Sunday 5 – 6am
3MGB Mallacoota Sunday 5 – 6am
3BBR West Gippsland Sunday 5 – 6pm
2SEA Sapphire Coast Eden Sunday 9 – 10pm

Set 1
Stan Kenton
Open + Swing House
Stan Kenton Orchestra
‘Concert in Miniature’
Glen Echo Park Ballroom
WRC NBC Washington DC
12 May 1953
These Foolish Things
Stan Kenton Orchestra
‘Concert in Miniature’
Glen Echo Park Ballroom
WRC NBC Washington DC
12 May 1953
Frank SpeakingStan Kenton Orchestra
‘Concert in Miniature’
Glen Echo Park Ballroom
WRC NBC Washington DC
12 May 1953
Everything Happens to MeStan Kenton Orchestra (voc) Chris Connors‘Concert in Miniature’
Glen Echo Park Ballroom
WRC NBC Washington DC
12 May 1953
Set 2
Fred Waring
Paris in the Spring
Fred Waring and his Pennsylvanians (voc) Thomas and Rosemary
‘Fred Waring Show’
CBS
14 Apr 1936
Omaha – ha – ha and Idaho – ho – ho
Fred Waring and his Pennsylvanians (voc) Band
‘Fred Waring Show’
CBS
14 Apr 1936
Summertime
Fred Waring and his Pennsylvanians (voc) Glee Club with Stella and the Fellas
‘Fred Waring Show’
CBS
14 Apr 1936
Sleep (theme)
Fred Waring and his Pennsylvanians

‘Fred Waring Show’
CBS
14 Apr 1936
Set 3
Ray Noble
The Very Thought of You (theme) + And the Angels Sing
Ray Noble Orchestra (voc) Liz Tilton
Beverley-Wiltshire Hotel
KFI NBC Red LA
22 Oct 1939
Open + The Very Thought of You
Ray Noble Orchestra
‘Coty Hour’
WEAF NBC Red NYC
13 Mar 1935
Flowers for Madame
Ray Noble Orchestra (voc) Al Bowlly
‘Coty Hour’
WEAF NBC Red NYC
13 Mar 1935
Commanche War Dance + Close
Ray Noble Orchestra
Beverley-Wiltshire Hotel
KFI NBC Red LA
4 Apr 1940
Set 4
Ted Fio Rito
Open + Hungarian Jump
Ted Fio Rito Orchestra
‘Spotlight Bands’
AFRS Re-broadcast
21 Feb 1945
Accentuate the Positive
Ted Fio Rito Orchestra (voc) Madeleine Mahoney
‘Spotlight Bands’
AFRS Re-broadcast
21 Feb 1945
Begin the Beguine
Ted Fio Rito (piano) and Orchestra
‘Spotlight Bands’
AFRS Re-broadcast
21 Feb 1945
Idaho
Ted Fio Rito Orchestra
‘Spotlight Bands’
AFRS Re-broadcast
21 Feb 1945
Set 5
Trad Jazz
I Can’t Get Started
Fats B Shawn (piano and voc)
Club Hangover
KCBS San Francisco
13 Feb 1954
Bugle Blues
Earl Hines and his Esquire All-Stars
Club Hangover
KCBS San Francisco
13 Feb 1954
Rosetta
Earl Hines and his Esquire All-Stars
Club Hangover
KCBS San Francisco
13 Feb 1954
Deep Forest (theme)
Earl Hines and his Esquire All-Stars
Club Hangover
KCBS San Francisco
13 Feb 1954
Set 6
Dance Band Radio Transcriptions
Don’t Be That Way
Chick Webb Orchestra
Radio Transcription
1936
Washington Squabble
Claude Hopkins Orchestra
Radio Transcription
1935
Nit Wit Serenade
Chick Webb Orchestra
Radio Transcription
1936
Farewell Blues
Claude Hopkins Orchestra
Radio Transcription
1935
Set 7
Jimmie Lunceford Orchestra
Open + Holiday for Strings
Jimmie Lunceford Orchestra
‘Jubilee’
AFRS Hollywood
1944
Molly Malone
Jimmie Lunceford Orchestra (voc) Maxine Sullivan
‘Jubilee’
AFRS Hollywood
1944
Honey Dripper
Jimmie Lunceford Orchestra (voc) Band
‘Spotlight Bands’
Jefferson Barracks
Missouri
Mutual Network
23 Nov 1945
Wham! + Close
Jimmie Lunceford Orchestra (voc) Jimmie Lunceford
‘Spotlight Bands’
Jefferson Barracks
Missouri
Mutual Network
23 Nov 1945
Set 8
Charlie Parker and Miles Davis
Groovin’ HighMiles Davis (tpt); Charlie Parker (as); Al Haig (p); Tommy Potter (b); Max Roach (d)‘Symphony Sid Show’
Royal Roost
WMCA NYC
11 Dec 1948
Big FootMiles Davis (tpt); Charlie Parker (as); Al Haig (p); Tommy Potter (b); Max Roach (d)
‘Symphony Sid Show’
Royal Roost
WMCA NYC
11 Dec 1948
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12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
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