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The 1929-45 Teenager – Phantom Dancer 25 February 2020

This week’s Phantom Dancer 25 February mix feature artist from live 1920s-60s radio is The Teenager.

Specifically, we’ll hear three examples from 1929 – 45 radio of music and spoken word aimed at the teenager. You’ll even hear the massed voices of teenagers in a Frank Sinatra broadcast.

The Phantom Dancer with actor and 1920s-30s singer Greg Poppleton can be heard online now at

The last hour is all vinyl.


‘Harold Teen’ is a 1929 song celebrating the popular comic book character of the same name first published in 1919, written and drawn by Carl Ed (pronounced “eed”).

Asked in the late 1930s why he had started the strip, Ed answered, “Twenty years ago, there was no comic strip on adolescence. I thought every well-balanced comic sheet should have one.”

Harold Teen 1928 movie poster

Harold Teen 1928 movie poster

The success of the strip led to toys, figurines, pins and other products.

Carl Ed received writing credit for both film adaptations of Harold Teen. Tap dancer Hal Le Roy had the title role in the 1934 movie musical Harold Teen. In the 1928 silent version, Harold was portrayed by Arthur Lake, best known for his many performances as Dagwood Bumstead.

There was also a Harold Teen radio show mid-day on Saturdays on the Tribune radio station WGN in Chicago. It was mostly a DJ show with Harold and his buddy Shad spinning the latest hits.

Kansas City jazz band pianist Joe Sanders wrote a song about the “Don Juan of comic strip fame”, describing him as a “human love machine” and as “romance personified”. A performance by the Coon-Sanders Original Nighthawk Orchestra can be heard in the March 1, 1929, episode of the Maytag Frolics radio program on this week’s Phantom Dancer


Bobby soxer is term for a very zealous fan of 1940s traditional pop music, in particular that of singer Frank Sinatra. We’ll hear them screaming after a Frank song in this week’s Phantom Dancer.

Bobby soxers were usually teenage girls in high schools and colleges, who got their name from the bobby socks that they wore.

Teenage actress Shirley Temple played a stereotypical Bobby socker in the film The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer (1947).

Bobby soxers

Bobby soxers


Turns out, as you’ll hear announced on this week’s Phantom Dancer, that Eddie Condon’s dxieland jazz was ‘OK with teenage USA’.  This reported wisdom came from a newly published magazine, Seventeen, the first magazine aimed at 13-17 year old girls that treated them like adults so they could be sold to.

Helen Valentine (1893-1986) was the founder and editor in chief of Seventeen.

April 1945 Seventeen cover

April 1945 Seventeen cover

In 1944, while serving as promotion director for Mademoiselle magazine at Walter Annenberg’s Triangle Publications, she was asked by Annenberg to help revive a movie magazine.

Although the concept of “teenager” as a distinct demographic segment of the population was a relatively new idea at that time, Valentine instead proposed a magazine for teen-age girls. Noticing the wide popularity of a King Features Syndicate comic strip by cartoonist Hilda Terry that focused on the trials and tribulations of a typical teenager’s life entitled Teena which began running in July 1944, Valentine convinced Annenberg that teenage girls needed a magazine of their own and that the then unserved demographic had the potential to become an important and lucrative new consumer market segment stating that “It was time to treat children as adults.”

The magazine was launched in September 1944 and within a year, Seventeen had a circulation of a million. Seventeen is credited with creating a teen market for clothing manufacturers and other industries.


The Phantom Dancer Video of the Week  is a short clip from the documentary, Teenage, featuring Bobby Soxers. Enjoy!

Make sure you come back to this blog, Greg Poppleton’s Radio Lounge, every Tuesday, for the newest Phantom Dancer play list and Video of the Week!


Play List – The Phantom Dancer
107.3 2SER-FM Sydney, Live Stream, Digital Radio
Community Radio Network Show CRN #425

107.3 2SER Tuesday 25 February 2020
After the 2SER 12 noon news, 12:04 – 2:00pm (+11 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
3MGB Mallacoota Sunday 5 – 6am

Set 1
Sweet Music
Open + On the Sunny Side of the Street
Frances Langford
AFRS Hollywood
Open + Old Shanty Town
Owen Bradley and the Anita Kerr Singers (voc) Lion Oil Orchestra
‘Sunday Down South’
Lion Network.
25 Jul 1954
Sheik of Araby + Time To Say Goodbye (theme)
Russ Morgan Orchestra (voc) Russ Morgan
Club Del Mar
Santa Monica Ca
22 Aug 1959
Set 2
Modern Music Radio
Open + Move
Miles Davis Nonet
‘Symphony Sid Show’
Royal Roost
4 Sep 1948
Open + Lady Be Good
Coleman Hawkins
‘Jazz Art Concert’
Theatre DeLys
4 Oct 1952
Boogie Mysterioso
Mary Lou Williams Quintet
‘Jazz Club USA’
Voice of America
Set 3
Selling Oldsmobiles
Open + Roll Out of Bed with a Smile
Johnny Green Orchestra
‘Oldsmobile Program’
20 Feb 1934
Everything I Have Is Yours + After Sundown
Ruth Etting
‘Oldsmobile Program’
20 Feb 1934
Temptation + I Wanna Be Loved (theme)
Johnny Green Orchestra
‘Oldsmobile Program’
20 Feb 1934
Set 4
Aimed at Teenagers
Open + I Found a New Baby
Eddie Condon
‘Eddie Condon Town Hall Jazz Concert’
Ritz Theatre
3 Mar 1945
Open + Harold Teen
Coon-Sanders Nighthawks (voc) Joe Sanders
‘Maytag Frolics’
Radio Transcription
28 Feb 1929
I Love You
Frank Sinatra
‘Your Hit Parade’
6 May 1944
Set 5
Trad Jazz on Radio
Royal Garden Blues
Jimmy Dorsey Dorseyland Band
Radio Transcription
Los Angeles
Eh, La Bas!
Papa Celestin
‘Dixieland Jamboree’
WDSU ABC New Orleans
Jazz Me Blues
Bob Crosby Bobcats
Blackhawk Restaurant
WGN Mutual Chicago
25 Mar 1940
Artie Shaw Orchestra
Blue Room
Hotel Lincoln
30 Dec 1939
Set 6
Swing Radio
Take The A-Train (theme) + Way Low
Duke Ellington Orchestra
Hurricane Restaurant
Aircheck NYC
28 Aug 1943
Open + Sugarfoot Stomp
Benny Goodman Orchestra
‘Spotlight Bands’
Springfield Ma.
Blue Network
29 Sep 1943
Frantic in the Atlantic
Cab Calloway Orchestra
‘One Night Stand’
Club Zanzibar
AFRS re-broadcast
16 Jul 1946
Your Father’s Moustache
Woody Herman Orchestra
‘Wild Root Creme Oil Show’
1 Dec 1946
Set 7
1930s French Swing
Got a Date in Louisiana
Philippe Brun Swing Band
Comm Rec
8 Mar 1938
Michel Warlop Orchestra
Comm Rec
2 Mar 1935
What’ll I Do
Fletcher Allen Orchestra
Comm Rec
15 Mar 1938
Popcorn Man
Ray Ventura Orchestra (voc) Betty Allen
Comm Rec
Set 8
1940s-50s Moderne
Howard McGee Sextet
29 Apr 1947
Slim Gaillard
‘Symphony Sid Show’
2 Jun 1951
Charlie Barnet Orchestra
400 Restaurant
New York City
Woody Herman Third Hers
‘All-Star Parade of Bands’
Peony Park

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