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The Thrasher Sisters – Phantom Dancer Radio 24 March 2020

The Thrasher Sisters, Trio Lescano and The Andrew Sisters, three women harmony vocal trios from the 1940s, are this week’s Phantom Dancer feature artists for your self-isolating pleasure.

The Phantom Dancer produced and presented by 1920s-30s singer and actor Greg Poppleton can be heard online from 12:05pm AEDST Tuesday 24 March at

More on the Andrew Sisters and Trio Lescano in future Phantom Dancers – your non-stop mix of swing and jazz from live 1920s-50s radio with Greg Poppleton. Today’s story, read on, is about The Thrasher Sisters.

Well, it’s short and sweet and comes from a Billboard record review, 23 March 1946. Here it is…

thrasher sisters review

In this week’s mix you’ll also hear a set of Women Singers and Headliners on 1930s-40s Radio and dance bands from live 1937 radio.

Mary Jane Thrasher’s obit is quoted here for the LA Times. It tells Mary’s story and the story of the sisters,

“January 22, 1924 – February 23, 2014 Mary Jane, a loving big sister and Auntie, as well as a talented singer and painter, passed away peacefully in Monterey Park on February 23, 2014, at the age of 90. Mary Jane’s vitality and positive attitude was truly an inspiration, and her hearty laughter and warm, loving personality will be missed by all who knew her. Challenged with macular degeneration and severe hearing loss, she never complained or let her physical limitations darken her mood or her enjoyment of life. Separated from her two younger sisters and parents due to the challenges of the Depression, Mary Jane was raised by her father’s mother on the plains of South Dakota, along with her younger sister, Betty. Grandma Thrasher instilled the foundation for both Mary Jane and Betty’s inner strength and determination as single women throughout their entire lives. As Mary Jane approached her teen years, the family was reunited, and the Thrasher sisters, including youngest sister, Dee, discovered early on that they had a talent for singing, harmonizing together in the style of their favorite radio vocalists, the Boswell Sisters. In 1938, the Thrasher Sisters were hired by Cincinnati radio station WLW to perform on their very own Sunday morning radio program. For the next four years, Mary Jane, Betty, and Dee appeared on the show every weekend. A sample of the Thrasher Sisters’ exquisite harmonies can be found on (“Fountains of Fun” WLW 1942). In 1942, the family moved to Los Angeles, and the Thrasher Sisters were booked on a number of popular radio and TV programs. In 1949, noted band leader Jerry Fielding offered to mentor them and guide their career. He promptly changed their name to the Morgan Sisters, and booked them for a six-month engagement at the Pearl City Tavern near Honolulu, Hawaii. While on the island, the Morgan Sisters also participated in a number of recording sessions. Two of the songs they recorded in Hawaii can also be heard today on – “My Waikiki Girl” and “Fish and Poi.” In 1954, the Morgan Sisters broke up when youngest sister Dee left the group to marry Danny Barcelona, a young Hawaiian drummer she had met in Honolulu, and who later became a member of Louis Armstrong’s All Stars. In the late 1950’s, Mary Jane and Betty began working at the Los Angeles Times, where they continued to perform over the years at company events until their retirement in 1988. Mary Jane leaves behind her sister, Betty…”

The last hour is all vinyl

Your Phantom Dancer Video of the Week this week is Reg Kehoe and his Marimba Queens. The double bass player is brilliant, using the instrument chordally and percussively at once. 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!

Thank you.


Play List – The Phantom Dancer
107.3 2SER-FM Sydney, Live Stream, Digital Radio
Community Radio Network Show CRN #429

107.3 2SER Tuesday 24 March 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
7LTN Launceston 5 – 6am
3MGB Mallacoota Sunday 5 – 6am

Set 1
Swing Bands on mid-1940s Radio
Poinciana (Open) + Rise and Shine/I Want To Be Happy
Garwood Van Orchestra
Starlight Room
Hotel Chase
St Louis
Mutual Network
9 Aug 1944
Walking Stick
Claude Thornhill Orchestra
Cafe Rouge
Hotel Pennsylvania
22 Sep 1947
I Hear You Screaming + Moonlight Serenade (close)
Tex Beneke and the Glenn Miller Orchestra
Palladium Ballroom
KNX CBS Los Angeles
2 Oct 1946
Set 2
Swing Bands on 1959-1961 Radio
It Took Ten Days Blues
Jerry Gary and his Band of Today
Palladium Ballroom
KFI NBC Los Angeles
30 Oct 1959
Redskin Rhumba (Open) + Skyliner
Charlie Barnet Orchestra
Palladium Ballroom
KFI NBC Los Angeles
12 Sep 1959
Two O’Clock Jump
Harry James Orchestra
El Patio Ballroom
KCBS CBS San Francisco
20 May 1961
Set 3
Early Radio Music
All Muggled Up
Blue Steele Orchestra
Comm Rec
15 May 1930
Ooh That Kiss
The Nehi Quartet
’Nehi Program’
Radio Transcription
New York City
Land of Sunset Dreams + Melancholy Moon + It Ain’t Gonna Rain No More (theme)
Wendall Hall
’The Pineapple Picador’
KTSP NBC Minneapolis
2 Apr 1931
Set 4
Women Singers in 1938-39 New York City Swing Bands
Bluebirds in the Moonlight
Marion Hutton (voc) Glenn Miller Orchestra
Meadowbrook Ballroom
Cedar Grove NJ
7 Dec 1939
East of the Sun
Bea Wain (voc) Larry Clinton Orchestra
’RCA Campus Club’
Glen Island Casino
New Rochelle NY
13 Feb 1940
When I Go A-Dreaming
Helen Forrest (voc) Artie Shaw Orchestra
Blue Room
Hotel Lincoln
1 Dec 1938
Set 4
Women Vocal Trios On Air
Il Pinguino Innimorato
Trio Lescano and Silvana Fires (voc) Pippo Barzizza Orchestra
Cetra, Rome
I’ve Got No Strings
Andrew Sisters (voc) Glenn Miller Orchestra
’Chesterfield Show’
13 Feb 1940
Shoo Shoo Baby
Thrasher Sisters (voc) Phil Davis Orchestra
’Fountain Of Fun’
WLW Cincinnati
21 Nov 1943
Set 5
Women Singers and Headliners on 1930s-40s Radio
I Wish I Were Twins
Valaida Snow (voc) Billy Mason Orchestra
Comm Rec
18 Jan 1935
From The Land of the Sky Blue Water
Mildred Bailey (voc) Paul Baron Orchestra
’Music Till Midnight’
It’s Funny To Everyone But Me
Helen Ward (voc) Bob Crosby Orchestra
’Camel Caravan’
18 Jul 1939
My Baby Said Yes
Irene Day (voc) Charlie Spivak Orchestra
’One Night Stand’
Century Room
Commodore Hotel
AFRS Re-broadcast
25 Feb 1945
Set 6
Swing on 1937 Radio
Cosmic Rhythm
Seger Ellis and his Choirs of Brass
Radio Transcription
New York City
Russian Swing
Benny Goodman Orchestra (voc) Marek Windheim and Alexander Chorus
’Camel Caravan’
17 Aug 1937
St Louis Blues
Louis Armstrong Orchestra
’Norge Program’
Radio Transcription
New York City
Swing It, Brother, Swing
Count Basie Orchestra (voc) Billie Holliday
Savoy Ballroom
Aircheck NYC
30 Jun 1937
Set 7
Early 1930s Radio Jazz and Dance Bands
Cheer Up and Ballyhoo
Eddie Cantor (voc) Phil Spitalny’s Music, Bob Effros (tp) Joe Venuty (violin)
Hit of the Week Record
New York City
Oct 1931
Freddy Rich Orchestra (voc) Bob Effros (tp)?
’Friendly Five Footnotes’
Radio Transcription
New York City
Do The New York
Gus Arnheim Orchestra
’Cocoanut Grove’
TRANSCO Radio Transcription
Los Angeles
You’re Driving Me Crazy
Paul Whiteman Orchestra (1920s and 1940s version)
’Forever Pops’
ABC Chicago
Set 8
Bop on Radio
Katzenjammer’s Ball
Jack Allen’s Original Katzenjammers
Comm Rec
23 Feb 1950
Lullaby of Birdland (theme) + Three Little Words
Lester Young Quintet
5 Sep 1956
Charlie Parker Quintet
’Symphony Sid Show’
Royal Roost
1 Jan 1949

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