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01 August 2023

(Until 01 August)

1940s Finland Singers: Harmony Sisters / Geschwister Valtonen – Phantom Dancer

Greg Poppleton's Phantom Dancer swing jazz radio show

The Valtonen Sisters, who also recorded under the name Harmony Sisters, is your Phantom Dancer feature artist, The sisters, Vera, Maire and Raija were Karelians whose family moved to Finland after the 1917 Russian Revolution. They sang in ten languages in a career spanning 1934-54.

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 1 August) and weeks of Phantom Dancer mixes online at, at https://2ser.com/phantom-dancer/

VALTONEN

The sisters’ 1942 business letterhead read, “3 real sisters singing in 10 languages: American Hits – French Chansons – Finnish Folksongs”

The letterhead was designed for a career in the United States and was still used in 1992 by the bandleader, soprano Raija Valtonen

They began singing as children in a Salvation Army Choir. They were first heard on radio (Finnish Broadcasting Company, Yleisradio) in 1934.

At first, the swing jazz trio sung only in English, aiming for U.S career.

Then, in 1937, in Vyborg, they hired a new conductor and arranger, George de Codzinsky, from St Petersburg. He encouraged them to adapt a wider repertoire from Vienese waltzes to folk songs, ballads and popular hits which skyrocketed their popularity.

Their first hits included Sataman Valot (Harbour Lights) (1937) which you’ll hear on this week’s Phantom Dancer, Purppurapurjeet (Red Sails in the Sunset) (1939) and the tango Pieni Sydän (1939).

In 1938 they were offered their first concert abroard in the China-Varieté in Stockholm.

SISTERS

As the Harmony Sisters they entertained Finnish troops in the Winter War and The Continuation War.

Hits at that time included Kodin Kynttilät (When it’s Lamp Lighting Time in the Valley) (1942) and Sulle salaisuuden kertoa mä voisin (1942)

The Finnish Broadcating Company (Yleisradio) sent the Harmony Sisters on three tours of Germany in 1942-43.

They sung on radio (Großdeutscher Rundfunk) and in military hospitals as the Geschwister Valtonen in Vienna, Bucharest, Warsaw and Riga. They performed songs by Jewish composers, which at the time was officially forbidden.

They made the record Ich hab’ dich und Du hast mich (1942) in Berlin with the Benny de Weille Orchestra and Hein Mück (1943) with the Willy Mattes Orchestra. After the war
he directed the Harmony Sisters for Danish Radio under the name, Charlie
Wildman.

HARMONY SISTERS

From 1943 they performed in Sweden at Stockhom’s China-varieté, and in Liseberg and Gothenburg.

They also recorded Mister Five By Five and I’m Coming Virginia (sung in English, and which you’ll hear on this week’s show) (1943) with the Thore Ehrling Orchestra.

Finnish recording collapsed after the war and there was a law forbidding dancing until
1948. So the Harmony Sisters moved permanently to Sweden, where they played dance halls, amusement parks and on the radio.

For Cupol Records in Stockholm they recorded Farväll, Quire, Vire, Vin (1946)
Ryskt folkvisepotpourri 1-2 (Potpourri of Russian folk songs 1-2 sung in Russian) (1947), Tre finska folkvisor (Three Finnish Folksongs) and Mustalainen (in Hungarian).

They recorded Mikael Nyberg’s religious song, O, huru ljuvliga (1947).

With the Sven Arefeldt Orchestra, they recorded Gyllene ringar (Golden Earrings) and a Blå hav (La Mer) (1948), which you’ll hear on this week’s Phantom Dancer.

An offer to play in U.S eventaully came through, but when it did the Valtonen Sisters had young children and decided to stay in Europe.

1 AUGUST PLAY LIST

Play List – The Phantom Dancer
107.3 2SER-FM Sydney
LISTEN ONLINE
Community Radio Network Show CRN #610

107.3 2SER Tuesday 1 August 2023
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
Duke Ellington
Theme + Out of Nowhere
Duke Ellington Orchestra
‘Pastel Period’
Hurricane Restaurant
WOR Mutual NYC
1943
And Russia is her Name
Duke Ellington Orchestra
‘Pastel Period’
Hurricane Restaurant
WOR Mutual NYC
1943
It Don’t Mean a Thing if it Ain’t Got That Swing
Duke Ellington Orchestra
‘Pastel Period’
Hurricane Restaurant
WOR Mutual NYC
1943
UnannouncedDuke Ellington Orchestra
‘Pastel Period’
Hurricane Restaurant
WOR Mutual NYC
1943
Set 2
Trad Jazz
Open + Alice Blue Gown
George Gerard & the New Orleans Five
O’Dwyer’s
WWL CBS New Orleans
1951
Alabama Jubilee
George Gerard & the New Orleans Five (voc) Band
O’Dwyer’s
WWL CBS New Orleans
1951
Bourbon Street Parade
George Gerard & the New Orleans Five
O’Dwyer’s
WWL CBS New Orleans
1951
Five Foot Two Eyes of Blue
George Gerard & the New Orleans Five
O’Dwyer’s
WWL CBS New Orleans
1951
Set 3
Valtonen Sisters
Sataman valot (Harbour Lights)
Valtonen Sisters (voc) Dallapé Orchestra
Comm Rec
Helsinki
1937
Lumikki (With a Smile and a Song from Snow White & the Seven Dwarves)
Valtonen Sisters (voc) (as The Harmony Sisters)
Comm Rec
Helsinki
1938
Liebes kleines Fräulein
Geschwister Valtonen (voc) Eugen Henkel OrchesterComm Rec
Berlin
1942
I’m Coming Virginia
Valtonen Sisters (voc) (as The Harmony Sisters) Thore Ehrling Orkester
Comm Rec
Stockholm
31 Aug 1943
Blå hav (La mer)
Valtonen Sisters (voc) (as The Harmony Sisters) Sven Arefeldt Orkester
Comm Rec
Stockholm
1948
Set 4
Russ Morgan
Open + Does Your Heart Beat For Me (theme) + Hold Everything
Russ Morgan Orchestra (voc)
‘Spotlight Bands’
Northhampton Ma
Blue Network
19 Aug 1943
The Man I Love
Russ Morgan Orchestra (voc) Mary Osbourne
‘Spotlight Bands’
Northhampton Ma
Blue Network
19 Aug 1943
Sweet Eloise + Please Think of Me + Somebody Else is Taking My Place
Russ Morgan Orchestra (voc & piano) Russ Morgan & Audience
‘Spotlight Bands’
Northhampton Ma
Blue Network
19 Aug 1943
The Sheik of Araby + So Long (theme)
Russ Morgan Orchestra (voc) Russ Morgan
‘Spotlight Bands’
Northhampton Ma
Blue Network
19 Aug 1943
Set 5
Jazz Piano
Red Bank Boogie
Count Basie (piano) Harry Sosnick Orchestra
‘Guest Star’
Radio Transcription
23 Oct 1949
Basie Boogie
Count Basie (piano) Harry Sosnick Orchestra
‘Guest Star’
Radio Transcription
23 Oct 1949
Begin the Beguine
Art Tatum (piano) Murray MacEachern Orchestra
Aircheck
Los Angeles
Cherokee
Art Tatum (piano) Murray MacEachern Orchestra
Aircheck
Los Angeles
Set 6
Jazz Kids
Caldonia Boogie
Sugar ‘Chile’ Robinson (Age 10, piano) Lionel Hampton Orchestra
‘Jubilee’
AFRS Hollywood
1944
Sugar’s Boogie Woogie
Sugar ‘Chile’ Robinson (Age 10, piano) Lionel Hampton Orchestra and Joey Preston Age 8 drums)
‘Jubilee’
AFRS Hollywood
1944
Moonglow
Lionel Hampton Orchestra
‘Jubilee’
AFRS Hollywood
1944
Set 7
Tripling Trumpets
A Heart of Stone
Hal Kemp Orchestra (voc) Skinnay Ennis
‘Lady Esther Serenade’
WEAF NBC Red NYC
26 Aug 1936
T’ain’t No Use
Hal Kemp Orchestra‘Lady Esther Serenade’
WEAF NBC Red NYC
26 Aug 1936
You Don’t Love Right
Hal Kemp Orchestra (voc) Skinnay Ennis
‘Lady Esther Serenade’
WEAF NBC Red NYC
26 Aug 1936
Bye Bye Baby + Close
Hal Kemp Orchestra
‘Lady Esther Serenade’
WEAF NBC Red NYC
26 Aug 1936
Set 8
Gene Krupa & Tony Bennett
Just in Time
Gene Krupa Trio
‘Guard Session’
Radio Transcription
1963
September Song + I Left My Heart in San FranciscoGene Krupa Trio (voc) Tony Bennett
‘Guard Session’
Radio Transcription
1963
Big Noise from Winnetka
Gene Krupa Trio
‘Guard Session’
Radio Transcription
1963
All Gigs
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
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