Herbie Fields Child Prodigy – Phantom Dancer 29 May Radio Swing Jazz Mix


Herbie Fields is a musician I’ve long wanted to play a set of. Now the time has come.

I’m Greg Poppleton, 1920s-30s singer and your Phantom Dancer.

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

On air every Tuesday, live from 107.3 2SER Sydney from 12:04-2pm, the Phantom Dancer is recorded for re-broadcast over 23 radio stations of the Community Radio Network and online at 2ser.com.

THIS WEEK’S PHANTOM DANCER MIX
– opens with a set of dance bands live on the 1940s ‘One Night Stand’ radio series,
– hear a set of Sarah Vaughan from live 1950s radio,
– a set of early radio dance bands from rare 1920s-30s radio,
– a set of the daddies of boogie woogie pianists from live 1930s radio,
– a set of today’s feature artist, Herbie Fields, including Miles Davis’s recording debut. See the full play list below for more…

HERBIE FIELDS
Herbie Fields was a child prodigy clarinet and sax player whose meteoric career in the mid-1940s faltered in the 1950s, making him increasing disgruntled until he couldn’t take it any more.

A student at the famous Juilliard School of Music, he began recording and broadcasting in 1944 after a two year stint in the U.S Army.

On this week’s Phantom Dancer we’ll hear his first orchestra live from 1944 radio on its own national network band remote. It was coveted radio exposure mostly given to more seasoned bands. We’ll also hear a song from his first recording session made for the prestigious Savoy record label.

The 1945 Savoy record we’ll hear on today’s show features singer Rubberlegs Williams. Rubberlegs, sounding very Fats Waller, calls out Herbie Fields by name on the record – more evidence of the meteoric rise of Herbie Field as a swing name.

This was also the first recording by teenage Miles Davis on trumpet. Miles sounds like Miles even then, though some players on the session complained that the teenager wasn’t good enough – another story for another Phantom Dancer.

Herbie Fields and his 3 year old daughter, Sandra
Herbie Fields and his 3 year old daughter, Sandra

 

UP-AND-COMING
His star rising in just twelve short months, Fields also won Esquire magazine’s New Star Award on alto sax in 1945.

In 1946, RCA Victor signed Fields as leader of his own big band. Despite including musicians of the calibre of Neal Hefti, Bill Evans, Marty Napoleon and Serge Chaloff, the band was a commercial failure. Big bands were out of fashion.

He went from big band to septet in 1949. We’ll hear that septet on this week’s Phantom Dancer in a 1951 radio broadcast.

In the septet was Frank Rosolino trombone, Jimmy Nottingham trumpet, Jim Aton double bass, Bill Evans piano and Tiny Kahn drums. The group backed Billie Holiday on a successful U.S east coat tour. You’ll hear in this septet broadcast how Fields could play in swing, bop and r’n’b styles all on the one song (‘How High The Moon’).

R’N’B
In the 1950s, Fields moved into rhythm and blues. He became a sax ‘honker’.

You’ll hear him mix honk with bop and swing on ‘How High the Moon’ with his septet on what the 1951 announcer calls a ‘rock’n’roll’ number.

But his decreasing popularity after such a promising career start in 1944 made him increasing disgruntled.

Bill Evans said of Field’s r’n’b style, “In some ways he had been a forerunner of rock ‘n’ roll. He was wiggling, jerking. Rock ‘n’ roll came, brought millions of dollars, but nothing for Herbie Fields.”

Field’s recorded sporadically as an r’n’b artist, bop player and big band leader.

He was leading a trio in his own Miami restaurant in 1958 when is suddenly had enough at age 39.

PHANTOM DANCER VIDEO OF THE WEEK
It’s Herbie Fields on clarinet with the Lionel Hampton sextet on a Decca recording of ‘Ribs and Hot Sauce’.

29 MAY PLAY LIST

Play List – The Phantom Dancer
107.3 2SER-FM Sydney, Live Stream, Digital Radio
Community Radio Network Show CRN #318

107.3 2SER Tuesday 29 May 2018
After the 2SER 12 noon news, 12:04 – 2:00pm (+10 hours GMT)
National Program:
ArtSoundFM Canberra Sunday 7 – 8pm
and early morning on 22 other stations.

Set 1
Swing Bands on ‘One Night Stand’
Theme + Kentucky
Gay Claridge Orchestra
‘One Night Stand’
Chez Paree, Chicago
AFRS Re-broadcast
21 Aug 1945
You’re Driving Me Crazy
Jan Savitt Orchestra
‘One Night Stand’
Palladium Ballroom
Hollywood
AFRS Re-broadcast
20 Sep 1945
9:20 Special + Pavanne (close)
Sonny Dunham Orchestra
‘One Night Stand’
Cafe Rouge
Hotel Pennsylvania NYC
AFRS Re-broadcast
14 Apr 1944
Set 2
Sarah Vaughan Sings Jazz on 1953-56 Radio
Tenderly
Sarah Vaughan
‘Stars in Jazz’
Birdland
WNBC NBC NY
31 Mar 1953
I Get a Kick Out of You
Sarah Vaughan
‘Stars in Jazz’
Birdland
WNBC NBC NY
31 Mar 1953
Linger Awhile + ‘S Wonderful + Tenderly
Sarah Vaughan
‘All-Star Parade of Bands’
Zardi’s
KFI NBC LA
21 May 1956
Set 3
Herbie Fields Feature
That’s The Stuff You Got To Watch
Herbie Fields, Miles Davis’s first recording, Rubberlegs Williams (voc)
WOR Studios
New York City
25 Apr 1945
Theme + Don’t Take Your Love From Me
Herbie Fields Orchestra (voc) Carol Kaye
Glen Island Casinu
New Rochelle NY
WOR MBS NY
9 Aug 1944
How High The Moon + Close
Herbie Fields Septet
‘Stars on Parade’
Radio Transcription
1951
Set 4
1920s-30s Radio Bands
I’m Just A Vagabond Lover
Eskimo Pie Orchestra
Radio Transcription
1929
I Can’t Believe That You’re In Love With Me
Jimmy Grier Orchestra (voc) Gogo Delys
Radio Transcription
1932
I Following You + Coca Cola Waltz
Leonard Joy Coca-Cola Orchestra
‘Coca-Cola Top Notchers’
WEAF NBC Red NY
19 Mar 1930
Set 5
Duke Ellington on 1950s Radio
Open + Tulip or Turnip
Duke Ellington Orchestra (voc) Ray Nance
Blue Note
WMAQ NBC Chicago
13 Aug 1952
Things Ain’t What They Used To Be
Duke Ellington Orchestra
Meadowbrook Ballroom
Cedar Grove NJ
WNBC NBC NY
11 Jun 1951
The Hawk Talks
Duke Ellington Orchestra
Blue Note
WMAQ NBC Chicago
30 Jul 1952
Great Times
Duke Ellington Orchestra
Radio Transcription
New York
11 Feb 1951
Set 6
Eddie Condon
Open + At The Jazz Band Ball
Eddie Condon Group
‘Eddie Condon Town Hall Jazz Concert’
WJZ Blue NY
30 Sep 1944
I’m a Ding Dong Daddy From Dumas
Eddie Condon Group
‘Eddie Condon Town Hall Jazz Concert’
WJZ Blue NY
16 Jul 1944
Easter Parade
Eddie Condon Group
‘Eddie Condon Town Hall Jazz Concert’
WJZ Blue NY
23 Sep 1944
Ensemble Blues
Eddie Condon Group
‘Eddie Condon Town Hall Jazz Concert’
WJZ Blue NY
29 Jul 1944
Set 7
Boogie Woogie
Pine Top’s Boogie Woogie
Pine Tops Smith
Comm Rec
Chicago
29 Dec 1928
Pine Top’s Boogie Woogie
Albert Ammons, Meade Lux Lewis (voc) Johnny Mercer
‘Camel Caravan’
WABC CBS NY
11 Apr 1939
Honky Tonk Train Blues
Meade Lux Lewis
‘Camel Caravan’
WABC CBS NY
3 Jan 1939
Roll ‘Em
Albert Ammons, Meade Lux Lewis
‘Camel Caravan’
WABC CBS NY
3 Jan 1939
Set 8
Farewell
Boompsie
Chubby Jackson Orchestra
‘Symphony Sid Show’
Royal Roost
WMCA NY
5 Mar 1949
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