Victory Belles All-Women 1940s Radio Show – Phantom Dancer 19 March 2019


VICTORY BELLES

This week I’m thrilled to find for you on The Phantom Dancer with Greg Poppleton, a 1942 all-woman jazz show I played on the Phantom Dancer over ten years ago. The tape has re-surfaced. This week, enjoy the Victory Belles as your Phantom Dancer featured artists with the Bea Turpin Orchestra and singer Martha Mears (who sang White Christmas with Bing Crosby in the movie, Holiday Inn). See the full play list below.

PHANTOM DANCER

This week’s Phantom Dancer will be online immediately after the 12 March 2SER live mix at 2ser.com.
Hear the show live every Tuesday 12:04-2pm on 107.3 2SER Sydney

BACKGROUND

Billboard, 13 Feb 1943 page 7 wrote,

“KNX-CBS is the only net here having an all-girl show. ‘Victory Belles’ uses an all girl ork and comedienne, with Mabel Todd filling the latter spot. Show is produced by Ona Munson. Billy Gould, sound effects, the only man on the program is forced to don Mother Hubbard wig – and cigar – to hold his job on this show.”

Ona Munson
Ona Munson

STORY

Jeannie Gayle Pool in her book, ‘Peggy Gilbert and Her All-Girl Band’ quotes Peggy Gilbert talking about the Victory Belle broadcasts,

“Ona Munson, who was a movie star, she was in Gone With The Wind, you remember? And she had quite a little reputation at that time as a star and she had her own show on CBS. She wanted an all-girl jazz orchestra on it and so we got together…There was actually no leader. A bunch of us just got together and said, “Here we are and this is it.” I was one of them and we were on that for a year. We had a weekly program. 1942, I think, right after the war started. We were at CBS in Hollywood. And what terrific audiences…they would bring fellows in from all over the place around here, in uniform, And it was just a terrific show. I loved it. The girls were such fine musicians. they would cut the stuff. They’d put the arrangements in front of us just before we went on. We’d be lucky if we had time to go through it before the show started. we’d talk through it, usually, and maybe go through a couple of parts of it. And then, away we’d go. Accompanying acts and doing our own thing.”

Side note: Munson introduced the song ‘You’re the Cream in My Coffee’ in the 1927 Broadway musical ‘Hold Everything’.

Martha Mears singing 'White Christmas' with Bing Crosby in the movie 'Holiday Inn'.
Martha Mears singing ‘White Christmas’ with Bing Crosby in the movie ‘Holiday Inn’.

EIGHT JILLS OF JIVE

“We had some fine musicians. we had Jane Sager on trumpet; and we had Pee Wee [Naomi Preble] on trombone;…Katherine Cruise on first alto: I was on first tenor, clarinet and vibes; Dody Jeshke on drums and Bea Turpin on piano.”

There would have been a double bass player and singer.

VIDEO

This week’s Phantom Dancer video of the week is not the Victory Belles, but a breathtaking climb up the radio 2UW tower in Sydney, 1944. Happy clambering!

19 MARCH PLAY LIST

Play List – The Phantom Dancer
107.3 2SER-FM Sydney, Live Stream, Digital Radio
Community Radio Network Show CRN #377

107.3 2SER Tuesday 19 March 2019
After the 2SER 12 noon news, 12:04 – 2:00pm (+11 hours GMT)
National Program:
ArtSoundFM Canberra Sunday 7 – 8pm
2ARM Armidale Friday 12:04 – 1pm
and early morning on 24 other stations.

Set 1
Mod 1950s Radio
Lover Come Back To Me
Bud Powell
Birdland
WJZ ABC NY
7 Feb 1953
Cool Blues
Charlie Parker
‘Symphony Sid Show’
Hi Hat Club
WCOP Boston
Indiana
Lester Young
‘Bandstand USA’
Cafe Bohemia
WOR Mutual NY
22 Dec 1956
Set 2
Duke Ellington 1942-47 Radio
Feeling A Little Tomorrow Like I Feel Today
Duke Ellington Orchestra
‘Spotlight Bands’
Ciro’s Hollywood
AFRS Re-broadcast
25 Jul 1947
I Wonder Why?
Duke Ellington Orchestra (voc) Bette Roche
‘Spotlight Bands’
Buffalo NY
Blue Network
27 Nov 1943
Poco + Take The A Train (theme)
Duke Ellington Orchestra
El Patio Ballroom
Lakeside
KLZ CBS Denver CO
15 Jul 1942
Set 3
Singin’ Sam
Open + Ol’ King Cole
Singing Sam
Radio Transcription
New York City
1940
What’s It Gonna Get Ya? + Hortence
Singing Sam
Radio Transcription
New York City
1940
A Brownbird Singing + Close (Coca Cola Waltz)
Singing Sam
Radio Transcription
New York City
1940
Set 4
Women’s Radio ‘Victory Belles’
Open + Ten Little Soldiers
Bea Turpin Eight Jills of Jive (voc) The Music Maids
‘Victory Belles’
KNX CBS LA
12 Dec 1942
When You And I Were Young, Maggie
Bea Turpin Orchestra
‘Victory Belles’
KNX CBS LA
12 Dec 1942
When You And I Were Young, Maggie (voc) Mabel Todd
Bea Turpin Orchestra
‘Victory Belles’
KNX CBS LA
12 Dec 1942
I Came Here To Talk For Joe
Bea Turpin Orchestra (voc) Martha Mears
‘Victory Belles’
KNX CBS LA
12 Dec 1942
Set 5
Bunny Berrigan 1934-36 Radio
I Can’t Get Started (theme) + My Melancholy Baby
Bunny Berrigan Orchestra
Broadcast
mid-1939
Moonshine over Kentucky and Heigh Ho
Bunny Berrigan Orchestra
Paradise Restaurant
WOR Mutual NY
3 May 1938
Familiar Moe
Bunny Berrigan Orchestra
Trianon Ballroom
WCLE Cleveland OH
9 Apr 1939
Deed I Do
Bunny Berrigan Orchestra (voc) Bunny Berrigan
Mutual Network
Boston
20 Sep 1939
Set 6
Billie HolidayRadio
You Better Go Now
Billie Holiday (voc) Percy Faith Orchestra
‘Woolworth Hour’
KNX CBS LA
1954
I Cover The Waterfront
Billie Holiday
Storyville
Copley Square Hotel
WHDH Boston
29 Oct 1951
I’ll Get By
Billie Holiday
‘Spotlight Bands’
Metropolitan Opera House
WJZ Blue NY
18 Jan 1944
You’re Driving Me Crazy
Billie Holiday
Storyville
Copley Square Hotel
WHDH Boston
Oct 1953
Set 7
1930s Radio Transcriptions
I’ve Got You Under My Skin
Red Nichols Orchestra (voc) The Songcopators
Radio Transcription
NYC
30 Nov 1936
Panama
Hal Kemp Orchestra
Radio Transcription
NYC
14 Dec 1934
Never Should Have Told You
Red Nichols Orchestra (voc) The Songcopators
Radio Transcription
NYC
30 Nov 1936
Blue Moon
Hal Kemp Orchestra (voc) Bob Allen
Radio Transcription
NYC
14 Dec 1934
Set 8
Dorsey Brothers 1956 Radio
You Are My First Love
Dorsey Brothers Orchestra (voc) Tommy Mercer
Cafe Rouge
Hotel Statler
WCBS CBS NY
1956
I Could Have Danced All Night
Dorsey Brothers Orchestra (voc) Dolly Houston
Cafe Rouge
Hotel Statler
WCBS CBS NY
1956
Too Close For Comfort
Dorsey Brothers Orchestra (voc) Tommy Mercer
Cafe Rouge
Hotel Statler
WCBS CBS NY
1956
Too Young To Go Steady
Dorsey Brothers Orchestra (voc) Dolly Houston
Cafe Rouge
Hotel Stadtler
WCBS CBS NY
1956

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