Sydney Festival 2020 – ‘The Rivoli’ – Greg Poppleton and Dance Makers Collective


Sydney Festival 2020, Dance Makers Collective present the world premiere of ‘The Rivoli‘ in the beautiful, late Victorian Granville Town Hall with Greg Poppleton’s 1920s -30s Sydney Festival trio, Grahame Conlon guitar and banjo with Cazzbo Johns on sousaphone.

Come to the show: 8pm, Tues 22 Jan – Sat 25 January 2020. Granville Town Hall. TICKETS

Greg Poppleton 1920s - 1930s swing jazz trio: vocals, banjo, sousaphone
Greg Poppleton 1920s – 1930s swing jazz trio: Greg Poppleton vocals, Grahame Conlon guitar and banjo, Cazzbo Johns sousaphone

‘The Rivoli’ is a celebration of social life before social media, when to meet was to talk, laugh and move to music together.

From the early 1930s to the late 1960s, the Rivoli Dance Palace on Church St, Parramatta was Western Sydney’s favourite dance hall. It was demolished in 1973 to make way for an office development. Now nothing remains of ‘The Riv’ except the stories of the people who danced there.

Dancers rehearsing a routine with band instruments in background
Dancers rehearsing a routine with band instruments in background

Dance Makers Collective brings those stories to life in a tribute to the rituals of social dance and the human drive toward belonging and togetherness.

Staged in the heritage-listed Granville Town Hall, The Rivoli invites you and your favourite dance partner to be swept into an immersive exploration of mid-century nightlife, desire and social connection.

The show includes performances by the Greg Poppleton Trio: Greg Poppleton (vocals) Cazzbo Johns (sousaphone) Grahame Conlon (guitar and banjo)

Dance Makers at rehearsal
Dance Makers at rehearsal for ‘The Rivoli’ in Granville Town Hall with the band instruments in the background

SYDNEY FESTIVAL

Sydney Festival is a major arts festival in Australia’s largest city, Sydney that runs for three weeks every January, since it was established in 1977. The festival program features in excess of 100 events from local and international artists and includes contemporary and classical music, dance, circus, drama, visual arts and artist talks. The festival attracts approximately 500,000 people to its large-scale free outdoor events and 150,000 to its ticketed events, and contributes more than A$55 million to the economy of New South Wales.

The Festival has a history of presenting Australian premieres and many of Australia’s most memorable productions such as Cloudstreet have resulted from Sydney Festival’s commitment to nurture local artists. It has brought many of the world’s great artists to Sydney for the first time including: Ariane Mnouchkine and Thèâtre du Soleil (Flood Drummers), Robert Wilson (The Black Rider), Robert Lepage (Far Side of the Moon, The Andersen Project, Lipsynch), George Piper Dances, Netherlands Dance Theatre, James Thiérrée (Junebug Symphony, Au Revoir Parapluie), Philip Glass, Ian McKellen (Dance of Death), Batsheva Dance Company, National Theatre of Scotland (Black Watch, Aalst), Christopher Wheeldon Company, All Tomorrow’s Parties, Al Green, Katona Jozsef Theatre, Bon Iver, Grizzly Bear, The National, Sufjan Stevens and Joanna Newsom.

Come to the show: 8pm, Tues 22 Jan – Sat 25 January 2020. Granville Town Hall. TICKETS

Band Photos 11 Jan. Unanderra Hotel Show – Illawarra Jazz Club


The band and I were hugely thrilled to be invited back to play the songs of the 1920s and 1930s for the Illawarra Jazz Club.

The Illawarra Jazz Club has jazz bands playing every Saturday 3-6pm at the Unanderra Hotel and always to a friendly and enthusiastic audience.

Even fluro-vested drinkers in the main bar got into the music, drifting into the bistro where the band was playing to have a little bop around, especially when the band played The Charleston.

Greg Poppleton, Australia's only authentic 1920s-30s singer at the Unanderra Hotel, with some of the audience.
Greg Poppleton, Australia’s only authentic 1920s-30s singer at the Unanderra Hotel, with some of the wonderful audience.

In the Greg Poppleton band for the Saturday 11 January show were, from left-to-right in the photo below,
Damon Poppleton – alto sax
Adam Barnard – washboard
Richelle Booth – baritone sax & clarinet
Paul Baker – banjo

Greg Poppleton plays
Penrith RSL, Sat 18 Jan, 2-5pm, free.
In the band: Greg Poppleton 1920s-30s vocals, Grahame Conlon g,bj, Dave Clayton double bass, Damon Poppleton alto sax.

Sydney Festival ‘The Rivoli’, Wed 22 Jan Sat 25 Jan 8pm. TICKETS
In the band: Greg Poppleton 1920s-30s vocals, Grahame Conlon g,bj, Cazzbo Johns sousaphone.

Great Art Deco Ball, Blue Mountains 1920s Festival, Sat 1 Feb 7:30pm TICKETS

Greg Poppleton band at Unanderra Hotel: Damon Poppleton alto sax, Adam Barnard washboard, Richelle Booth bari sax and clarinet, Paul Baker banjo.
Greg Poppleton band at Unanderra Hotel: Damon Poppleton alto sax, Adam Barnard washboard, Richelle Booth bari sax and clarinet, Paul Baker banjo.

Band booking enquiries

Happy New Decade – Did Wynn Foresee Australia Burning? – Phantom Dancer 31 Dec 2019


We started this year  with this New Year show, choc-a-bloc full of New Years swing and jazz from live 1936 – 1966 radio. And because I’m on holidays unable to move with a fractured femur, we’ll end the decade with it, too!

The Phantom Dancer, presented by myself, Greg Poppleton, since 1985 on 107.3 2SER Sydney, is now re-broadcast on over 24 stations of the Community Radio Network across Australia. Hear the show online from midday 31 December 2019 (AEST).

And see the play list below.

OOGIE BOOGIE

This week’s featured ‘artist’ is Wynn the Astrologer

Wynn the astrologer

SEER

This famous 1930s astrologer gives his prognostications for 1937 on this week’s Phantom Dancer. In fact, get ready for disappointment at the end of Set 1, where I play Wynn’s ‘wise words’ (and some musical excerpts) from the 1936 New Year’s Eve Rudy Vallee show.

You’ll hear most of what Wynn had to say about the year ahead. I cut it short for time. Think of the audience for the 1936 radio broadcast, they never got that time Wynn wasted back.

Wynn, born Sidney Kimball Bennett, wrote the stars for the New York Daily News. It seems he didn’t do it for a laugh. He was pompously serious about himself, as you’ll hear.

SPOOKY

His claim to fame was a prediction he made in the NY Daily News in 1932. He ‘foresaw’ financial turmoil for early March of 1933. That’s when President Roosevelt closed the banks for a week as the US struggled with the Great Depression.

wynn the astrologer

UNCANNY

Wynn’s predictions for 1937 are typically vague, and, well, predictable. More interesting is just a short list of what actually happened in 1937 out of the trillions of things Wynn’s charts failed to predict…

  • Safety glass in vehicle windscreens becomes mandatory in Great Britain
  • Bradman scores 270 Aust v England at the MCG, incl 110 singles
  • 2nd of Stalin‘s purge trials; Pyatakov & 16 others sentenced to death
  • DuPont Corp patents nylon, developed by employee Wallace H Carothers
  • Initial flight of the first successful flying car, Waldo Waterman’s Arrowbile
  • Bradman scores 169 in 5th Test Cricket v England in 223 minutes
  • Mexico nationalizes oil
  • Pope Pius XI publishes anti-nazi-encyclical Mit brennender Sorge
  • Astronomer Fritz Zwicky publishes his research on stellar explosion in which he coins the term “supernova” and hypothesizes that they were the origin of cosmic rays
  • Spinach growers of Crystal City, Texas, erect statue of Popeye
  • Debut of cartoon characters Daffy Duck, Elmer J Fudd & Petunia Pig
  • German Luftwaffe destroys Basque town of Guernica in Spain
  • 1st commercial flight across Pacific operated by Pan Am
  • The Philippines holds a plebiscite for Filipino women on whether they should be extended the right to suffrage; over 90% voted yes
  • San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge opens
  • Spam, the luncheon meat, is first introduced into the market by the Hormel Foods Corporation
  • Japanese & Chinese troops clash at the Marco Polo Bridge, beginning the Second Sino-Japanese War
  • Buchenwald Concentration Camp opens
  • Isolation of pituitary hormone announced (Yale University)
  • 1st FM radio construction permit issued (W1X0J (WGTR) in Boston MA)
  • Date celebrated as the first International Hobbit Day and the birthdays of Bibo and Frodo Baggins
  • 1st Santa Claus Training School opens (Albion NY)
  • Balinese Tiger declared extinct
  • Dmitri Shostakovitch’s 5th Symphony premieres
  • Clifford Odets’ “Golden Boy” premieres in NYC
  • Japanese troops conquer and plunder Nanjing (Nanjing Massacre)
  • Bill O’Reilly takes 9-41 for NSW against South Australia
  • Constitution of Ireland (Irish: Bunreacht na hÉireann) is enacted and Irish free state is named Eire
  • Pan Am starts service between San Francisco and Auckland, New Zealand

Here’s some footage of the first successful flying car, Waldo Waterman’s Arrowbile. How did Wynn miss this one? Probably the same way he missed foretelling his own 1926 car accident…(gosh, on today’s Phantom Dancer he warns Rudy Vallee to be ‘careful of cars’, spooky!)

31 DECEMBER PLAY LIST

Play List – The Phantom Dancer
107.3 2SER-FM Sydney, Live Stream, Digital Radio
Community Radio Network Show CRN #417

107.3 2SER Tuesday 31 December 2019
After the 2SER 12 noon news, 12:04 – 2:00pm (+11 hours GMT)
National Program:
ArtsoundFM Canberra Sunday 10 – 11pm
Edge FM Bega Monday 3 – 4pm
7MID Oatlands Tuesday 8 – 9pm
2ARM Armidale Friday 12 – 1pm
3MGB Mallacoota Sunday 5 – 6am
and early morning on 23 other stations.

Set 1
New Years Eve Aboard An Ocean Liner Raymond Scott Quintette Comm Rec
New York
21 Jul 1939
In The Mood Glenn Miller Orchestra ‘Chesterfield Show’
WABC CBS NY
27 Dec 1939
Never Should Have Told You + Predictions for 1937 + Chim Bomba + Close Rudy Vallee and Wynn the Astrologer ‘Royal Gelatin Show’
WEAF NBC Red NY
31 Dec 1936
Set 2
Open + Happy Holidays Bing Crosby (voc) John Scott Trotter Orchestra ‘Kraft Music Hall’
KFI NBC LA
30 Dec 1943
Rhapsody In Blue (theme) + Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah Paul Whiteman Orchestra and Chorus ‘The Paul Whiteman Show’
WJZ ABC NY
1 Jan 1947
Poinciana + Close Bing Crosby (voc) John Scott Trotter Orchestra ‘Kraft Music Hall’
KFI NBC LA
30 Dec 1943
Set 3
Deep Forest (theme) + Dippermouth Blues + When The Saints Go Marching In + Tiger Rag Earl ‘Fatha’ Hines Club Hangover
KCBS CBS San Francisco
1 Jan 1957
Set 4
Auld Lang Syne + Newport Up + Together + Macarena + You Better Know It Duke Ellington Orchestra (voc) Jimmy Grissom and Ozzie Bailey ‘All-Star Parade of Bands’
Blue Note
WMAQ NBC Chicago
1 Jan 1958
Set 5
Sad Sack Harry James Orchestra (Hollywood) ‘New Year’s Dancing Party’
AFRS Hollywood
31 Dec 1945
One O’Clock Jump Count Basie Orchestra (New York) ‘New Year’s Dancing Party’
AFRS Hollywood
31 Dec 1945
Warsaw Concerto Freddy Martin Orchestra (Cocoanut Grove, Ambassador Hotel, Los Angeles) ‘New Year’s Dancing Party’
AFRS Hollywood
31 Dec 1945
Woodchopper’s Ball Woody Herman Orchestra (Meadowbrook Ballroom, Cedar Grove NJ) ‘New Year’s Dancing Party’
AFRS Hollywood
31 Dec 1945
Set 6
Open + Stompin’ At The Savoy + Tea For Two Teddy Wilson Trio ‘All-Star Parade of Bands’
The Embers
WRCA NBC NY
31 Dec 1957
Stompin’ Down Broadway + Opus 1 (close) Dorsey Brothers Orchestra Meadowbrook Ballroom
Cedar Grove NJ
WCBS CBS NY
1 Jan 1956
Set 7
Afterthoughts + Canadian Sunset + Soft Summer Breeze + The Man I Love + Begin The Beguine Eddie Haywood Trio ‘All-Star Parade of Bands’
The Embers
WRCA NBC NY
31 Dec 1957
Set 8
Robin Hood Louis Prima Orchestra (voc) LP ‘New Year’s Dancing Party’
AFRS Hollywood
31 Dec 1945
Gotta Be This Or That Benny Goodman Orchestra (with Slam Stewart b, Red Norvo vibes, Boston) ‘New Year’s Dancing Party’
AFRS Hollywood
31 Dec 1945
Let The Zoomers Drool Duke Ellington Orchestra (Evansville, Indiana) ‘New Year’s Dancing Party’
AFRS Hollywood
31 Dec 1945

First Radio Wedding 1924 – Phantom Dancer 12 December 2019


WEDDING OF THE YEAR

This week’s Phantom Dancer feature artist with Greg Poppleton, is ‘the Red-Headed Music Maker’, Wendall Hall. Wendall was an early radio star and was the first to be married live on radio on 4 June 1924 to Marion Martin over WEAF New York.

Wendall Hall NBC

ONLINE

This week’s Phantom Dancer will be online after the 10 November 107.3 2SER Sydney live mix at 2ser.com.
Hear the show live every Tuesday 12:04-2pm on 107.3 2SER Sydney.

WENDALL

This week’s Phantom Dancer goes back to the earliest radio of the 1920s – 39s for its feature artist. Wendall Hall was an American country singer, vaudeville artist, songwriter, pioneer radio performer, Victor recording artist and ukulele player.

Wendall Hall pretzel party

RAIN

In 1923, Hall released the song “It Ain’t Gonna Rain No Mo’,” which sold over two million copies in the United States. It was awarded a gold disc by the RIAA. The song is also considered the first musical hit on radio. He wrote “Underneath the Mellow Moon” and “Carolina Rose”. Hall also wrote songs with Carson Robison and Art Gillham.

1920s RADIO STAR

Hall began his career in 1922 Chicago as a song plugger for Forster Music. He traveled around the US and stopped in towns to play in music stores, theaters, and radio. In vaudeville he began singing and playing the xylophone. He found the ukulele to be more portable and quickly became an expert with that instrument. In January, 1924 he signed with the National Carbon Company to host the Eveready Hour a pioneer commercially sponsored variety program on WEAF in New York. On November 4, 1924 the program was on a pre-network 18 station “hook-up” to broadcast election returns with entertainers Will Rogers, Carson Robison, Art Gillham, and the Waldorf Astoria Orchestra. Eveready even painted their batteries with a red top to cash in on Hall’s popularity. In 1929 Wendell Hall hosted the Majestic Music Hour and a few years later Gillette’s Community Sing. He made a few musical short films.

On a 1925 European tour he was broadcast over a 21 station hook-up, the largest ever attempted up to that time.

After his radio days were over, Wendell Hall wrote commercials for radio.

wendall hall sheet music

TAROPATCH

Hall performed on a variety of stringed instruments, including the standard ukulele, the taropatch ukulele, banjo, and the hybrid banjolele, as well as the tiple. Like so many of the other performers during the era, Hall was a big fan of the instruments created by the C.F. Martin & Company, particularly their Taropatch. Like other performers, he was unsuccessful in obtaining an endorsement deal with Martin, but in response to his letter offering to endorse their product, Martin offered their 20% discount for professional performers and to inlay his name in the head of the instrument.

UKULELE

He published an instruction book, Wendell Hall’s Ukulele Method, with Forster Music in 1925, that was edited by May Singhi Breen. He also marketed a series of custom ukuleles through the Regal Musical Instrument Company of Chicago, with his picture on the head of The Red Head Ukulele and banjolele with red tuning pegs that became collectors’ items for several generations afterward

With the resurgence of the uke’s popularity in the 1950s, Hall was able to land a radio show on WBKB five days a week, the home of the Griff Williams Show which is your Phantom Dancer Video of the Week…

Play List – The Phantom Dancer
107.3 2SER-FM Sydney, Live Stream, Digital Radio
Community Radio Network Show CRN #417

107.3 2SER Tuesday 10 December 2019
After the 2SER 12 noon news, 12:04 – 2:00pm (+11 hours GMT)
National Program:
1 ART ArtsoundFM Canberra Sunday 10 – 11pm
Edge FM Bega Monday 3 – 4pm
3VKV Alpine Radio 6 – 7pm
7MID Oatlands Tuesday 8 – 9pm
2ARM Armidale Friday 12 – 1pm
3MGB Mallacoota Sunday 5 – 6am
and early morning on 23 other stations.

Set 1
Modernistic 1950s Dance Bands
Artistry in Rhythm (theme) + A Melody To The Trees
Stan Kenton Orchestra
‘Concert in Miniature’
Lakeside Ballroom
Dayton OH
WLW NBC Cincinnati
16 Sep 1952
Savings Bonds Ad + The Stars and Stripes Forever
Ralph Flanagan Orchestra
‘Treasury Bandstand’
Cafe Rouge
Hotel Statler
WCBS CBS NY
1950
Wending My May Back Home + Close
Eliot Lawrence Orchestra
‘Jazz Is My Beat’
New York City
AFRTS Re-broadcast
1958
Set 2
Early Live 1930s Ragio
Open + Music In My Fingers
George Shackley Ensemble (voc) Veronica Wiggins
‘Nihi Program’
Radio Transcription
New York City
1931
Margie + Do You Ever Think Of Me? + Sweet Sue
Jimmie Grier Orchestra
Cocoanut Grove
Ambassador Hotel
KFI NBC Gold Network LA
1932
Melancholy Moon + Pineapple Ad + It Gonna Rain No More + Aloha Oe
Wendall Hall
‘The Pineapple Picadour’
WMAQ NBC Red
Chicago
2 Apr 1931
Set 3
Super Jive From 1937 – 38 Radio
Dark Forest (theme) + Limehouse Blues
Earl Hines Orchestra
Grand Terrace Room
WMAQ NBC Red Chicago
3 Aug 1938
A Study in Blue
Larry Clinton Orchestra
Hotel Park Central
WEAF NBC Red NY
7 Jul 1939
When It’s Sleepy Time Down South + Camel Hop
Benny Goodman Orchestra
Madhattan Room
Hotel Pennsylvania
WABC CBS NY
20 Oct 1937
Set 4
1940s Dance Bands
Voglio Fischiettiare (I Like To Whistle)
Nuccia Natali and Vocal Trio with Orchestra
Comm Rec
Cetra
Turin
1940
The Sheik of Araby
Russ Morgan Orchestra
‘One Night Stand’
AFRS Re-broadcast
28 Apr 1944
Medley
Art Kassels and his Kassels-in-the-Air Orchestra
Blackhawk Restaurant
WGN Chicago
1947
Set 5
Jazz and Pop on 1940 Radio
It Never Entered My Head
Shep Fields and his Rippling Rhythm Orchestra (voc) Hal Derwin
Radio Transcription
New York City
1940
Open + Down For The Count
Glenn Miller Orchestra
Cafe Rouge
Hotel Pennsylvania
WJZ NBC Blue NY
6 Nov 1940
St Louis Blues
Roy Eldridge
‘Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street’
WJZ NBC Blue NY
21 Apr 1940
Four Beat Shuffle + Pretty Little Petticoat (theme)
Raymond Scott Orchestra
Panther Room
Hotel Sherman
WMAQ NBC Red Chicago
1940
Set 6
New Orleans Jazz on Radio
Open + Way Down Yonder in New Orleans
Louis Armstrong All-Stars
‘New Orleans Movie Opening’
Wintergarden Theatre
WNBC NBC NY
19 Jun 1947
Open + At The Jazz Band Ball
Eddie Condon Group
‘Eddie Condon Jazz Concert’
Town Hall
WJZ Blue NY
30 Sep 1944
I Ain’t Gonna Give Nobody None Of My Jelly Roll
Bud Freeman Summa Cum Laude Orchestra
Panther Room
Hotel Sherman
WMAQ NBC Red Chicago
20 May 1940
That’s A’Plenty + Relaxin’ At The Touro (theme)
Muggsy Spanier Dixieland All-Stars
Club Hangover
KCBS CBS San Francisco
18 Apr 1953
Set 7
Big Bands on 1947 Radio
Who’s Got The Ball?
Harry James Orchestra
The Click
WFIL Philadelphia
22 Dec 1947
Kate
Tommy Dorsey Orchestra (voc) The Town Criers
Casino Gardens
Ocean Park Ca
KECA ABC LA
6 Dec 1947
Everybody Eats When They Come To My House
Cab Calloway’s Caballiers (voc) CC
‘Guest Star’
New York City
1947
Passion Flower
Duke Ellington Orchestra
‘One Night Stand’
Ciro’s Hollywood
AFRS Re-broadcast
Jul 1947
Set 8
Charlie Parker on WMCA NY 1949
Chasin’ The Bird
Charlie Parker Sextet
‘Symphony Sid Show’
Royal Roost
WMCA NY
12 Mar 1949
Confirmation
Charlie Parker Quintet
‘Symphony Sid Show’
Royal Roost
WMCA NY
19 Feb 1949
Scrapple From The Apple
Charlie Parker Quintet
‘Symphony Sid Show’
Royal Roost
WMCA NY
22 Jan 1949

The Syncopated Times – New Album Review by Dave J Doyle


Thank you Dave Doyle for your write-up about the band and the new album ’20s 30s Tin Pan Alley’ in ‘The Syncopated Times‘.

greg poppleton syncopated times

20s 30s Tin Pan Alley Vol. 1 – “It’s a mix of the very familiar and the lesser-known. “My Canary Has Circles Under His Eyes” is a particular pleasure, featuring the occasional comedy bird whistle and clearly sung with a big smile. In fact, Greg must have been sore from grinning throughout his studio sessions, if his unwaveringly upbeat tone is anything to go by.” Dave J Doyle, The Syncopated Times, Nov 2019.

Grab your copy of the album now from Apple https://music.apple.com/us/album/20s-30s-tin-pan-alley-vol-1/1477720009

My Blue Heaven – Live Clip


Greg Poppleton and band specialise in Tin Pan Alley jazz and swing from the 1920s and 1930s.
Website https://www.gregpoppletonmusic.com.
Apple iTunes https://music.apple.com/us/album/20s-…

In this clip, filmed in Penrith for a Saturday Jazz Concert, Greg sings the 1927 Walter Donaldson song, My Blue Heaven.

With Greg Poppleton in the band are:
Damon Poppleton – alto sax
Geoff Power – sousaphone
Grahame Conlon – guitar

“FIVE STARS. Poppleton’s vocals capture the essence of the 1920s- 1930s with uncanny accuracy”- John Gilbert, eJazzNews (U.S)