17 April 2018 Phantom Dancer – Johnny Green Body and Soul


Johnny Green was a U.S composer, songwriter, pianist, band leader and orchestra conductor. His most famous song is ‘Body and Soul’.

On this week’s Phantom Dancer we’ll be hearing a few of the 1930s radio orchestras lead by Johnny Green. And below, on your Phantom Dancer Video of the Week you can see a short film simulating a Johnny Green radio broadcast. The short was made in 1935.

This week you’ll also hear sets with Patti Page, Johnny Ray and Erroll Garner from live 1957 TV and some of the great swing bands from the 1930s live on the 1938-39 BBC series, ‘America Dances’.

Produced and presented by Australia’s only authentic 1920s-30s singer, Greg Poppleton, The Phantom Dancer is your non-stop mix of swing and jazz from live 1920s-1960s radio and TV every week.

Hear this week’s Phantom Dancer (after 17 April) and past Phantom Dancers online at radio 2ser.com

JOHN ‘JOHNNY’ WALDO GREEN

He won four Academy Awards for his film scores and a fifth for producing a short musical film. And he went by the name of John or ‘Maestro’ in his later years.

As you’ll hear on today’s live 1930s radio broadcasts of Johnny Green and his Orchestra, Green couldn’t help but be self-assured.

He entered Harvard at age 15. You’ll hear him talk today on a 1939 aircheck about his early music schooling and his first song as a kid.

Indeed, by the time he was at Harvard, bandleader Guy Lombardo had heard Green’s Gold Coast Orchestra and hired him to create dance arrangements for his nationally famous Lombardo orchestra.

JAZZ STANDARDS

Green’s first song hit was written for the Lombardo orchestra. It was Coquette (1928), which Green wrote when he was 19.

Two years later, in 1930, Green wrote ‘Body and Soul’ which is now a jazz standard.

In the early 30s he was the radio and recording accompanist and arranger to singers James Melton, Libby Holman and Ethel Merman, and as you’ll hear on this week’s Phantom Dancer, Ruth Etting. He was also arranger and conductor for Paramount Pictures.

In this period he also wrote the standards ‘Out Of Nowhere’ (which you’ll hear in play today), ‘Rain Rain Go Away’, ‘I Cover the Waterfront’, ‘You’re Mine You’, ‘I Wanna Be Loved’ (his 1934 Oldsmobile show theme song), ‘Easy Come Easy Go’, ‘Repeal The Blues’ and the theme for Max Fleischer’s Betty Boop cartoons.

johnny green record

Nathaniel Shilkret and Paul Whiteman commissioned Green to write larger works for orchestra, including ‘Night Club: Six Impressions for Orchestra with Three Pianos’.

After spending 1933 in London, where he wrote the first musical comedy ever for BBC Radio, Green returned to New York City where, William S. Paley, president of the Columbia Broadcasting System and an investor in New York’s St. Regis Hotel, encouraged him to form what became known as Johnny Green, his Piano and Orchestra.

And he continued to lead his orchestra in top ranking radio shows into the 1940s, backing singers such as Fred Astaire and Alan Jones.

In the early 40s, Green moved to Hollywood. He became one of the people central to changing the overall sound of the MGM Symphony Orchestra.

ACADEMY AWARDS

He was Music Director at MGM from 1949 to 1959 and was nominated for an Oscar thirteen times. He won the award for the musical scores of Easter Parade, An American in Paris, West Side Story, and Oliver!, as well as for producing the short “The Merry Wives of Windsor Overture”, which won in the Short Subjects (One-Reel) category in 1954.

johnny green an american in paris

After leaving MGM, Green guest-conducted the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Denver Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, and Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. He also continued to compose the occasional filmscore, including the critically acclaimed They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? in 1969. He conducted the orchestra for the 1961 United Artists’ film version of West Side Story, for which he won a Grammy.

Green was a chairman of the music branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, leading the orchestra through 17 of the Academy Award telecasts.

VIDEO OF THE WEEK

Your Phantom Dancer Video of the Week is a short film from 1935 of a Johnny Green Orchestra broadcast in action, with announcer Harry von Zell. I like the short scene of the ‘old radio listener’ slapping his knee with laughter. Enjoy…

Play List – The Phantom Dancer
107.3 2SER-FM Sydney, Live Stream, Digital Radio
Community Radio Network Show CRN #311

107.3 2SER Tuesday 17 April 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 1944-46 ‘One Night Stand’ Radio
Theme + Boyd’s Nest
Boyd Raeburn Orchestra
‘One Night Stand’
Club Morrocco
Los Angeles
AFRS Re-broadcast
19 Aug 1946
Begin the Beguine
Bobby Sherwood Orchestra
‘One Night Stand’
Avadon Ballroom
Los Angeles
AFRS Re-broadcast
3 Jun 1946
A Fellow on a Furlough + Blue Skies
Bob Chester Orchestra
‘One Night Stand’
Panther Room
Hotel Sherman
Chicago
AFRS Re-broadcast
8 Oct 1944
Set 2
1950s Hipster Radio
Bling, Bling!
Machito
‘Symphony Sid Show’
Birdland
WJZ ABC NY
1951
Stuffy
Coleman Hawkins and Roy Eldridge
‘Stars in Jazz’
Birdland
WNBC NBC NY
1952
Cherry Blossom + Close
Georgie Auld
‘Here’s To Veteran’s’
Radio Transcription
Hollywood
1954
Set 3
Women Pop Singers on the Air
Open + Poor, Poor People of Paris
Giselle McKenzie
‘Airtime’
Radio Transcription
Hollywood
1945
I Love You, Yes I Do
Ella Mae Morse
‘Here’s To Veteran’s’
Radio Transcription
Hollywood
1954
Cry Me A River
Julie London
‘All-Star Parade of Bands’
The Cameo
WRCA NBC NY
1956
Set 4
Johnny Green on 1930s Radio
Bio + Penny Serenade
Johnny Green Orchestra
‘Fitch Bandwagon’
WEAF NBC Red NY
9 Apr 1939
Out of Nowhere + I Want To Love (theme)
Johnny Green (voc) Ruth Etting
‘Oldsmobile Show’
WABC CBS NY
27 Feb 1934
Row, Row, Row
Johnny Green Orchestra (voc) Ray Bloch Swing 14
‘Rhymo’
WABC CBS NY
26 May 1940
Set 5
Eddy Howard Ballad Singer
Careless (theme) + Thou Swell
Eddy Howard (voc) and his Orchestra
Aragon Ballroom
Mutual Network, Chicago
5 Dec 1945
I Wish I Was A Willow
Eddy Howard (voc) Dick Jurgens Orchestra
Radio Transcription
Los Angeles
1938
Sailboat in the Moonlight
Eddy Howard (voc) and his Orchestra
Radio Transcription
Los Angeles
1939
Medley + So Long For Now (theme)
Eddy Howard (voc) and his Orchestra
Aragon Ballroom
Mutual Network, Chicago
5 Dec 1945
Set 6
1950s Radio Swing Bands
Blue Flame (theme) + Hollywood Blues
Woody Herman Orchestra
Blue Room
Hotel Roosevelt
WWL CBS New Orleans
1951
Hob Nail Boogie
Count Basie Orchestra
Birdland
WNBC NBC NY
31 Aug 1952
Flager’s Drive
Dorsey Brothers’ Orchestra
Meadowbrook Ballroom
Cedar Grove NJ
WCBS CBS NY
1 Jan 1956
Summertime
Claude Thornhill Orchestra
‘One Night Stand’
Steel Pier
Atlantic City NJ
AFRS Re-broadcast
24 Aug 1956
Set 7
‘America Dances’ on the BBC
Open + Over The Waves
Bob Crosby Orchestra
‘America Dances’
New York City
BBC London
1939
Every Tub + Song of the Wanderer
Count Basie Orchestra
‘America Dances’
New York City
BBC London
1938
Body and Soul
Teddy Wilson Orchestra
‘America Dances’
New York City
BBC London
1939
Two O’Clock Jump + Close
Harry James Orchestra
‘America Dances’
New York City
BBC London
19 Jul 1939
Set 8
‘The Big Record’ TV Show
Intro + I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm
Patti Page
‘The Big Record’
CBS TV NY
27 Nov 1957
Ad + Cry + Soliloquy of a Fool
Johnny Ray
‘The Big Record’
CBS TV NY
27 Nov 1957
Where or When + Tea For Three
Erroll Garner
‘The Big Record’
CBS TV NY
27 Nov 1957
Advertisements