The Jazz Banana

The JAZZ BANANA is overlooked by writers on the music despite it requiring advanced vocal technique and it being tastier than vocalese. This is the alt. take of ‘I Can’t Give You Anything But Love’ (1928) for 1920s-30s Wednesdays Damon & I did last week. A different improvisiation by Damon Poppleton in the 2nd chorus. I think you’ll agree that jazz banana adds a mellow fruitiness to the 3rd. Bring out your vege!

I Can’t Give You Anything But Love with Banana, recorded Wednesday, 29 April 2020, music by Jimmy McHugh, lyrics by Dorothy Fields (1928).

More music at

This week’s Phantom Dancer swing jazz mix has Harry ‘The Hipster’ Gibson playing Bix Beidebecke piano pieces as feature artist. Tune in now.

10 Nov Show – I Can’t Give You Anything But Love

On Saturday November 10, the band and I returned to our favourite venue in Sydney’s outer west, Penrith RSL, for an afternoon of 1920s – 30s jazz and swing.

greg poppleton 1920s - 1930s singer

There was lots of dancing, lots of laughing and lots of jazz.

Here’s a very personal version of ‘I Can’t Give You Anything But Love’ which I sang to myself as a selfie live in front of the Penrith club audience.

It was like singing into the bathroom mirror, but with a band behind me, which included Grahame Conlon guitar, Dave Clayton double bass and Bob Gillespie drums. Enjoy!

Contact Greg:

I Can’t Give You Anything But Love – Phantom Dancer 9 Oct 2018

‘I Can’t Give You Anything But Love’ was a 1928 hit for composer Jimmy McHugh and lyricist Dorothy Fields. This week’s Phantom Dancer, presented by authentic 1920s-30s singer Greg Poppleton, features an ‘I Can’t Give You Anything But Love’-a-thon.


The Phantom Dancer is your non-stop mix of swing and jazz from live 1929 – 65 radio.

Mixed live-to-air by 1920s – 1930s singer and actor, Greg Poppleton, on radio 2SER 107.3 Sydney since 1985, The Phantom Dancer is re-broadcast on 23 radio stations of the Community Radio Network and online at

You can hear lots of past Phantom Dancers, too, at


A countdown of Australian Jazz from recordings made in 1930, 1940, 1950 and 1960, the ‘I Can’t Give You Anything But Love’ feature feature and a whole mix of swing and jazz from live 1920s-50s radio. Read the full play list below.

And remember the ALL VINYL FINYL HOUR.

song writer dorothy fields
Lyricist Dorothy Fields


‘I Can’t Give You Anything But Love’is now a jazz standard. Music by Jimmy McHugh, lyrics by Dorothy Fields. Introduced in Januray 1928 by Adelaide Hall at Les Ambassadeurs Club in New York for Lew Leslie’s Blackbird Revue.


The revue opened later in 1928 on Broadway and was a hit with 518 performances.


‘I Can’t Give You Anything But Love, Baby’ is 24th in the 100-most recorded songs from 1890 to 1954.


Producer Lew Leslie wanted a hit tune for his Blackbirds revue. McHugh and Fields had already written the revue’s score. They were scratching their heads about coming up with a hit song.


The story goes that Fields and McHugh were strolling along Fifth Avenue in New York City when they saw a young couple window-shopping at Tiffany’s. They heard the man say to his girlfriend, “Gee, honey I’d like to get you a sparkler like that, but right now, I can’t give you nothin’ but love!”


On hearing this, Fields and McHugh, came up with lyrics and music for Lew Leslie’s requested hit within an hour while as they sat on a train.


Fats Waller’s son reported that his composer, piano playing father would always angrily switch off the song when he heard it on the radio. Waller believed that he had sold the melody to McHugh in 1926.


Here’s a link to my own version of the song from the album ‘Sweet Sue’ on Bandcamp, CDBaby and iTunes

Sweet Sue digital download album. Only $7, 15 tracks, at Bandcamp
Sweet Sue digital download album, including ‘I Can’t Give You Anything But Love, at Bandcamp


Play List – The Phantom Dancer
107.3 2SER-FM Sydney, Live Stream, Digital Radio
Community Radio Network Show CRN #336

107.3 2SER Tuesday 9 October 2018
After the 2SER 12 noon news, 12:04 – 2:00pm (+11 hours GMT)
National Program:
ArtSoundFM Canberra Sunday 7 – 8pm
and early morning on 24 other stations.

Set 1
Spotlight Bands 1945-46 Radio
Open + Cool Breeze
Buddy Rich Orchestra
‘Spotlight Bands’
Phoenixville PA
AFRS Re-broadcast
24 Dec 1945
I’ll Never Be The Same
Charlie Venyura (ts) Gene Krupa Orchestra
‘Spotlight Bands’
Palladium Ballroom
AFRS Re-broadcast
Dark Eyes + Close
George Olsen Music (voc) Judith Blair, Sherman Hayes and Chorus
‘Spotlight Bands’
Waukegan, Ill.
Blue Network
17 Mar 1945
Set 2
Your Hit Parade
Open + So Long As You’re Not In Love With Anyone Else + Brazil
Mark Warnow Orchestra (voc) Barry Woods and The Hit Paraders
‘Your Hit Parade’
AFRS Re-broadcast
23 Jan 1943
I’m Gonna Love That Guy
Mark Warnow Orchestra (voc) The Hit Paraders
‘Your Hit Parade’
AFRS Re-broadcast
29 Sep 1945
I’ve Got a Pocketful of Dreams + Close
Al Goodman Orchestra
‘Your Hit Parade’
22 Oct 1938
Set 3
Stan Kenton 1952 Radio
Artistry in Rhythm + Francesca
Stan Kenton Orchestra
‘Concert in Miniature’
CBC Canada / NBC
Palace Pier
Toronto ON
3 Jun 1952
Opus in Pastels
Stan Kenton Orchestra
‘Concert in Miniature’
Devine’s Million Dollar Ballroom
WTMJ NBC Milwaukee WI
10 Jun 1952
Jump For Joe + Close
Stan Kenton Orchestra
‘Concert in Miniature’
Club Harlem
KYW NBC Philadelphia
30 May 1952
Set 4
Miles Davis 1950s Radio
Miles Davis
16 May 1953
Deep Sea Blues
Herbie Fields & Miles Davis
Comm Rec
New York City
24 Apr 1945
Nature Boys + Anthropology
Miles Davis
‘ABC Dancing Party’
30 Oct 1957
Set 5
Australian Jazz Through the Decades
I’m Sailing on a Sunbeam
Des Tooley (voc) Frank Coughlan (tb) Beryl Newell (piano)
Comm Rec
Mar 1930
Cuckoo in the Clock
Trocadero Dance Orchestra (voc) Olive Lester
Comm Rec
10 Jan 1940
Katzenjammers Ball
Jack Allen’s Original Katzenjammerd
Comm Rec
23 Feb 1950
Dream Lover
Graeme Bell (voc) Kerrie Neilson
Comm Rec
Sylvania Hotel
Jan 1960
Set 6
I Can’t Give You Anything But Love
I Can’t Give You Anything But Love
Joe Turner (voc) Joe Sullivan and his Cafe Society Orchestra
Comm Rec
New York City
9 Feb 1940
I Can’t Give You Anything But Love + Close
Louis Armstrong Orchestra (voc) LA
I Can’t Give You Anything But Love
POrt Jackson Jazz Band (voc) Marie Harriot
Comm Rec
25 Jun 1947
I Can’t Give You Anything But Love
Claude Thornhill Orchestra (voc) Gene Williams
‘One Night Stand’
Steel Pier
Atlantic City NJ
AFRS Re-broadcast
24 Aug 1956
Set 7
1940s Radio ‘Jubilee’ Swing Bands
Jeep Rhythm
Fletcher Henderson Orchestra
AFRS Hollywood
Vine Street Boogie
Jay McShann Orchestra
AFRS Hollywood
Benny’s Original
Benny Carter Orchestra
Cuban Jam
Charlie Barnet Orchestra
AFRS Hollywood
Set 8
1940s-1950s Mod Radio
C-Jam Blues/div>
Stan Hasselgard
AFRS Hollywood
Koko + Hot House
Barry Ulanov’s All-Stars
‘Bands for Bonds’
WOR Mutual NY
9 Mar 1947
Bebop Boogie
Lester Young
‘Symphony Sid Show’
Royal roost
4 Dec 1948