We Were Swing Dance Bombed!


Greg Poppleton‘s jazz deco swing quartet played the songs of the 1920s – 1930s today at Sydney’s Central Station.

Greg Poppleton authentic 1920s singer Greg Poppleton quartet

We’re playing at Central all June Long Weekend (June 9, 10 and 11) for the Transport Heritage Expo.

I just realised as I write this that today is the 34th anniversary of my first radio broadcast. But that’s by-the-by.

Today, we were ‘Swing Dancer Bombed’ with dancers from Swing Patrol, Swingtime – Dance School, Shagaroo Collegiate Shag and Harbour City Hoppers!! At Central this Sun & Mon, too 10am-2pm.

Check out the video! Enjoy…

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May Newsletter


Your Greg Poppleton newsletter for the Merrie Month of May invites you to come and be merry with us…

SUNDAY 6 MAY
This is always a fun show.
Builders Club (The Basement), 61 Church St, Wollongong. 2-30-5-30pm. Free. 18+ only. (Restaurant, cafe, bar upstairs and free car park)
– with Grahame Conlon (guitar/banjo) & Dave Clayton (double bass)

SATURDAY & SUNDAY 12 / 13 MAY
Meantime, as an actor (not band related), I’m busy rehearsing for four massive ‘Wizards’ Brunch and Dinner shows being held in the gothic Great Hall and MacLaurin Hall at Sydney University. TICKETS AND MORE INFO 

EVERY TUESDAY
There’s five live Phantom Dancer shows on 107.3 2SER radio for your listening pleasure this month. Every Tuesday, 12:04-2pm and any time online. See the 1 May play list below. LISTEN TO PAST SHOWS HERE

NEW VIDEO
‘Sweet Lorraine’, Greg Poppleton Sextet with SwingKatz dancers…

Greg Poppleton Makes Jazz Deco Pop! Sydney Rowers 22 April


On Sunday, Australia’s only authentic 1920s-30s singer, Greg Poppleton, returned with his Jazz Deco music to Sydney Rowing Club. And we’ll be back at there, Sunday 5 August.

Enjoy these photos from the Greg Poppleton Sydney Rowers show. And join the band Mailing List at the end of this article for the free  monthly newsletter…

Greg Poppleton makes jazz deco op

SUNDAY JAZZ

By the beautiful Parramatta River…

Sunday jazz greg poppleton sydney rowing club 22 april

GREG POPPLETON MAKES JAZZ DECO POP!

Australia’s only authentic 1920s – 1930s singer and band…

greg poppleton sydney 1920s 1930s jazz singer

ALL ABOUT SWING

Cody and Lexie from All About Swing strutted their stuff on the dance carpet.
Other couples joined in when we went Latin with songs like Amapola, El Mansiero, Tea for Two and South of the Border.

all about swing dancers cody and lexieCody and Lexie dancing to Greg Poppleton 1920s 1930s swing jazz band

IN THE GREG POPPLETON BAND: ALTO SAX

Damon Poppleton…

Damon Poppleton alto sax

WASHBOARD AND DRUMS

Adam Barnard…

Adam Barnard drums and washboard

DOUBLE BASS

Dave Clayton, who also joined Greg in a vocal duet on ‘Yes, We Have No Bananas’.

Dave Clayton double bass

GUITAR AND BANJO

Grahame Conlon…

Grahame Conlon guitar and banjo

BOOKINGS

Book Greg Poppleton for your club, special occasion and party.
Website: gregpoppleton.com
Email: tony@ozmanagement.com
Phone: 61 407 941 263

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See you next time, Sunday 5 August, at Sydney Rowing Club, 613 Great North Road, Abbotsford. 3 – 6pm. FREE!

 

Beautiful Seacliff Wedding in Gerringong


Greg Poppleton and his jazz deco 1920s-30s quartet had the great honour of being part of Marguerite and Andrew’s beautiful wedding reception at Seacliff in Gerringong.

It was especially touching to sing their especially meaningful requested song,  ‘At Last’, as they made their entrance into the reception to family and friends.

Marguerite and Andrew chose the Greg Poppleton jazz deco quartet to play for their 1920s styled reception. And as the photographer said to me, “live music, well played, really lifts the vibe at a wedding. You can feel it.”

Greg poppleton jazz deco 1920s-1930s quartet
Greg Poppleton jazz deco 1920s-1930s quartet

The Greg Poppleton band played 1920s instrumentals until dinner. Then Greg Poppleton, Australia’s only authentic 1920s – 1930s singer serenaded the party with songs from the Jazz Age.

Marguerite and Andrew asked Greg to sing, ‘At Last’, for when they entered the reception to huge whistles and applause.

“At last, my love has come along.
My lonely days are over, and life is like a song…”

‘At Last’ was introduced by the Glenn Miller Orchestra in the 1941 movie, Sun Valley Serenade.  Etta James later recorded the most famous version. Beyonce has also sung it in an Etta James tribute.

In Greg Poppleton’s jazz deco quartet were:
– Greg Poppleton, Australia’s only authentic 1920s-30s singer
– Geoff Power, trumpet and sousaphone
– Dr Mark Pinner, clarinet, alto sax and baritone sax
– Grahame Conlon, guitar and banjo

The reception was held in the romantic Seacliff barn, overlooking Weeri Lagoon. Looking at Werri brought back happy memories for me of walking there from Kiama during a recent holiday with my family.

Werri Lagoon at dusk from Seacliff barn
Werri Lagoon at dusk from Seacliff barn

For those of you familiar with the NSW Southcoast, Seacliff is the stunning white farmhouse just at the Princes Highway turnoff into Gerringong.

Seacliff farmhouse. Gerringong NSW
Seacliff farmhouse. Gerringong NSW

Greg Poppleton booking enquiries:
Email: tony@ozmanagement.com   |   0407 941 263
Web: gregpoppletonmusic.com

 

27 March Phantom Dancer – Bunny Berigan and How Disease Effects Legacy


It never ceases to amaze me how disease can over-shadow the brilliant legacy of a person’s life. How much ‘expert’ blather was there about Stephen Hawking’s motor neurone disease as an excuse to avoid explaining and understanding his discoveries in physics? It’s belittling and disrespectful.

Louis Armstrong’s favourite trumpet player was Bunny Berigan. We’ll be hearing radio broadcasts by Bunny Berigan on this week’s The Phantom Dancer.

Even today, seventy years after his death, he is still considered to have been one of the top trumpet players in jazz.

But what I find additionally interesting is how his legacy has been marred by the alcoholism that affected the inventiveness of his playing in the latter part of his short thirty-three years and which ultimately killed him through cirrhosis of the liver.

On this week’s Phantom Dancer you’ll also hear a set of live vintage radio by Dave Brubeck, Jack Teagarden and women singers with their own radio shows – Lee Wiley, Peggy Lee, Dinah Show and Mildred Bailey.

 

THE PHANTOM DANCER is two hours of non-stop swing and jazz mixed from live 1920s – 1960s radio and TV by Greg Poppleton, Australia’s only authentic 1920s-1930s singer www.gregpoppletonmusic.com

Broadcast 12:04pm Tuesdays 107.3 2SER Sydney then over 22 radio stations and online.

HEAR The Phantom Dancer live-streamed and afterwards online on the Radio 2SER website. http://www.2ser.com/phantom-dancer/

HOW DISEASE EFFECTS LEGACY

When jazz musicians talk about Bunny Berigan, his alcoholism always comes up.

‘What might have been had he not drank?’, is usually the most positive musing. But to me, from a music perspective, his illness should have no bearing on his legacy. Surely it’s his trumpet playing and technique that’s important, the music played, the songs composed, the landmark recordings made. Louis Armstrong praised Bunny Berigan’s trumpet sound and jazz ideas both before and after Berigan’s death.

I have known jazz musicians, world-touring, who’ve died after long illnesses. They kept their illnesses private, performing to the very end. Even though everyone knew they were terminally ill, the particulars of their illnesses were never discussed. These musicians had the luxury and the determination to never be defined by their disease. Nowadays, when people talk about them, they talk about their music, the good times and their positive legacy. How they died, their disease, and their substance abuse (in one case) are irrelevancies.

However, other jazz musicians I have known, have had deaths after long, debilitating illnesses during which time it was impossible to perform. Others have died suddenly – a heart attack, an overdose, a bleed. Always, these musicians are discussed in terms of their deaths, their creative life work overshadowed by the fabula of their failing health or their fatal surprise.

I guess it’s easier to talk about sickness and death than music. The musical process is a specialist field. Feeling poorly and falling off the perch is something on which everyone has an expert opinion.

BUNNY BERIGAN…
…was the stage name of Roland Bernard Berigan.

He composed, sang, and most famously was a brilliant trumpet player. Of his compositions, we’ll hear a live recording of one, ‘Chicken and Waffles’, from a live 1936 radio broadcast on this week’s Phantom Dancer.

He was best known for his virtuoso jazz trumpeting. His 1937 classic recording of a song from a flop music, ‘I Can’t Get Started’ (which we’ll also hear in two live 1930s versions on this week’s Phantom Dancer) was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1975. ‘I Can’t Get Started’ was Berigan’s radio theme when he launched his own band in 1937.

Bunny Berigan had learnt violin and trumpet and was playing in local bands by his mid-teens. In 1930 he joined the Hal Kemp Orchestra and soon came to notice. He became a sought-after studio musician in New York as well as playing in the orchestras of Freddy Rich, Freddy Martin, Ben Selvin, Paul Whiteman and Benny Goodman. In fact, Goodman’s manager only got ‘that ace drummer man’ Gene Krupa to join the band by telling him Berigan was already on board.

After leaving Goodman, Berigan began to record regularly under his own name and to back singers such as Bing Crosby, Mildred Bailey, and Billie Holiday. We’ll hear him this week with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra in early 1937. His solo on ‘Marie’ became one of his signature performances. We’ll hear a 1940 radio version. And, of course, a critic describing Berigan’s trumpet on the 1940 show had to bring up his alcoholism.

After leaving Goodman, Berigan began to record regularly under his own name and to back singers such as Bing Crosby, Mildred Bailey, and Billie Holiday. We’ll hear him this week with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra in early 1937. His solo on ‘Marie’ became one of his signature performances. We’ll hear a 1940 radio version. And, of course, a critic describing Berigan’s trumpet on the 1940 show had to bring up his alcoholism.

MUSICAL ADVICE FROM BERIGAN
And instrumentalists PLEASE TAKE NOTE. There’s nothing more irritating to a singer than an instrumentalist taking too much air during the singer’s solo, or cramping the singer’s freedom of expression by trying to steer the improvisation…

Your Phantom Dancer Bunny Berrigan singing and playing trumpet on ‘Until Today’ with Freddy Rich’s Orchestra in 1936 . Enjoy!

Play List – The Phantom Dancer
107.3 2SER-FM Sydney, Live Stream, Digital Radio
Community Radio Network Show CRN #308

107.3 2SER Tuesday 20 March 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 22 other stations.

Set 1
Swing on 1940s Radio
Theme + Girl of My Dreams
Randy Brooks Orchestra
‘One Night Stand’
Roseland Ballroom NYC
AFRS Re-broadcast
17 Nov 1945
K.C. Caboose + Are You Happy?
John Kirby Sextet
‘One Night Stand’
Aquarium Restaurant NYC
AFRS Re-broadcast
18 Jul 1944
They Didn’t Believe Me + Blue Moon (Close)
Eliot Lawrence Orchestra
‘One Night Stand’
Roseland Ballroom NYC
AFRS Re-broadcast
26 Jul 1945
Set 2
Big Bands on 1950s Radio
Theme + I’m Walking
Johnny Richards Orchestra
‘ABC Dancing Party’
Birdland
WABC ABC NYC
1957
If I Had You
Ted Heath Orchestra
‘International Bandstand’
London
NBC/BBC
2 Mar 1959
It’s All In The Game
Ray Anthony Orchestra
‘One Night Stand’
Cafe Rouge
Hotel Pennsylvania
AFRS Re-broadcast
1952
Set 3
Bing Crosby Radio
Open + Pistol Packin’ Mama
Bing Crosby
‘Kraft Music Hall’
KFI NBC LA
16 Dec 1943
Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ra
Bing Crosby
’Philco Radio Time’
KECA ABC LA
19 Nov 1947
Ukulele Lady + Green Grow The Lilacs + Close
Bing Crosby + Rosemary Clooney (2nd song)
’Bing Crosby-Rosemary Clooney Show’
KNX CBS LA
19 Oct 1961
Set 4
Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street
Open + Dixieland One-Step
Henry Levine Octet
‘Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street’
WJZ NBC Blue NY
1 Sep 1941
O Sussanah
Diane Courtney
‘Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street’
WJZ NBC Blue NY
1 Sep 1941
Cheery-Beery-Bee
The Tune Toppers
‘Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street’
WJZ NBC Blue NY
1 Sep 1941
Dangerous Mood
Paul Lavalle Woodwinds
‘Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street’
WJZ NBC Blue NY
1 Sep 1941
Set 5
Trombonist Jack Teagarden
Announcer’s Blues
Paul Whiteman Orchestra
‘Paul Whiteman’s Music Varieties’
WJZ NBC Blue NY
19 jan 1936
Mr Jessie
Jack Teagarden Orchestra
Panther Room
Hotel Sherman
WMAQ NBC Chicago
22 Nov 1941
You Took Advantage of Me + Tea For Two + Close
The Three T’s (Jack and Charlie Teagarden and Frank Trambauer)
Hickory House
WEAF NBC Red NY
9 Dec 1936
(1936 Home Recording)
Wolverine Blues + Close
Jack Teagarden Orchestra
Panther Room
Hotel Sherman
WMAQ NBC Chicago
27 Dec 1941
Set 6
Women Singers With Their Own Radio shows
Somebody Loves Me
Peggy Lee
‘Peggy Lee Show’
KNX CBS LA
1947
Beg Your Pardon
Dinah Shore
‘Dinah Shore Show’
KNX CBS LA
4 May 1948
Too Good To Be True
Lee Wiley
‘Lee Wiley Sings’
WABC CBS NY
1 Jul 1936
Summertime
Mildred Bailey
‘Mildred Bailey Show’
WABC CBS NY
12 Jan 1945
Set 7
Bunny Berigan
I Can’t Get Started (theme) + Organ Grinder’s Swing
Bunny Berigan Orchestra
‘Norge Program’
Radio Transcription
New York City
1937
I Can’t Get Started (theme) + Ay, Ay, Ay
Bunny Berigan Orchestra
Manhattan Centre
WNEW NY
26 Sep 1939
Marie
Tommy Dorsey Orchestra (Bunny Berigan tp feature)
Meadowbrook Ballroom
Cedar Grove NJ
WABC CBS NY
9 Mar 1940
Runnin’ Wild + Chicken and Waffles
Bunny Berigan Orchestra
‘Saturday Night Swing Club’
WABC CBS NY
31 Oct 1936
Set 8
Dave Brubeck
This Can’t Be Love
Dave Brubeck
Aircheck
Jan 1954
The Song Is For You
Dave Brubeck
Basin Street
WCBS CBS NY
Mar 1957
Stardust
Dave Brubeck
‘Symphony Sid Show’
Birdland
WJZ ABC NY
Dec 1953
All The Things You Are
Dave Brubeck
Basin Street
WCBS CBS NY
Feb 1956

Hot 1920s Jazz – Hot Show – Over 40C (+100F) In The Shade


Yep, it was hot, hot, hot and windy at Jazz at the Pines in Dural today, music-wise and weather-wise.

It’s autumn here, but the temperature at today’s Greg Poppleton Jazz At The Pines show reached 40 celsius. That’s over 100 F.

The show was booked out. We learnt today from the organisers that Greg Poppleton is the most popular band that plays Jazz at the Pines. As always we play a mix of sings from the 1920s and 30s including some sung in German, Spanish and Italian.

We’ll be back at Jazz at the Pines, Sunday 19 March 2019. So Book Early.

Greg Poppleton 1920s - 30s singer and Geoff Power trumpet at Jazz at the Pines
Greg Poppleton 1920s – 30s singer and Geoff Power trumpet at Jazz at the Pines

But the weather was so hot and sunny, some people decided not to risk sunburn or heatstroke.

But under the shady pines, all was fine.

Thank you to everyone who made it and lasted the distance. We even had a couple of sound failures earlier on with the hot, gusty winds. Lucky my trusty 1920s megaphone and an opera trained voice provided all the vocal amplification until a wind-loosened cable to the speakers was fixed.

I took a picture of the band.
– Geoff Power trumpet and trombone
– Grahame Conlon guitar and banjo
– Ian Baker tuba
– Lawrie Thompson drums

I asked them to forgo the usual suit and ties. It was 40C after all.

Greg Poppleton band, Jazz At The Pines. Greg Poppleton 1920s-30s singer (behind the camera) Geoff Power tp/tb, Grahem Conlon g/bj, Ian Baker tuba, Lawrie Thompson drums.
Greg Poppleton band, Jazz At The Pines. Greg Poppleton 1920s-30s singer (behind the camera) Geoff Power tp/tb, Grahem Conlon g/bj, Ian Baker tuba, Lawrie Thompson drums.

Greg Poppleton is Australia’s only authentic 1920s – 30s singer. To book Greg for your event, contact Tony at OzManagement:
0407 941 263
info@ozmanagement.com

Penrith March 10 – Greg Poppleton Makes 1920s-30s Pop


Greg Poppleton returned to Penrith to entertain with the songs of the 1920s and 1930s.

The venue was Penrith RSL. Greg Poppleton has been one of the Saturday afternoon jazz bands for the ‘Penrith Jazz Family’ there since 2008.

It’s always lots of fun. I took some movies for you.  And if you enjoy these videos, please give them a thumbs up on YouTube. Thank you.

We’ll be back at Penrith RSL, 8 Tindale St Penrith, Saturday 30 June, 2 – 5pm. Free. Dance floor, bar, bistro and kid friendly. See you there!

Contact and Booking Enquiries