9 Year Old Drummer With Greg Poppleton and the Bakelite Broadcasters

My 9-year old son, Damon, playing drums for Greg Poppleton and the Bakelite Broadcasters, Courtyard Sessions, Seymour Centre, Sydney, 1 Dec 2012
My 9-year old son, Damon, playing drums for Greg Poppleton and the Bakelite Broadcasters, Courtyard Sessions, Seymour Centre, Sydney, 1 Dec 2012


Two pics of my 9 year old son, Damon, playing drums for Greg Poppleton and the Bakelite Broadcasters, Courtyard Sessions, Seymour Centre, 1 December 2012. Grahame Conlon, guitar. Darcy Wright, double bass.

Damon played on all three sets of jazz from the 1920s and 1930s with two of Australia’s most experienced and accomplished swing musicians. Darcy has played in the touring bands of Tony Bennett, Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington and more. Grahame has played in the touring bands of Ernestine Anderson, Ricky May, James Morrison and more

You can find out more about Greg Poppleton and the Bakelite Broadcasters and the new album ‘Doin’ The Charleston’ on the band’s website www.bakelitejazz.com

Swing Dancers, Phantom Dancer Set, Newtown Festival 2012

One of the wonderful swing dancing couples who spontaneously broke into dance on the grass at Newtwon Festival today during the Phantom Dancer 2SER Chillax Area live 1920s-60s radio and TV swing set

Swing Dancers at Newtown Festival, 2SER Chillax area
One of the swing dance couples who got up on the grass to cut the rug to the swing and jazz played by Greg Poppleton, The Phantom Dancer, at Newtown Festival 2012

Greg Poppleton At 1920s Themed 2012 Melbourne Cup Rocksalt Lunch

Greg Poppleton & the Bakelite Broadcasters had a huge amount of fun playing for a restaurant full of guests at Rocksalt Bar and Grill, 1 Marine Drive, Wollongong, for Rocksalt’s 1920s Great Gatsby theme 2012 Melbourne Cup Dugustation Lunch

It was great to see the dance floor full and everyone having fun to our 1920s and 1930s jazz and swing

Guests even bought a few of the new Greg Poppleton and the Bakelite Broadcasters’ 1920s CD ‘Doin’ The Charleston

Here’s some pictures taken of the Broadcasters towards the end of the fun afternoon as the dance floor was packed. To have Greg Poppleton and the Bakelite Broadcasters at your event, wedding and party, email Greg

Greg Poppleton and Dancers - Rocksalt
Greg Poppleton and the Bakelite Broadcasters with Dancers at Rocksalt, Wollongong, for their 2012 Melbourne Cup Lunch
Greg Poppleton 1920s and 1930s style Swing Jazz Singer
Greg Poppleton 1920s and 1930s style Swing Jazz Singer with the Bakelite Broadcasters: Al Davey trumpet and trombone, Tony Esterman piano, Darcy Wright double bass, Lawrie Thompson drums
Greg Poppleton, 1920s and 1930s Swing Singer with duo to sextet at Rocksalt Bar and Grill
Greg Poppleton, 1920s and 1930s Swing Singer with duo to sextet at Rocksalt Bar and Grill

The Ingenues – All-Girl Vitaphone Band, 1928

This week’s Phantom Dancer has a whole set of Duke Ellington from his ABC ‘Date With The Duke’ series (1945/46) and lots more live 1930s-50s swing & jazz radio besides

And a quick plug – enjoy The Phantom Dancer live as part of the Sydney Fringe Festival at FIVE Eliza (5 Eliza St Newtown) Free, 6 – 10pm. Presented by 2SER

This weeks Video Of The Week: The Ingenues – all-women orchestra Vitaphone film clip from 1928

And here’s a photo of The Ingenues at Sydney’s Central Station on tour in Australia in the 1920s

Play List – The Phantom Dancer
107.3 2SER-FM Sydney
, Live Stream, Digital Radio

Community Radio Network Show #16

2SER Tuesday 18 September 2012
12 noon – 1:30pm (+10 hours GMT)


2SER Saturday 22 September 2012
6 – 7:30pm (+10 hours GMT)

Saturday 23 September 2012
6 – 10pm Phantom Dancer DJ Sets LIVE
5 Eliza Street, Newtown
Presented by 2SER & Sydney Fringe Festival

Sunday 29 September 2012
2 – 5pm Greg Poppleton & his Bakelite Broadcasters LIVE
Penrith RSL – 8 Tindale St, Penrith

Set 1
Just A Memory
Garwood Van Orchestra
Starlight Room
Hotel Chase
Mutual Network
St Louis Missouri
9 Aug 1944
For The First Time
Abe Lyman Orchestra (voc) Frank Munn & The Amsterdam Chorus)
Waltz Time
AFRS re-broadcast
New York
Teardrops From My Eyes
Orrin Tucker Orchestra (voc) Scottie Marsh
Boulevard Room
Stevens Hotel
ABC Chicago

Ad + Surrender + Close
Bob Crosby Orchestra (voc) Bob Crosby
‘Ford Show’
3 Jan 1946
Set 2
I Want to Be Happy
Frank Coughlan Band
Comm Rec
Dec 1938
Benny Goodman Orchestra (voc) Helen Forrest
Panther Room
Hotel Sherman
WMAQ NBC Chicago
10 Aug 1941
Get The Moon Out Of Your Eyes
Billy Mills Orchestra

‘Johnson Wax Show’
10 Jan 1940

Gordon Jenkins Orchestra
‘Personal Album’
AFRS Hollywood
Set 3

My Heart Sings

Duke Ellington Orchestra (voc) Joya Sherrill
‘Date With The Duke’
Blue Network

Sentimental Journey

Duke Ellington Orchestra
‘Date With The Duke’
Blue Network

I’ve Got It Bad And That Ain’t Good

Duke Ellington Orchestra (voc) Al Hibbler
‘Date With The Duke’
Blue Network

Subtle Slough + Mood To Be Wooed

Duke Ellington Orchestra (voc) Joya Sherrill
‘Date With The Duke’
Blue Network
Set 4
Swamp Fire
Dick Jurgens Orchestra
Radio Transcription
New York

Intro + The Butcher Boy

Glenn Miller Orchestra (voc) Gail Reese & Ray Eberle
Paradise Restaurant
18 Jun 1938
Limehouse Blues
Erskine Hawkins Orchestra
New York
May 1942
Woody Herman’s Third Herd
The Royal Grove
Peony Park
Omaha Nebraska
Set 5
I Hadn’t Anyone Till You
Jay Wilbur Orchestra (voc) Sam Costa
Comm Rec

Basin Street Blues

Muggsy Spanier
Club Hangover
KCBS CBS San Francisco
11 Apr 1953
Don’t Blame Me
Cootie Williams Orchestra
‘One Night Stand’
Savoy Ballroom
New York
AFRS Re-broadcast
12 Feb 1945
Sentimental Journey
Harry James Orchestra
Palladium Ballroom
Set 6

Maniac’s Ball

Glen Gray & The Casa Loma Orchestra
Radio Transcription
New York

Jungle Drums

Artie Shaw Orchestra
Blue Room
Hotel Lincoln
18 Jan 1939

One O’Clock Jump

Count Basie Orchestra
Famous Door
Jul 1938


Bing, Bob, Martin & Lewis Raise Money For The 1952 US Olympic Team

Salutations Phantom Dancers,

Another humdinger of a show for you this week. Vincent Price introduces calypso pioneers Lord Invader & Lord Beginner, Bob Hope introduces Bing Crosby & The Andrew Sisters. Plus more 1940s Australian swing by George Trevare, Billy Cotton from London & Angelini from Rome

An Olympic Video Of The Week: Bing Crosby, Bob Hope (who gets very angry at the beginning – look at his face when he hits Jerry Lewis), Dean Martin, the aforementioned Jerry Lewis & John Scott Trotter’s Orchestra raising money to send the US team to the 1952 Helsinki Games

Play List – The Phantom Dancer
107.3 2SER-FM Sydney
, Live Stream, Digital Radio

Community Radio Network Show #8

2SER Tuesday 17 July 2012
12 noon – 1:30pm (+10 hours GMT)

2SER Saturday 21 July 2012
6 – 7:30pm (+10 hours GMT)

Set 1
Aspetto Di Diretto
Angelini e sua Orchestra (voc) Duo Fasano
Comm Rec
Open + Babe
Elmer Fain Orchestra
AFRS Hollywood
The New York Subway & Shake Around
Lord Invader & Lord Beginner
‘The World In Music’
AFRS Hollywood
Film Noir Close Theme
‘The FBI In Peace And War’
AFRTS Re-broadcast
Set 2
Open + Baby & Me
Louis Prima Orchestra
Hickory House NY
Washington DC
22 Sep 1939
Moon Over Miami
Chevrolet Orchestra
‘Melody Moments’
Radio Transcription
New York
We’re Working Our Way Through College
Rudy Vallee, Dorothy Lamour and Charlie McCarthy (voc) Robert Ambruster Orchestra
‘The Chase & Sanborn Hour’
3 Oct 1937
Buckin’ The Wind + Close
Ted Fio Rito Orchestra (voc) Jack Howard & The Three Blue Keys
‘Cocoanut Grove’
Radio Transcription
Los Angeles
Set 3

Where Or When
Buddy Clark (voc)
May 1943
I’m Shooting High
Benny Goodman Orchestra (voc) Helen Ward

Joseph Urban Room
Congress Hotel
WMAQ NBC Red Chicago
20 Jan 1936

I’m Just Beginning To Care
Bob Crosby Orchestra

‘Ford V8 Revue’
Radio Transcription
New York

Don’t Fence Me In
Bing Crosby & The Andrew Sisters (voc)

‘Command Performance’
AFRS Hollywood

Set 4

Bunny Berrigan Orchestra
22 Oct 1936
Open + Birmingham Special
Glen Gray & The Casa Loma Orchestra
‘Spotlight Bands’
Columbus OH
19 Nov 1943
Open + Bensonality
Duke Ellington Orchestra
Blue Note
WMAQ NBC Chicago
20 Jul 1952
A Table In The Corner
Artie Shaw Orchestra (voc) Helen Forrest
Cafe Rouge
Hotel Pennsylvania
20 Oct 1939
Set 5

Something’s The Matter with Me
George Trevare Orchestra (voc) Johnny Fitzgerald
Comm Rec

St Louis Blues

Mildred Bailey (voc) Paul Baron Orchestra
‘Music Till Midnight’
Blues In The Night
Jimmy Lunceford Orchestra (voc) Trio
‘Spotlight Bands’
Jefferson Barracks
Blue Network
25 Nov 1945
I Get The Blues When It Rains
Les Paul Trio (voc) Peggy Lee
AFRS Hollywood
Set 6

Rhythm Mad
Billy Cotton Orchestra
Comm Rec
26 Mar 1935
Melancholy Lullaby (theme) + Old Man River
Benny Carter Orchestra
Trianon Ballroom
Southgate Ca
KECA Blue Network
Los Angeles

Lullaby Of Birdland (theme) + Old Man River

Lester Young Quintet
5 Sep 1956

VE Day GI Dance With Greg Poppleton

Greg Poppleton, Australia’s only authentic 1920s – 30s singer and his Jazz Deco trio had the honour of playing for dancers at Elizabeth Bay House for the exclusive 2012 VE Day GI Dance.

Greg sang the songs popular in the early 1940s in his naturally true-to-the-era dance band singer style.

Some say his voice reminds them of Al Bowlly. Others say Ray Eberle.

And his small band is definitely 1940s Sydney when the majority of bands playing for dancers through the suburbs were trios to sextets. (Check out Greg Poppleton’s ABC Radio National documentary about Sydney’s 1942-45 Booker T Washington Club for U.S African-American service personnel. The band that played there was mainly a quartet.)

This fantastic evening celebrated the GI Dances held across Sydney in grand houses like Elizabeth Bay House during the Second World War.

Greg Poppleton Trio at the 2012 VE Day GI Dance
Greg Poppleton Trio at the 2012 VE Day GI Dance

Over a hundred guests filled the historic mansion dressed in 1940s style, many in authentic 1940s uniforms.

They danced to Greg Poppleton playing A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square, White Cliffs Of Dover, I’ve Heard That Song Before and many other pop songs of the early 1940s.

At the end of the night, the band lead the guests in singing We’ll Meet Again, Vera Lynn’s post-WWII hit Auf Wiedersehen, Sweetheart.

Guests calling for an encore spontaneously sang out two choruses of Bless Them All as a gloriously emotional end to the dancing!

Guests dressed in 1940s style dancing the Greg Poppleton's Bakelite Broadcasters
Guests dressed in 1940s style dancing the Greg Poppleton’s Bakelite Broadcasters

Guests were also treated at the dance to period 1940s cuisine, swing dance classes, 1940s makeovers, live drawing classes, the very funny ‘1940s paperboy’ MC with prizes for the best-dressed

All guests were gloriously dressed in vintage style, with many in authentic clothes and uniforms from the era, as you can see in the photos.

Greg Poppleton is Australia’s only 1920s – 1930s style singer with duo to 6-piece band. He can also offer a 1920s Great Gatsby Orchestra and 1930s-40s Swing Orchestra playing Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw, Duke Ellington, Tommy Dorsey and Benny Goodman.

Contact Greg through Tony Jex at OzManagement.

Greg Poppleton, dancers and festive VE Day bunting
Greg Poppleton, dancers and festive VE Day bunting


Greg Poppleton played 1940s pop songs that had everyone dancing
Greg Poppleton played 1940s pop songs that had everyone dancing


Guests sang along with the band on the last two songs
Guests sang along with the band on the last two songs


Greg Poppleton's Bakelite Broadcasters Trio Are Three Musicians Who Filled The Dance Floor
Greg Poppleton filled the dance floor

Greg Poppleton bookings and enquiries

Bakelite Dance Band Review – Castle Lounge, Penrith. Saturday 20 Nov 2010

Caption: Exactly Like You. Guffaws and groove aside, this reviewer asks, if this is swing, where are the dancing girls?

PS: – The CD Greg is taking about in the video clip that will make a lovely coaster for your coffee table is the band’s Phantom Dancer CD: 14 songs from 1926 – 1939. Only 5 are left at CD Baby for only $US 12.97 + Postage. Get yours now while they’re still available

Band Review by Tony Deff, Jazz Critic, Penrith Bugle

“When the Bugle’s editor-in-chief told me to cover the action at Greg Poppleton & his Bakelite Dance Band’s show in the Castle Lounge last Saturday afternoon, he added, “And use a lot of superlatives. These boys need a break. The bass player has played for Tony Bennett. For crying out loud, that’s a suit outlet!”

Well I thought at the time that superlatives meant extra strong laxatives. Turns out I didn’t need them…

On entering the Castle Lounge I was instantly struck by the show’s stage designer, the flamboyant Coco de Lamé

“Sorry,” she apologised afterwards. “From behind you look just like that bitch of an agent, Noah. He hasn’t paid me in months.”

Lamo, as she is affectionately known, went on to explain her stage concept to me for the band.

“It’s all about irony, darling.,” she purred. “The curtains along the back wall suggest inevitability. The plain wall down one side, domesticity. The toilet door in the background refers to the music.” (See video below)

At that I hastily excused myself

The bandleader gave the downbeat, 1,2,3,4,5 and the dance floor filled with dancers

As a learned music critic, I make the following notes about the band…

1. Grahame Conlon, guitar. The guitar Grahame plays has 6 strings. Each string makes a different sound. Played in combination, Grahame is able to create a palette of sounds that follow the melody. Sometimes in the middle of a tune he makes up his own melody. This is called improvisalisation

2. Darcy Wright, double bass. I don’t know how he does it. Playing the guitar must be hard enough. Granted, the bass has two fewer strings. But on the bass the strings go up and down instead of side by side. A totally new direction in jazz. Crazy, man.

3. Bob Gillespie, drums. Bob had a lot of drums in his kit. I noted that the bigger the drum, the deeper the boom. The cymbals (pronounced symbols, I’m reliably told) make a metallic ting. The only suggestion this set of ears has is that there should be a square drum placed slightly to the right of the drummer and up a bit. The square drum would fill the round hole I sensed percussionistically.

4. Greg Poppleton, singer. Do singers have to sing? This jazz critic for one says a big fat NO. What’s wrong with skiddily-diddily bed-ee bop? Now that’s jazz. As for presentation, his dress wasn’t short enough. In fact he was wearing a suit!

Band manager and agent Noah Problemo, whose roster of real stars include the Koala Suit Stompers, Hot Harmonica Hepcats and Vegemite on Toast – The Musical, (where I occasionally cameo as ‘Ol’ Crusty’), was surprisingly upbeat about the band, “Some laughs, some songs, (I winced). But too many people on the dance floor – not enough bums on seats.”

“Do you mean like in a soup kitchen,” this jazz reviewer parried wittily.

Noah stopped a passing drunk. “Go tell the band to stop that noise for a minute. I’m trying to talk to the man from the Bugle!”

“So how would you put Greg Poppleton & his Bakelite Dance Band in a nutshell?” I grilled the legendary agent.

“I don’t like putting bands in nutshells,” Noah huffed. “Jazz critics are always asking me to put bands in nutshells. It’s impossible!” His eyes brightened. “Unless, of course, I get the set designer to build me a big nutshell on stage to put the band in for the 8 January show. But how do I get Lamo to do all that for nothing?” Noah laughed as the obvious came to him. “I’ll tell her it’ll be great for her portfolio.”

At that, the band stumbled back on stage for their seventh set and I had to race back to the toilets – to write this review, of course

So what do I think of the band? Well, in a nutshell, this inky-fingered hack gives Greg Poppleton and his Bakelite Dance Band two fingers”

1920s & 30s Fun at the Museum of Sydney

Thank you to all the wonderful people who turned up at the Museum of Sydney on Sunday to see the truncated Greg Poppleton & his Bakelite Dance Band with Greg singing the songs of the 1920s & 30s (some of them through a megaphone), Grahame Conlon on guitar & Darcy Wright on double bass.

The band’s first set concentrated on some obscure songs from the Great Depression including ‘I’m in the Market for You”, the hillbilly, “I Don’t Want Your Millions, Mister” and a song most people think came from the 50s, “16 Tons”.

The second Bakelite set, which closed the day of festivities at the museum, was music for dancing, and the band and the Swingtime Dancers drew a large and enthusiastic crowd. Oh, and we sold so many copies of our CD, The Phantom Dancer, that there’s now only 32 left. 5 of them are for sale on-line at CD Baby: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/poppleton. So be quick if you want to grab one because I won’t be reprinting them

Please visit the band’s official website at http://www.gregpoppleton.com


PS: Though I took my camera along I couldn’t take a photo of the band or the dancers (no cameras allowed in the museum). So here’s a Greg Poppleton & his Bakelite Dance Band pic from the archives…

Greg Poppleton & his Bakelite Dance Band at The Basement
Greg Poppleton & his Bakelite Dance Band at The Basement (l-r) Bob Barnard (tp) Paul Furniss (sax/cl) Joel Davis (d) Greg Poppleton (voc & megaphone) Dieter Vogt (db) Peter Locke (p - out of shot)

Canada Bay Tea Festival Sun 28 March 2010

You’re invited to City of Canada Bay’s exciting new event, Bay Day.

Come and join in the fun on Sunday, 28 March from 12-4pm at McIlwaine Park, Rhodes.

A free festival for the whole family, Bay Day celebrates the wonderful world of tea and its popularity among many cultures.

Come along and enjoy a range of entertainment from Chinese lion dancing, gypsy and jazz music by GREG POPPLETON plus a performance from a very special guest the kids will love.

Greg Poppleton
Greg Poppleton

Relax in the tea tent and have your tea leaves read or take a stroll through the tea garden, experience a traditional Chinese tea ceremony and enjoy afternoon tea.

Browse the market stalls for all things tea and lots more! Indulge in delicious food and be entertained by roving performers while enjoying the beautiful surroundings of McIlwaine Park.

There will be plenty on offer for the kids too! They can join in the fun of the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party where they can make their own hat and enter the world of Alice in Wonderland. There will also be rides, entertainment and activities especially for them.

Easily accessible from Concord Road, free parking is available however Council encourages you to walk, cycle or use public transport to travel to Bay Day.

Sip and celebrate at Canada Bay’s tea festival! See you there