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“All of me” August 24, 2008

Posted by Jeff in 1946 through 1960, Cool, Jazz, Movies, Music.
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What do the Muppets, Pia Zadora, Django Reinhardt, Jimmie Scott, Billie Holiday, Anne Murray, Willie Nelson, Johnnie Ray, Redd Foxx, Louis Armstrong, Paul Whiteman, Dean Martin, Ella Fitzgerald, Belle Baker, NOFX, Frank Sinatra and Mildred Bailey have in common?

They all covered this …

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“Chattanooga Choo Choo” February 10, 2008

Posted by Jeff in 1929 through WWII, Dance, Jazz, Movies, Music, Nicholas Brothers, Swing.
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From Sun Valley Serenade (1941), an intro by the Glenn Miller Orchestra segues into …


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“I Got A Gal In Kalamazoo” February 9, 2008

Posted by Jeff in 1929 through WWII, Dance, Jazz, Movies, Music, Nicholas Brothers, Swing.
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A year after Sun Valley Serenade, Glenn Miller, the Nicholas Brothers and Harry Warren and Max Gordon continue their survey of songs about American cities with funny names …

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“Lucky Numbers” February 8, 2008

Posted by Jeff in 1929 through WWII, Dance, Jazz, Movies, Music, Nicholas Brothers, Swing.
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From The Black Network, a 1936 short, fifteen-year-old Harold and twenty-two-year-old Fayard Nicholas perform “Lucky Numbers” by Cliff Hess.


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Adelaide Hall and the Nicholas Brothers February 7, 2008

Posted by Jeff in 1929 through WWII, Dance, Movies, Music, Nicholas Brothers, Swing, Theater, Vaudeville.
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From 1935, the VitaPhone short “An All-Colored Vaudeville Show” …

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“Alright” February 6, 2008

Posted by Jeff in Cab Calloway, Dance, Music, Nicholas Brothers, R&B.
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Somebody involved with Janet Jackson’s 1990 music video Alright had a nice sense of cultural history …

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“Jumpin’ Jive” February 5, 2008

Posted by Jeff in 1929 through WWII, Cab Calloway, Dance, Jazz, Movies, Music, Nicholas Brothers, Swing.
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This clip from Stormy Weather (1943) features Calloway and his orchestra, and the amazing Nicholas Brothers (Harold and Fayard).


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Bon anniversaire, Stéphane January 26, 2008

Posted by Jeff in Cool, Jazz, Music, Swing.
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Today would have been the one hundredth birthday of the greatest jazz violinist of all time.

Above, from 1991, the eighty-three-year-old Stéphane Grappelli performs “How High The Moon” by Nancy Hamilton and Morgan Lewis, accompanied by McCoy Tyner on piano, Marc Fosset on guitar and Jean-Philip Viret on bass.

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“Did you ever meet that funny reefer man …” January 24, 2008

Posted by Jeff in 1929 through WWII, Cab Calloway, Jazz, Movies, Music, Swing.
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In this clip from International House (1933), the strangest film W. C. Fields ever made (and that’s saying a lot), Cab Calloway And His Orchestra, featuring the legendary Al Morgan on bass, perform “Reefer Man” on television.

No, I’m not making that up.

And shut up with the reefer jokes.

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Prodigies January 23, 2008

Posted by Jeff in Classical, Music.
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I’ve always been fascinated with child prodigies, having been a little bit of one myself.

Lucy, the heroine of my screenplay The Arch Conspirators, is a child prodigy. And so was violinist Sarah Chang, who auditioned for Juilliard at the age of six. Here she at the age of fifteen, playing the Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64 by another prodigy, Felix Mendelssohn, accompanied by Kurt Masur and the New York Philharmonic.

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“Some Skunk Funk” January 20, 2008

Posted by Jeff in Cool, Jazz, Music, R&B.
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The Brecker Brothers …

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“Tubby The Tuba” January 17, 2008

Posted by Jeff in 1946 through 1960, Cartoons, Classical, Movies, Music, Puppetoons, Zook.
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Reg Massie, 1945

Reg Massie, 1945

Unlike clay animators like Nick Park, Will Vinton or Art Clokey, George Pal’s animators worked in a “replacement technique” using hand-carved wooden puppets. A separate puppet (or puppet part) was used for each motion, rather than clay or hinged parts. A single walking sequence, for instance, could involve 12 pairs of legs for one character. An average Puppetoon short would use 9,000 puppets.

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“Mr. Strauss Takes a Walk” January 16, 2008

Posted by Jeff in 1929 through WWII, Cartoons, Classical, Movies, Music, Puppetoons.
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Here’s a goodie from George Pal with the music of Johann Strauß* …

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“Jasper In A Jam” January 15, 2008

Posted by Jeff in 1946 through 1960, Cartoons, Jazz, Movies, Music, Peggy Lee, Puppetoons, Swing, Zook.
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From 1946, a George Pal Puppetoon featuring Charlie Barnet and Peggy Lee, and designed by Reg Massie.

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