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Stormy Weather (1943)


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As highly as Mr. Mankiewicz praised the movie for being a mother lode of talent, Stormy Weather (1943) is even more so.  It is a motherest of mother lodes.  Running one's eyes down the IMDB cast list is liable to make them pop out.  Witness:  

Coleman Hawkins on the saxophone--how can I put this?  There are people who change the course of music, like Louis Armstrong and Charlie Parker.  Coleman Hawkins is one of them.  

Fats Waller, who I do not (or should not) have to introduce.  

Teddy Buckner, west coast jazz trumpeter who played with the likes of Lionel Hampton.  

Benny Carter, famous saxophonist, composer (of "Cow Cow Boogie" and other standards), bandleader.  

Illinois Jacquet one of the hottest honking saxophonists, catch him playing on the Jazz at the Philharmonic series.  

Jo Jones, than which there is no greater swing/jazz drummer.  And not many to equal him.  He rose to prominence with Count Basie, among others.  And then played with--well who didn't he play with?  Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday.

Zutty Singleton, innovative and influential drummer of the early days of jazz.

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And--to show how much their names escaped history--who were the comics who did the "Conversation" routine?

("Say, aren't you still going with--?" "Nah, she started seeing--" "Not him, isn't he the one who--?")

Apparently, that was a well-known comedy routine in the day, sort of the Black "Who's On First?"  Mantan Moreland even redid the routine with another comic in one of Republic's Charlie Chan B-movies.

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I'm curious about the singer Ada Brown. She had a great voice, and I remember being surprised I'd never heard of her. But it turns out I had heard her before, as the vocalist on some late 20's band recordings, including a couple by Luis Russell, who I was listening to quite a bit at the time. But in the years up until this film it seems that she has very little recorded output, unfortunately...

Took me a while to find this, and it's not a great sounding copy. The title is even wrong; it's actually called "Tia Juana Blues." Love this one tho, with it's slow-building, dire mood. It came as something of a surprise when I looked up that singer in Stormy Weather and found out I was already addicted to one of her tunes.

Here's her song in Stormy Weather, with Fats doing his signature interjections,

"Suffer, excess baggage, suffer!" :lol:

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1 hour ago, laffite said:

Let's not forget Lena. Cab, and Bill.

I adore Lena Horne. Especially here, in this one.

Of course, they are unforgettable. I did not list them because Ben Mankiewicz hyped them in his intro.  I wanted to bring people's attention to others in the movie.

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Well, we've known for years that whenever someone mentioned the song "Stormy Weather" the first thing people would think of was...

"LENA HORNE sang that one, right?" 

Much of America, even to this day, might not know of the MOVIE with that title,any other movies Ms.Horne might have been in, or that she wasn't the FIRST to record it.  :o

Sepiatone

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1 hour ago, Sepiatone said:

Well, we've known for years that whenever someone mentioned the song "Stormy Weather" the first thing people would think of was...

"LENA HORNE sang that one, right?" 

Great though Ms. Horne's performance was, one might also think of Elisabeth Welch in Derek Jarman's The Tempest:

 

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22 hours ago, Swithin said:

Great though Ms. Horne's performance was, one might also think of Elisabeth Welch in Derek Jarman's The Tempest:

 

But, shouldn't people really think of THIS TOO??

Sepiatone

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5 hours ago, HelenBaby2 said:

I was reading this thread yesterday and wondered why no one had mentioned the Greatest Dance Number Ever Committed to film. They are amazing in this. 

Well, to go to the original premise of this thread, the reason I talked not about the Nicholas brothers, or Miss Horne, or Mr. Calloway, is that Mr. Mankiewicz did talk about them and I wanted to put a light on the vast wealth of talent he didn't have time to mention, like:

And:

 

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To point out something ARPIROSE posted a bit earlier....

The song "Mr.bojangles" wasn't attributed to BILL ROBINSON, but was a supposition about the last days of Mr. Robinson's life, who was penniless at death and pretty much "down and out".  And if you ask me...

The Nity Gritty Dirt Band butchered that great JERRY JEFF WALKER tune!

Sepiatone

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On 5/19/2019 at 1:09 PM, EricJ said:

And--to show how much their names escaped history--who were the comics who did the "Conversation" routine?

("Say, aren't you still going with--?" "Nah, she started seeing--" "Not him, isn't he the one who--?")

Apparently, that was a well-known comedy routine in the day, sort of the Black "Who's On First?"  Mantan Moreland even redid the routine with another comic in one of Republic's Charlie Chan B-movies.

Mantan Moreland's partner in those comedy routines was Ben Carter. They did the routine in two of the Monogram (not Republic) Charlie Chan movies: "The Scarlet Clue" (1945) and "Dark Alibi" (1946). They also did it in the 1946 RKO Radio Picture "Riverboat Rhythm" and also on stage in Vaudeville tours. Sadly, those two 1946 movies were Ben Carter's last, as he passed away in December of 1946 at only age 35.

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