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cujas

Musicals on Tap

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Here'a hint. Whiteman and his orchestra performed the song in an early musical film. A young crooner was featured in the early part of the song. He would go on to be very well known.

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Okay I guess I finally got it:

"Happy Feet".

Even though I'm a big Paul Whiteman fan (have hundreds of his records - mostly 78's) the clue about the animated feature wasn't helping, as I'm not into newer stuff. But..."King of Jazz"! - Yes! That's a favorite!

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Yes, of course, most of you know about the animated feature about dancing penguins called "Happy Feet". When I heard the title I immediately wondered if they included the Paul Whiteman song. Whiteman was known as "The King Of Jazz". In1930 he made a very early color film with that title. It was a sort of all-star musical revue. Bing Crosby and the Rhythm Boys were working for Whiteman at the time, and they were featured in several musical numbers. One of the highlights of this production number is Al "Rubberlegs" Norman. Here is a clip: By the way, since color film was so new, you may notice how thick the make-up was.

 

 

 

You may have also noticed how much the color has faded over the years. I taped a copy off of the old AMC network yeas ago. Now if I only had a working VCR.

 

Good job, MN. It's your turn now.

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Trying to think of a question more in a tap dancing theme than just general music, here's one that I hope will be fitting (and at least a little challenging):

 

In what movie do the folks in a supposedly haunted house hear a ghost tap dancing whenever the tune "Swanee River" is played?

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> {quote:title=musicalnovelty wrote:}{quote}

> In what movie do the folks in a supposedly haunted house hear a ghost tap dancing whenever the tune "Swanee River" is played?

Clue:

It's mid-1940's and it's a comedy.

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A few years back there was a conversation about Olsen and Johnson on the boards. I can't say I remember the film, I may have seen it or I may have just remembered someone mentioning the film. It does sound like a fun film. I've got a few threads going on right now, so Thread Is Open.

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A top Hollywood dancer once did a dance number with a trained dog. Can you name the dancer, the movie, and the song?

 

Guess what, there are two answers to this question. Yes, that's right, two dancers had dance numbers with trained diogs. It would be good if you could name one, but even better if you know them both. Here's a hint: Both movies were made in the forties.

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Miles--Both were at MGM--Lady was 1941, Girl was 1953

 

1)Ellie danced with a dog, "Buttons" in Lady Be Good to Lady Be Good.

 

2) Bobby Van did an unbelieveable number in Small Town Girl, where he was a human pogo stick dancing to Take Me To Broadway. Behind him was a dog, also dancing like a pogo stick. Unfortunately the dog dropped a beat, but the number wasn't started over. This is surprisingly because Busby Berkeley was directing and he was usually a simon legree with his dancers. Maybe he just liked dogs.

 

Both Ellie, for her Stupendous Opus, Fasinating Rhythm in Lady and Ann Miller, who performed her fabulous Gotta Hear That Beat in STG--complained adamantly about Berkeley sadistic obession with retakes.

And Allegedly it was Berkeley who precipitated 2 nervous breakdowns for Judy Garland.

 

But the two above mentioned dance numbers were the best that both tap dancers ever filmed at MGM.

 

Miles--Let's vamp again, like we did last summer!

 

Edited by: cujas on Sep 27, 2012 5:05 PM

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Well, cujas, I guess we both learn somethings on this thread. I had seen Bobby Van's jumping number, but I had forgotten about the dog. Here it is.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mtlHjso3LHA

 

Here is Ellie and Buttons.

 

 

 

The note says that it was filmed in her living room because the dog was more comfortable there, but I don't believe it. She would be scuffing up her own floors and you might have noticed that you never see a ceiling. My other movie is a little known Gene Kelly film from 1947 called "Living In A Big Way". The leading lady is Marie MacDonald, and the song is "Fido And Me". The number features Gene, Fido, or is it Chris?, and a statue. Here it is.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKPz0qom6tA&list=PL1376E24B85B21AE2&index=47&feature=plpp_video

 

Check it out.

 

Speaking of Eleanor Powell, here is an interesting video of her dancing to "Fascinating Rhythm" that was shot from two angles. You can see what Berkely had his stage hands and cameramen doing as part of his total choreography.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vN2cAsdfoQE

 

If you've stopped tapping or vamping, you're up next, Cujas.

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Miles--I never saw Gene's Living in a Big Way except in a clip in That's Entertainment!--You got to say Gene was never afraid of anyone stealing the number from him, not a dog or kids--Few people would have the guts (or ego) to perform with kids like he did in I Got Rhythm!

 

Next: This beautiful actress, who hailed from the Midwest, is a superb dancer and her ability is little known or remembered. She got a contract at a top studio in the 40's and performed in several

A musicals there. Also, at this studio she met her husband,a legendary Movie Star.

 

Today she is only remembered as the wife of this movie star, whose own life sometimes overshadowed his movies.

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Cujas, could you be referring to the lovely Patrice Wymore, the last Mrs. Errol Flynn. She was from Kansas and had been on the vaudeville circuit as a child. Here she is with the Condos brothers in "She's Back On Broadway".

 

 

 

By the way, how many people remember the Condos brothers? They were a very talented specialty act that appeared in quite a few musicals from the thirties to the fifties.

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Seems like I saw them recently in a Betty Grable movie--Moonlight Over Miami.

 

Looks like all the great dancers are from Kansas, Miles.

 

Are all the cowboys from Connecticut?

 

Miles is up--

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Yes, lots of cowboys are from Connecticut. It must be because of all those cattle drives we have from Hartford to New Haven. And speaking of cowboys, the Glenn Miller orchestra was featured in two forties musicals. One featured John Payne and the other featured George Montgomery and Cesar Romero. All of them would go on to make many a western movie. There was a support player in one of those two movies who would go on to star, or should I say co-star, in dozens of westerns in the forties and fifties. This is a talented singer/songwriter. Who is it?

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Believe it or not, I was a cowgirl too, in the 1950's. And I bet you guys didn't have a more talented co-poke than my idol Gail Davis, aka Annie Oakley!

 

Now getting In The Mood--I grew up watching Orchestra Wives and much later skated on with Henie on to Sun Valley Serenade. But considering my background--do you think I'd miss the mistress of Buttermilk?--Miss Dale Evans was only #2 to Gail.

We girls didn't have too many heroines in the 50's, but they were terrific!

 

(What was Cesar Romero--the cowboy from Little Havana?)

 

Edited by: cujas on Oct 2, 2012 3:40 PM

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Well, that wasn't very difficult. Yes, Dale Evans, the Queen Of The West, was a radio singer in Chicago before she got her big break in Hollywood. On "Happy Trails Theater" she once mentioned that she lost a part at Paramount to Marjorie Reynolds because Marjorie could tap dance and she, Dale, could not. That part was in "Holiday Inn". Just think, if Dale had gotten that part and danced with Fred Astaire, she may never have met Roy and our childhood memories would be completely different. Cesar Romero was known as "The Latin From Manhattan". He did some Cisco Kid movies and others where he played Mexicans. Ok, Cujas, it's your turn, so giddy-up!

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Hi, Ho Cesar!

 

FYI--I saw this dancer/singer/actress in Sweet Charity in Kansas City--she really does dance!

 

Next--a truly wonderful dancer who didn't make many theatrical movies, but had a long career in made for TV movies and TV shows.

 

Despite all that she is a legend on Broadway as a triple threat--but she starred in shows requiring difficult dancing as well as difficult singing.

 

Her most famous Broadway role--she wasn't allowed to recreate, but the film version won numerous Oscars.

 

Her most famous husband was a singing Broadway star--who also didn't get to recreate his greatest Broadway success on film.

 

Guess Who?

 

Edited by: cujas on Oct 6, 2012 4:35 PM

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Well, I gave it a day and no one else answered, so I thought I would jump in. With those clues it must be the lovely and talented Carol Lawerence. She was the original Maria in "West Side Story". Of course, her husband for many years was Robert Goulet, Broadway's original Lancelot in "Camelot".

Tell us, Cujas, how long ago did you see her in "Sweet Charity"? I haven't heard anything about her in years.

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Miles--I was in college and KC's Starlight Theatre is quite regionally famous. Jeanette Mac Donald appeared there in the 50's and in the 60's they had stars like, Ginger Rogers and Shirley Jones. It's only open in the spring and summer, but it had all the big stars. They still do Broadway shows but for the last 30 years, it's been more of a rock venue--I saw the Beach Boys there in Dennis Wilson's last concert tour.

 

Well, Hey Big Spender--spend a little time on tap--Miles is up!

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OK, here's one that shouldn't be too difficult. In the movie "Ship Ahoy", Eleanor Powell does a dance routine where she gets to bang on Buddy Rich's drums. There have been other movie dancers who banged on drums, tom-toms, bongos, and danced on oversize drums. However, there was another musical star who danced while drumming in two, count 'em two, separate movies. You probably have an idea about this, so please tell us who it is, as well as the names of the two movies. If you really know your stuff, you might tell us the names of the songs involved in these numbers, as well as the composers. Please don't name just one movie. That doesn't answer the question. As Will Parker said in "Oklahoma",

"If you cain't give me all, give me nuthin,

And nuthin's what you'll git from me!"

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Fred Astaire- *Easter Parade* the film- Drum Crazy the song - Irving Berlin ????

Fred Astaire- *Daddy Long Legs* the film- History Of The Beat - the song - Johnny Mercer ????

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Very good, lavender. As I said recently on this thread, we all learn new things all the time. I asked the question from memory and I had forgotten about "The History Of The Beat". There is actually a third film then. I was thinking about "Drum Crazy" and also "Nice Work If You Can Get It", a Gershwin song from "Damsel In Distress". Here is "The History Of The Beat".

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Yc2DiR_o4Y

 

 

Here is "Drum Crazy".

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTiEJqZMW7E

 

 

And here is "Nice Work If You Can Get It".

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtwWQMwRf-M&feature=related

 

 

Fred had to be about the most coordinated individual you'll ever see. OK. Lavender, it's your turn. Oh, I almost forgot, here is Eleanor. The song is "I'll Take Tallulah". It was written by Burton Lane and E.Y. Harburg for "Ship Ahoy".

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Miles, it's so interesting you asked this question. I immediately thought of *Easter Parade* first, and then that scene in the beginning of *Daddy Long Legs* . I have thought about Fred's ability to do so many things all at the same time, and it always amazes me. It's so unfair for 1 man to have all that coordinatination and talent, and then there's the rest of us, poor schnooks and klutzes! I wish Fred could have have stayed young and strong forever!

 

next:

 

In a famous early 1950's musical there is a dance scene where a man does a complete back flip that was so admired it caught the attention of critics. His future as a legendary dancer was secured. The scene involved other dancers. Please name the Dancer, Film, and extra credit for the name of the Beautiful Song that was used during that scene ???

 

Edited by: lavenderblue19 on Oct 11, 2012 8:07 AM

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