We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
A clip from 1941 movie Sun Valley Serenade featuring the full Glenn Miller band, the Modernaires (they're the card players and Paula Kelly), and wait'll you see Dorothy Dandridge cake-walk with the Nicholas Brothers (she was married to one of them). This gotta be one of the all-time Choo-Choos --maybe the wildest, funniest, ever! Also, Milton Berle is in the mis-en-scene audience --
That's Tex Beneke on Tenor Sax, probably the only member of the band other than Miller himself with a significant popular reputation as a particularly good player, and a good singer as well. He's the cat (heh) who wanders over to the table full of Modernaires.
The rest of the band were excellent musicians - Miller was very picky and very exacting - but most of them didn't have name recognition other than among other musicians. Some of 'em did get more famous, though; Bobby Hackett I believe played with Miller for a while, and Ray Anthony was in the band before the war and led his own band after.
At the Sun Valley lodge, they've dedicated one of the cable channels to playing the movie on a continuous loop and they play it every week at the theater. It's a cute film - I made it a point to watch it all the way through last time I was there.
Thanks Buddy! That is the best version I've seen. When I first moved to NC over 25 years ago there was a Hotel in RTP that had a Big Band every weekend. What a joy is was to go and listen to them -electric was the feeling. Great memories.
The guitar player is a guy by the name of Bobby Hackett. He was one of the true rhythm guitar players of the time and an adopter of the Freddie Green technique - instead of chords, he played alternate two note lines in rhythm with the percussion section (bass and drums).
Eddie Durham also played with Glenn Miller - he was one of the all time great swing guitar players - besides Miller, Durham played with Basie, Calloway, Lunceford and a couple others of lesser note. He wrote and arranged "In The Mood"
He was also one the first to play solo electric guitar in a swing band.
Little could he see the future --that hauling that wire onstage was gonna discombobulate the economics of the big bands --
Ron @ #4 --you're more than welcome --this youtube thing is just miraculous --i marvel every time i submerge --
Glenn Miller did two of these movies --the other is Orchestra Wives --has some good set pieces too --features Tex Beneke a bit more, as well as the Modernaires, fronted by Marion Hutton, who just dazzles on "Kalamazoo" (they had a thing for the double-aught song titles), much like Dorothy Dandridge in this Choo Choo. This URL here is gonna be addictive, i can tell --gonna be a regular for chasing away da blues --sorta like this one, that Maggie's Farm featured sometime ago,
--it's "Prehistoric Man" --Ann Miller, Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Jules Munshin , Betty Garrett On the Town in the year 1949.
Like Choo Choo, it can't be watched without a big grin breakin' out --just to marvel at the talent alone --and to be reminded what serious practice practice practice can do when hooked up with that talent --
You know we often forget the distaff side which was very prolific during the jazz/big band era of the early to mid-19th century. "Helen Lewis and Her All-Girl Jazz Syncopators" were the first that were filmed (not on Youtube unfortunately) - there were other all-female bands during that era which also found success.
Blanche Calloway, Cab Calloway's older sister, was the female band leader of a band - Blanche Calloway and Her Joy Boys. Love the name. I read a Cab Calloway biography which claimed that Cab got most of his style from Blanche and that she was a major influence for him.
--allow me to quibble semantics: Talent was an ok starting point --these folks were born 1910-20, had roaring 20s childhoods, then hit adulthood with a disappeared economy. Make a commitment to Show Biz? With the cost of the 99% liklihood being the soup line? Nah, talent was just a big empty lunch bucket --the accomplishment on that screen is due to d*r*i*v*e --
Both movies were recorded in two channel sound, so you can actually here the band in stereo - maybe a first.
The Miller band was at the top of the charts at the time this movie was shot, and the stories are that the other sets would empty and the cast and crews would flock to the Miller stage when the band was playing.