10/5/07

KICKIN' THE GONG WITH CAB CALLOWAY AND BETTY BOOP

cabcalloway

As an antidote to the new "musical razzies" feature on Movies Til Dawn (let's face it: how much negativity can any of us take even when it makes you laugh?), I've decided to post alternate versions of the songs featured in the previous "WORST PRODUCTION NUMBERS EVER FILMED" entries.

In reverse order, let's start with a great version of Cab Calloway's "Minnie The Moocher"--as performed by Cab and his band in a wonderful Betty Boop cartoon from 1931. It runs seven minutes and you won't regret the time spent with it. So pour a coffee (or a drink--I'm no moralist) and enjoy this surreal and wonderfully perverse animation.

bettyboop Things to look out for: Not only do they frame the song with "St. James Infirmary" but they manage to work in the then-new hit song "Don't Blame Me" for a few bars. Also, Betty's horrible parents, seen at the beginning, appear to be Germans. Were the Von Boop's based on the Fleisher family (Max and Dave's) ancestors? Also, dig the electric chair gag--this was still a part of everyday culture (I guess it still is in Texas) but it's interesting to remember that people were sent to "the chair" in those days about as regularly as they are now sent to mandatory AA meetings. (My eighty-six year old father remembers knowing at least three or four classmates at Roosevelt High School in the Bronx who were electrocuted for crimes that weren't strictly capital...) Finally, the few seconds of Cab dancing at the beginning should whet your appetite for more of the same--maybe next week we'll delve into the "Stormy Weather" of it all. I saw him perform in the late 1970's and he was still a majorly charismatic dude...



1 comment:

  1. 2 posts in a row with cab calloway in mind... and the promess for some Stormy Weather clip? Hmmmm, I'm going to be one of your most faithfull readers!

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