TEXAS GUINAN, FAN DANCING AND DRUNK GUYS PLAYING MUSIC
Here's a weirdie. This appears to be a not-staged-for-camera capturing of a live event in 1931 in which Texas Guinan (who I posted about at the end of last week) introduces a genuine 'fan dancer'. The young lady (who may be the legendary Sally Rand) goes into her act--and quite successfully although from the rather high angle that the camera is positioned at you do wind up seeing some skin. While the fan dance is enjoyable and the Guinan intro fascinatingly shrill as always (why was she so famous in her day?), it's the music that really makes this one for me. The band members--who sit on the stage behind the dancer--are all clearly drunk, providing some of the worst accompaniment you will ever hear. A cat can wash dishes with more finesse then these guys can play music. But it's clear from the general sloppiness of the entire occasion that nobody watching particularly cared. The smell of bootleg hooch will seep through your computer screen as you watch this curiously haunting little piece of vaudeville excavation. By the way, for a longish but wildly engrossing essay I wrote awhile back about Guinan and the movie 'Broadway Through A Keyhole' (based on events in her life) click here.
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Posted by Raymond De Felitta at 1:14 PM