Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Nobody Rolls, Then Rocks

 Betsy Booth and Andy Hardy,
aka Judy and Mickey,
in 1940's Andy Hardy Meets Debutante,
the 4th movie in the Andy Hardy series (16 in all)!
Judy came along for 3 of those rides.
Other actresses who appeared with "Andy":
Kathryn Grayson, Lana Turner and
 Esther Williams (in her screen debut).
 We'll hear "I'm Nobody's Baby", with Judy, below.

Fred Astaire's final moments in the movie musical genre...
the often embarrassing "Ritz Roll And Rock"
from Silk Stockings (added to the movie,
and I believe written by Conrad Salinger, who "embellished"
and orchestrated Cole Porter's original score for this production) .
Below, Fred symbolically crushes his top hat at the end of the number,
"retiring" just after the movie's release.
He was 58.
 Fred would go on to do several television specials, 
and acting roles in movies
(Finian's Rainbow, Towering Inferno) and voice over roles.

 The original Pins And Needles
began life in 1937,
a revue of original songs and skits
brought to you by the International Ladies Garments Workers Union,  
an amateur cast of actual cutters, basters and sewing machine operators.
It would go on to become a Broadway hit,
and run for 3 years:
"the only hit ever produced by a labor union, 
and the only time when a group of unknown non-professionals 
brought a successful musical to Broadway."

 Millie Weitz was part of the cast...
the first to sing "Nobody Makes A Pass At Me",
music and lyrics, Harold Rome.
Below Barbra Streisand, who was part of 
a 25th Anniversary tribute to the show 
(a studio recording, album cover above).
Next time, I'll play Millie's version. Promise! 

 Can never get enough of Carol Channing!
Carol was 28 when she appeared in 
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,
and from that smash hit, we'll hear
"I'm Just A Little Girl From Little Rock".
Below, with huge hat and tiny Anita Loos,
who "wrote the book",
which began as "The Lorelei Stories" in Harper's Bazaar.
An Anita quote:
"I've enjoyed my happiest moments when trailing 
a Mainbocher evening gown 
across the sawdust-covered floor of a saloon."
For interesting reads, Anita's memoirs:
A Girl I Like, Twice Over Lightly: New York Then And Now,
and Kiss Hollywood Good-by.

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