Lesser Known Swing Scenes

Discussion in 'Videos' started by Steve Pastor, Jul 27, 2013.

  1. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    I've been hunting down Hollywood actors Dean Collins taught. By matching the name and the first time they did swing on film, I have a pretty good guess of when he taught them.

    First up is Guy Madison who played Wild Bill Hickock in one of the 50s TV Westerns.
    http://www.westernclippings.com/remember/wildbillhickok_doyouremember.shtml

    Dean said that Guy was his worst student. Hey, he's in time with the music!



    Bonus for me is that a still from this scene (unidentified source) was used in the book How to Dance the Jitterbug - 1983
     
  2. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    "I taught almost every movie actor in Hollywood including Shirley Temple."

     
  3. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Dean said that his best student was Joan Crawford.



    YouTube has clips of Crawford dancing early in her career. Looks like she had a leg up on the dance thing.
     
  4. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Sounds like "jack and jill."
     
  5. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    This has only been viewed 5,106 times?!

     
    juwest333 likes this.
  6. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    I was looking for "Route 66" by Will Bradley, and hit this soundie.

     
  7. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    This one is more than a scene. It's a 20 minute long film. Surely I'm not the first one to stumble across this. But then, I was reading one of Terry Monaghan's journal articles, and that's where I saw it.



    Al Minns and Leon James are the only credited dancers, but I wonder who the other people are. I can't help but note that Minns and James only dance with each other rather than what we would consider "social dancing."
    I've read a fair amount about Pops Foster, who is playing the bass and by some accounts found other musicians in New York playing bass like he did when he moved to the city when swing was just getting started in a big way there.

    Also note that the several years later rock n roll movie dancing looks like, and was filmed like, what we see here.
     
  8. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Another discovery.
    Didn't know where else to put it.

     
  9. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Was investigating Artie Shaw's "Begin the Beguine" which is the song Joe Lanza remembers first seeing his friends dance Lindy Hop to. He also wrote, "they were taking lessons at the Savoy," but he was afraid to go to Harlem and didn't learn swing for another 10 years.
    Ah... and I came across this, which I haven't seen before. Anyone have any info on this?

     
  10. Siggav

    Siggav Moderator Staff Member

    It looks like they're dancing collegiate shag which is not as popular as lindy hop, it's more of a niche thing now but it still has an active community and is gaining popularity I think.

    Here's a blogpost about the clip: http://swungover.wordpress.com/2010...giate-shag-and-artie-shaws-hatred-of-dancers/

    Note that it's from 2010 so some of the stuff said about current collegiate shag might be out of date now
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2014
  11. Siggav

    Siggav Moderator Staff Member

    Also so you know Begin the Beguine is a complete workhorse of a lindy hopping song now, as in it's a solid standard that gets played a lot and some people are tired of it because it's been played so much
     
  12. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Jammin' the Blues

    Very classy production from 1944.
    Just saw the entire short, and here's the section with two dancers.



    Definitely worth looking for the other YouTube clips from this (but no more dancing).
     
  13. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    I was looking at swing on film around 1942 when I came across this one.

     
  14. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Never saw this one before.

    Yes, it's THOSE Lindy Hoppers; the famous ones from the Savoy. Norma Miller mentions this show in her book.
     
  15. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    And while I'm at it...
     
  16. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    I hadn't seen this one before.
    It's the great Cab Calloway, Whitey's Lindy Hoppers (uncredited), and Calloway does some Lindy Hop.

    scene here


    full movie here - Calloway scene ~ 26:30
     
  17. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    As there isn't an "UnLike" button, I Unlike it!
     
  18. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Ohhh, you're killin' me.

    They are showing a bunch of Melvyn Douglas movies on GetTV this month. I was not even aware of him, least of all as a leading man.
    I love a lot of these old movies.

    And, in case you didn't go to YouTube to watch the clip...

    Dean Collins has been quoted as saying that Joan Crawford was one of the Hollywood stars he taught to do Jitterbug/Lindy Hop/New Yorker. Crawford had danced in films earlier in her career, and was quite the hoofer; but she would have had to update her skills for this "swing era" film. LIFE reported that she lost 5 pounds and sprained her back in preparing for, and performing, in this scene.
    LIFE also reported that she donated her salary, $112,500, to four different charities.
    Her partner is Allen Jenkins, "an ex-Broadway hoofer."
     
  19. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Roy Lester had a fairly high profile around 1940 +- a year or two. He seems to be relatively unknown based on a lack of web based hits, but his name was in contemporary newspapers more often than Dean Collins was (at least for those years). One article referred to Lester as a "professional jitterbugger." He was one of four jitterbugs in the short dance on the sidewalk in "Pot o Gold," and was also in "Broadway Serenade" and "Among the Living."



    Ann Southern had bruises "contracted in the line of duty" during three weeks of rehearsals, and announced that "jitterbugging is hard work."
     
  20. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    I noticed a picture of Dean Collins teaching Guy Madison and Jean Porter here, http://www.swingdancecouncil.com/halloffame2.html , and watched the first clip in this thread again to see what Dean was teaching in 1946. Interesting that, aside from the lack of polish, it looks a lot like what he danced with Jewel. I guess that shouldn't be any surprise.

    They hit the break, and the way Jean Porter ended is a lot like what I've been ending some of my WCS with recently.
     

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