Inside a Nightclub/Speakeasy -- 1931

Discussion in 'The Golden Era' started by LizzieMaine, Feb 6, 2019.

  1. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Raw (in more ways than one) footage recorded by a Movietone News crew.



    The band is playing the anti-Depression tune "Cheer Up (Good Times Are Coming!)"
     
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  2. 2jakes

    2jakes I'll Lock Up

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    "Blooming heck, is this what granddad was watching?
    No wonder he had a smile on
    his face!" ;)
    Y.T.
     
  3. martinsantos

    martinsantos Practically Family

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    Loved it!
     
  4. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    Great find Lizzie.

    Left free to choose, and with many older historical examples well documented (and noting current behavior today), we see how little some human entertainment choices change.
     
  5. Ghostsoldier

    Ghostsoldier Call Me a Cab

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    Doesn't look anything as bad as today's entertainment that can be seen on network television.

    Rob
     
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  6. vitanola

    vitanola I'll Lock Up

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    The second tune I'm the medley is "You're Simply Delish".

    JIMINY GEE!

    That was certainly more than a "leg show"!

    "Cheer Up! Good Times are Coming" and it's ilk were savagely parodied by Eddie Cantor in this late January 1931 interpolation into "Ballyhoo of 1930"

     
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  7. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    *Love* that Cantor song. It's not just a rebuttal to the happy happy feelgood tunes of the day, it's a specific and direct razzberry right in Herbert Hoover's face -- Hoover had specifically asked both Cantor and Rudy Vallee to popularize a song that would "lift the nation's spirits." Vallee responded by recording "Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?," and Cantor's response was the only popular song ever written to advocate stringing up a President ("Let's hang the fathead to a tree!")

    But yeah, times were kinder and gentler then.
     
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  8. Ghostsoldier

    Ghostsoldier Call Me a Cab

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    My first introduction to that song was in the soundtrack of the movie "Cinderella Man".

    Rob
     
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  9. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    A very good movie (and good Fedora Lounge eye-candy).
     
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  10. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    Any thoughts on why he sings "to" and not "from" a tree?
     
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  11. 2jakes

    2jakes I'll Lock Up

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  12. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    A hard, explosive sound like "to" fits better to the mood of the piece than a soft sound like "from." Not much difference to the eye, but a big difference to the ear.
     
  13. Tiki Tom

    Tiki Tom One Too Many

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    I think I recognize one of those dancing girls. ...Grandma? Is that you?
     
  14. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    The more time you spend immersed in Depression-era culture, the more you'll realize the entire world was "pre-code."
     
  15. vitanola

    vitanola I'll Lock Up

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    Well, a couple years later we had a slightly less mindless "cheer up" song, just about the time that there was something to smile ABOUT:

     
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  16. 3fingers

    3fingers One Too Many

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    I spent a lot of time with my Uncle Mike who was kind of the if not black, at least gray sheep of my grandfather's siblings. He always told me "son don't let any of these old broads around here fool you, about 90% of them could still remember how to pop the seat cushions out of a Model T and lay them on the grass just so and there's darn few of the grumbly old men who haven't seen it done."
     
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  17. vitanola

    vitanola I'll Lock Up

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    Brings to mind the Slim Summerville blackout in "King of Jazz" titled "Springtime". "Is this where you go to report a stolen car?"
     
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  18. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

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    In London, during the interwar years, only the wealthy could indulge themselves and the club that they all loved was The Cafe de Paris in the Soho district.


    A must-visit nightspot for high society before the war, when the likes of the Mountbattens, the Aga Khan and Cole Porter were seated at its best tables, its doors stayed open even after the outbreak of WW2.

    Its clientele was not quite as select – uniforms were a great social leveller – but this was still where debs and celebs chose to go for a good night out. Here, according to one habitué, 'the men all seemed extraordinarily handsome and the young women so very beautiful'. The club's enterprising manager promoted it as 'the safest and brightest restaurant in town, 20ft below ground'. It was a boast that went tragically awry on the night of 8 March, 1941.

    That night, the area between Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square was being strafed with bombs. But inside the Café de Paris, West Indian-born band leader Ken Johnson – known as 'Snakehips' because of his silky dancing style – revved up his swing band into the opening bars of the Andrews Sisters' hit, Oh, Johnny, Oh, Johnny, Oh!. The floor was heaving with couples. Suddenly, there was an immense blue flash. Two bombs had hit the building, hurtled down a ventilation shaft from the roof and exploded right in front of the band, killing 34 guests and band members.
    snakehips.jpg
    Band leader Ken 'Snakehips' Johnson.
     
  19. ShanghaiJack

    ShanghaiJack One of the Regulars

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    Old Shanghai Clubs:





     
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