Dorothy Dandridge - A Zoot Suit and other soundies
October 26, 2012 2:11 AM   Subscribe

Dorothy Dandridge - A Zoot Suit
Dorothy Dandridge - Cow Cow Boogie
Dorothy Dandridge, the Nicholas Brothers & Glenn Miller - Chattanooga Choo Choo
Hoagy Carmichael - Lazybones
A very young and very beautiful Dorothy Dandridge, exploding with talent and charisma...

For more on Dorothy Dandridge, who deserved far better, see also Dorothy Dandridge - A Life Unfulfilled and the YouTube Channel Dorothy Dandridge.

And on a side note, regarding Zoot Suits, see also The Zoot-Suit and Style Warfare and Zoot Suit Culture , the latter being from PBS's The Zoot Suit Riots
posted by y2karl (12 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
And... Previously on MetaFilter.
I had forgotten this...
posted by y2karl at 2:13 AM on October 26, 2012

For those still in shock this post may act as a most efficacious antidote. Dope rhymes in "A Zoot Suit" to boot!
posted by telstar at 4:10 AM on October 26, 2012

Great clips! a couple I'd seen, and a couple I hadn't. And I really didn't know much about Dandridge until now. Thanks for the post.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:14 AM on October 26, 2012

I love me some Hoagy, stole his scene in To Have and Have Not with Bogie and Bacall.

Also, I used to drink and eat pizza in the Bloomington bar where he wrote Stardust.
posted by C.A.S. at 6:51 AM on October 26, 2012

She is young in these! She was so ahead of her time in racist America.
posted by shoesietart at 8:34 AM on October 26, 2012

She is incandescent -- one thing only the old truly appreciate is that everyone is beautiful when young, the truly beautiful most of all.

One thing I did not know before putting this together, is that Dandridge, when very, very young, appeared in an Our Gang comedy. Those were a staple of after school afternoon TV when I was young, along with Warner Brothers cartoons from the 30s and 40s, the likes of which few here have ever seen -- due in no small part to the incredibly racist depictions of black people they contained. That, plus all the impersonations of the likes of Jimmy Cagney, Edward G. Robinson and Tallulah Bankhead that went over our heads even then.

So much has changed since these shorts were made -- in no small part, Dandridge's tragedy is that she was born too early to achieve the success she deserved.

From Colored Reflections: Dorothy Dandridge.
posted by y2karl at 8:50 AM on October 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

These are brilliant.

I saw Youtube also has the whole Chattanooga Choo Choo sequence.
posted by MartinWisse at 10:32 AM on October 26, 2012

Dang, that Chattanooga Choo Choo video has some great dancing. I didn't really know about Soundies until recently, when I had a chance to meet Mabel Lee. Here's one of hers:
Chicken Shack Shuffle
posted by lholladay at 11:35 AM on October 26, 2012

Holy crap, Dandrige is hot in Tomango. I figured this film was made mid/late 60's, but then looked it up and it was 1958.

Truly way ahead of her time. Total talent wasted by racism. Fucking sad. But awesome post.
posted by telstar at 1:07 PM on October 26, 2012

What I also noticed about this videos is something my wife pointed out to me ages ago in modern videoclips: the light skinned, but recognisably Black female star teamed up with a much darker skinned male star. Judging from these examples, that's not a new pattern...
posted by MartinWisse at 2:23 AM on October 27, 2012

that's not a new pattern...

Yup, nothing new. See high yellow.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:52 AM on October 27, 2012

Thanks for thus, y2karl - I love her. Another one of my faves is the wacky & fun Harlem Yodel.
posted by madamjujujive at 4:08 AM on October 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

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