A variety of talent both well known and forgotten.
June 16, 2007 4:50 PM   Subscribe

Harlem Variety Revue. Pre-rock & roll TV show featuring swing from Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Lionel Hampton, Cab Calloway, and Sarah Vaughan. Rhythm & blues from Amos Milburn, Ruth Brown, Joe Turner, Martha Davis and Larry Darnell. Jazz & calypso from Nat Cole. Ballad by Dinah Washington. Doo wop from The Clovers. Harmony from the Larks and the Delta Rhythm Boys (complete with exciting choreography). Comedy provided by Nipsey Russell & Mantan Moreland, tapdancing by Coles & Atkins and Bill Bailey (check out that 1955 Moonwalk at the end!) Hosted by Willie Bryant.
posted by andihazelwood (12 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
As an aside, I discovered two of the three "movies" that were packaged from the Harlem Variety Revue - Rhythm & Blues Revue and Rock n' Roll Revue - in a discount set I recently purchased... 50 musicals for $25 (I got mine at the Australian retailer called The Warehouse). Also includes Hi-De-Ho with Cab Calloway, Reet Petite & Gone with Louis Jordan and (obviously) 46 others. What a goldmine- and cheap.
posted by andihazelwood at 5:14 PM on June 16, 2007

... and previously.
posted by andihazelwood at 6:45 PM on June 16, 2007

Great stuff (especially the swing links), thanks!
posted by amyms at 7:36 PM on June 16, 2007

Wow, I'd never seen such a huge hi-hat as exhibited in the first Duke Ellington link. The wikipedia article explains it's development.

Great post.
posted by phrontist at 9:55 PM on June 16, 2007

thank you both. I was beginning to think people were skipping it! I've been browsing mefi since posting it, looking for similar. I knew Sarah Vaughan was good, but not THAT good. And Larry Darnell, never even heard of him till last night. How fun to watch.
posted by andihazelwood at 10:11 PM on June 16, 2007

Great post, thanks!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:34 AM on June 17, 2007

That means a lot coming from you flapjax. Thank you.
posted by andihazelwood at 12:51 AM on June 17, 2007

Wow, I'd never seen such a huge hi-hat as exhibited in the first Duke Ellington link.

Hmmm...looks like 15" or 16" cymbals, maximum. 14 inch is the standard, but I wouldn't characterize those that Louie Bellson played in that clip as huge, exactly. Kinda weird how there was never a shot of Louie together with the band, huh? Just at the very end of the clip, there's one shot of him and Ellington together. Strange.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:11 AM on June 17, 2007

Fantastic post, andihazelwood. Dunno why it isn't getting more mefi love.

The Amos Milburn clip is great. Didn't Amos do 'One bourbon, one scotch, one beer' as well?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:37 AM on June 17, 2007

Let me join the chorus - great stuff.
posted by Abiezer at 5:16 AM on June 17, 2007

[This is good] - especially those Clovers clips. Thanks for the post.
posted by punilux at 11:30 AM on June 17, 2007

Yay! Thank you all! PeterMcDermott, yes, he did "One Bourbon", "Thinkin' & Drinkin'", "Let Me Go Home, Whiskey", and plenty of songs about partying. Sounds like a fun guy :)

punilix, I love those Clover vids too- I can recognize their voices instantly but seeing them onscreen gave it a whole new dimension, same with Ruth Brown.

I used to do a radio show in San Diego where I played all this stuff... I'm seriously thinking of resurrecting it on the web after seeing these performances, they've really rekindled my love for this music.
posted by andihazelwood at 2:24 PM on June 17, 2007

« Older Brie. Roquefort. Camembert. Gouda. Edam....   |   Blogger Sued in Small Claims Court Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments