8 movies/4 DVDs
Attention, fans of vaudeville, minstrel shows and vintage musicals: Perk up your ears and put on your dancin’ shoes as lost chapters from the big book of Live Entertainment history are re-opened in this one-of-a-kind classic compilation of feature films from the late 1940s to the and early ’50s. Many of the most memorable vaudeville headliners preceding and including that era strut their stuff in these extravaganzas–the singers, dancers and acrobatic acts that got that generation’s toes tappin’ and funny bones ticklin’. Some performers are seen here in their ONLY on-camera appearances. For the true buffs, there is also rare home-movie footage of live vaudeville acts and a trio of expert historian commentators offering a high-energy crash course in the medium’s history. Find yourself a front-row seat as the curtain once again rises on the fun-time of a lifetime! Chuy Reyes and His Rumba Band, Claude Casey, Cotton and Chick Watts, Cowboy Copas, Eddie Dean, George Arnold and the “Rhythm on Ice” Revue, Jerry Colonna, Les “Carrot Top” Anderson, Monette Moore, Nappy Lamare Dixieland Band, Pete Daily and His Chicagoans, Scatman Crothers, Shaw and Lee, Slim Andrews, The Sons of the Pioneers, Spade Cooley and His Band, Tex Ritter and the Cass County Boys, Broome Brothers, Chuy Reyes Mambo Band, Hoosier Hot Shots, Ike Carpenter Orchestra…and DOZENS MORE!
EVERYBODY’S DANCIN’: Dance hall owner Dick Lane, in desperate need of “name” attractions, is helped by country music legends who agree to star in a TV special at his emporium. Appearances by Spade Cooley Jr., the Sons of the Pioneers (including Ken Curtis and Shug Fisher), outstanding vaudeville specialties and guest stars Roddy McDowall, Jimmy Ellison, Russell Hayden, etc., are the real draw. 1950|66 min.|B&W|1.33:1|NR
VARIETIES ON PARADE: It’s vaudeville on film as the camera passes a box office and ticket taker, proceeds to a front-row seat, and watches as master of ceremonies Jackie Coogan comes out on stage to introduce singers, dancers, acrobats, jugglers, cyclists–even a skit spoofing the silent film The Kid which made Coogan a famous child star! 1951|56 min|B&W|1.33:1|NR
YES SIR, MR. BONES!: A young boy wanders into a home for old minstrel men and wants to know more about them, cueing the oldsters to tell HIM (and the Lords of Flashback to show US) a performance from the days of riverboat shows. Songs (including “Is Your Rent Paid Up in Heaven?”), buck-and-wing and softshoe are all part of the nostalgic fun. 1951:54 min|B&W|1.33:1|NR
SQUARE DANCE JUBILEE: New York television talent scouts (Don “Red” Barry and Wally Vernon) head west to look for musical talent for Spade Cooley’s TV show and find plenty–and even help round up some cattle rustlers! With a whopping 21 songs, this one “stacks up as a strong entry in western music market…crackerjack exploitation potential” (Variety). 1951|80 min|B&W|1.33:1|NR
HOLLYWOOD VARIETIES: The advent of television brings back vaudeville, as emceed by Robert Alda (who also sings “Be There My Love”). Acts like the Hoosier Hot Shots, Sandy and His Seals, Hector and His Pals, The Four Dandies and Twirl, Whirl and a Girl resurrect that great entertainment medium of the past. 1950|60 min|B&W|1.33:1|NR
HOLIDAY RHYTHM: It’s the top-tappin’ fun-time of a lifetime when singer-dancer David Street bumps his head and dreams that he’s on a trip around the world, and seeing great variety acts at each port. A Dixieland band, a mambo orchestra, a “Rhythm on Ice” show and even comedians Sid Melton, Peter Marshall and Tommy Noonan are among the dreamworld talent. 1950|61|B&W|1.33:1|NR
KENTUCKY JUBILEE: A wild potpourri of hillbilly singers, dancers and specialty acts (including the Y-Knot Twirlers!), strung together by a crazy plot that involves a pop-eyed emcee (funnyman Jerry Colonna), a reporter (James Ellison), an actress (Jean Porter), a kidnapped movie director (Fritz Feld), a blackmailer and even an attempted bank robbery. 1951|71 min|B&W|1.33:1|NR
THE KID FROM GOWER GULCH: Spade Cooley is a singing-western movie star who can neither sing nor ride, but a rancher (Jack Baxley), believing that Spade is the real deal, bets 500 cattle that he can win a rodeo contest with Spade’s help. Then Spade’s stuntman/double (Bob Gilbert) pulls a double-cross and rides for the other side. The rancher’s pretty daughter , Peggy (Wanda Cantlon), pleads with Spade to come through. Wanda Cantlon was Lucille Ball’s double and stand-in for several years. The film also features the great Richard Farnswroth (as Cooley’s actual riding double) and also stunt-greats Bob Woodward and Boyd Stockman. Ultra low-budget production filmed in 16mm Kodachrome. 1950|64 min|Color|1.33:1|NR
SPECIAL FEATURES: Commentaries by film historians Richard Roberts, Brent Walker and Randy Skretvedt; Short Subjects: “Foto Facts: Parts 1 and 2” (1947) & “Vaudeville Home Movies” (1948), “Hold ‘em Cowboy” (1940s), Sports We Seldom See (1953), Technicolor Featurette: “The Shortest Way Home” (1946), Deleted Scenes: Square Dance Jubilee; Trailers, Behind the Scenes; Advertising GalleryActors
EVERYBODY’S DANCIN’: Spade Cooley, Richard Lane, Hal Derwin, Barbara Woodell, Sid Melton, Roddy McDowall.
VARIETIES ON PARADE: Jackie Coogan, Eddie Garr M.C., Tom Neal, Eddie Dean, Iris Adrian, Lyle Talbot.
YES SIR, MR. BONES!: Cotton & Chick Watts, Ches Davis, F.E. Miller, Billy Green and the Hobnobbers.
SQUARE DANCE JUBILEE: Don Barry, Spade Cooley, Mary Beth Hughes, Wally Vernon, Max Terhune, John Eldredge
HOLLYWOOD VARIETIES: Robert Alda and the Hoosier Hot Spots, Glen Vernon, Edward Ryan, Peggy Stewart.
HOLIDAY RHYTHM: Mary Beth Hughes, Tex Ritter and the Cass Country Boys, David Street, Wally Vernon, Jerry Scoggins.
KENTUCKY JUBILEE: Jerry Colonna, Jean Porter, James Ellison, Fritz Feld, Raymond Hatton.
THE KID FROM GOWER GULCH: Spade Cooley, Bob Gilbert, Wanda Cantlon, Jack Baxley, Billy Dix KodachromeDirected by
EVERYBODY’S DANCIN’: Will Jason
VARIETIES ON PARADE: Ron Ormond
YES SIR, MR. BONES!: Ron Ormond
SQUARE DANCE JUBILEE: Paul Landres
HOLLYWOOD VARIETIES: Paul Landres
HOLIDAY RHYTHM: Jack Scholl
KENTUCKY JUBILEE: Ron Ormond
THE KID FROM GOWER GULCH: Oliver Drake