Sunday, July 20, 2008

Well Blow, Roy, Blow!

Here's a happy Sunday treat: Anita O'Day and Roy Eldridge with Gene Krupa's band performing "Let Me Off Uptown." This was their first big hit and the one that briefly solidified O'Day and Eldridge as a popular team.

You just can't beat her "window-washing" dance routine, can you?

See the AMAZING way she vamps at Roy? In O'Day's autobiography ("High Times, Hard Times," my copy of which sports a truly frightening autograph), she has this to say about the group dynamic, and the limited options of "girl singers" during the '40s.
While we were playing different theaters, I'd kept developing my part of the act. What was I to do? Stand there doing nothing? Or the same thing every time? That's not the way I live or think. So I'd embellished my part, thinking I was making something better of the show from the front... But from Roy's point of view I got to dancing too much during "Thanks for the Boogie Ride" and "Let Me Off Uptown"...

...Roy finally got to the place where he stopped talking to me offstage. I didn't care whether he talked or not. In fact, I was glad. If he was really pissed off, he'd say out of the side of his mouth, after he finished a solo, "See what I'm talking about" or "You're at it again."
O'Day's book is a candid and entertaining expose, and if you're interested in the big band and jazz eras seen from the perspective of an intelligent, talented, under appreciated, and terminally hopped-up broad, buy it and read it now.

1 comment:

Eli McIlveen said...

Adorable. And very cool. I'll have to find that book.