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Jimmie Lunceford and His Dance Orchestra (1936)

Approved | | Short, Music | 19 December 1936 (USA)

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In Hell, Satan appears to tell us that rhythm is coming to life again, then we're taken to a sound stage where Jimmie Lunceford conducts his dance orchestra. He's in black tie and a tuxedo ... See full summary »

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Jimmie Lunceford ...
Himself
Jimmie Lunceford and His Orchestra ...
Themselves
The Three Brown Jacks ...
Themselves
Myra Johnson ...
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Storyline

In Hell, Satan appears to tell us that rhythm is coming to life again, then we're taken to a sound stage where Jimmie Lunceford conducts his dance orchestra. He's in black tie and a tuxedo of white tales and black trousers. He announces that rhythm is our business, and that's the orchestra's first number, with vocal, sax, bass, and trumpet solos. Myra Johnson sings "You Can't Pull the Wool Over My Eyes" in her animated style, the Three Brown Jacks tap dance, and the short closes with two up-tempo numbers with two sax players tap dancing and the horn players taking off their tux coats to start a make-shift percussion section. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Short | Music

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Approved
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Release Date:

19 December 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Melody Masters (1936-1937 season) #6: Jimmie Lunceford and His Orchestra  »

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1.37 : 1
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Vitaphone production reel #2062 See more »

Soundtracks

You Can't Pull the Wool Over My Eyes
(uncredited)
Written by Milton Ager, Charles Newman, and Murray Mencher
Performed by Myra Johnson with Jimmie Lunceford and His Orchestra
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Forgotten pioneer of the swing era
3 July 2016 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Except for real serious students of the music of the era, Jimmie Lunceford is a forgotten name. But he led a black swing band that held it's own with folks like Benny Goodman and the Dorsey Brothers.

Why they needed that Satan gimmick I'm not sure for this short subject. Just listening to Lunceford's sound is good enough. A vocal by Myra Johnson and a little dancing by the three Brown brothers is an added treat.

Benny Goodman may have caused Lunceford's demise. It was big news when he engaged black singer Ella Fitzgerald for his band. That opened the way for a lot of black musicians to integrate into the name white orchestras. But like the Negro Leagues, all black orchestras declined unless you were Cab Calloway and a showman performer as well.

Lunceford died young in 1947 at the age of 45 under some mysterious circumstances that I won't go into since it seems a story unto itself. Once again we can thank the medium of film for the opportunity to see him as well as hear his recordings.


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