Friday Jukebox: 1933
I’m getting ready to throw the End-Of-Prohibition Party. So of course I’m thinking of old standards. Bear in mind that the original of this one was in 1928 in German, but didn’t make it into English until the New York premiere in 1933 (it flopped, closing after twelve performances):
I’ve also found this bit of white-shoed subversion originally from 1933, and it’s interesting not only for its lyrical content but as a demonstration of what a band leader’s role in a performance was at the time:
The standard that seems to most nicely celebrate the event in question is this one:
Betty Carter has a lush voice for a soprano, doesn’t she? I’m not sure I like the way she tries to harmonize with Brother Ray, though. Doesn’t quite click, if you ask me. Ah, well. The biggest hit single of 1933, to the extent that such things can be tracked, had all this delicious saxophone in it, a song you’ve heard of but may not have ever listened to:
And 1933’s biggest hit at the box office featured original Busby Berkeley choreography, with a tart-looking Ginger Rogers singing in Pig Latin about the Depression:
If the costumes seem a bit racy for 1933, well, they were. You could almost see their navels! This was before the Hays Code, and Warner Brothers had to re-film the scene many times to conform to several states’ different obscenity codes.
So that was entertainment in 1933, the year Prohibition was repealed. Mack the Knife and Sophisticated Ladies hold up quite well, I think, but isn’t Cocktails For Two a lovely little number too?