Movies 'Til Dawn Blog

MUSIC OF THE SOUTH – Parts 5 & 6

Below are the last two installments of the pioneering jazz/blues documentary “Music Of The South”, originally aired on CBS in 1956. I don’t have the exact airdate but an enterprising tv-head would have no problem figuring it out. Simply watch the “outro” at the end of the show (included here

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“MUSIC OF THE SOUTH” – Parts 1 & 2

It is with great pride and delight that I post the first two out of six parts of an exceedingly rare and important archival item–a documentary made by father, Frank De Felitta, called “Music Of The South”. Photographed in 1956 in the deepest backcountry of Alabama, the film is a

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TIMES SQUARE AFTER DARK: HELEN MORGAN

  The critic and historian, Martin Gottfried, in his excellent biography of the demonic Broadway producer Jed Harris, notes that the 1920’s were “times of floridity, of vamps with panthers on leashes, of Rudolph Valentino and Bela Lugosi…in the 1920’s it was not so odd to view and even live

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LOVE ME OR LEAVE ME: DORIS DAY

I mentioned the other day, while discussing Susan Hayward, Hollywood’s brief foray into a sub-genre that I think of as “musical melodramas.” These films are all post-war items–the era brought with it a frankness about human frailty, compulsions and violence that wasn’t earlier considered appropriate for mass entertainment–and used period

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RUDY VALLEE: THE WRAP UP

I wish I could say that my story of meeting Rudy Vallee ended with him giving me his megaphone. It didn’t. But still it ended in a pleasant enough way to warrant this final Rudy posting. I did as Tommy, his friend/helper, suggested (see 1/11 post) and sent Rudy a

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LEARN TO CROON: MY DAY ON THE RUE DE VALLEE PT. 2

So there I am, standing in my parents house with a letter addressed to me from Rudy Vallee. I recall my mother coming in the room and saying–as if nothing before in her life had ever been quite so strange–“Raymond…did you get a letter from Rudy Vallee?” I opened it,

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LEARN TO CROON: MY DAY ON THE RUE DE VALLEE PT. 1

Does anyone remember the huge fuss made in newspapers around the world in the early 1970’s when the scandal broke that a faded star of yesteryear– singer Rudy Vallee–desired to change the name of the street he lived on (Pyramid Place in the Hollywood Hills) to Rue De Vallee? A Congressman

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DUKE ELLINGTON MEETS CINERAMA?

This is an extraordinary piece of filmmaking from 1935. It runs just under ten minutes but is well worth your time. “Symphony In Black” is a short film featuring Duke Ellington and his band, with guest appeareances by Billie Holiday and Scatman Crothers, believe it or not. (Holiday sounds like

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UNDER THE (non-alcoholic Analog) INFLUENCE

Sunday. Spent much of today in jazz-geek heaven, listening to transcriptions of old WRVR broadcasts of “Just Jazz with Ed Beech”. Beech was a New York based d.j. who made discography sound suave. Using a Shakespearean-trained actors voice (at least according to his publicity) he filled New York radio with

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Last Night at Birdland

Last Night (7/5) at Birdland, in New York City, I heard the impeccable and impeccably modest jazz giant Hank Jones at the piano with his trio. At age 89 (and after a recent heart episode) he is naturally somewhat less authoritative in his approach, but never less than elegant and

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Twitter

Strange moment in the lyric of 'New York New York'. At the end the narrator says: 'If I can make it there I'll make it anywhere' but then shifts the burden of responsibility to the city:'It's up to YOU, New York New York', thereby evading responsibility for his potential failure.

In 'As Time Goes By' we are told 'woman needs man and man must have his mate THAT NO ONE CAN DENY'. But is it the specific mate that cannot be denied or the general concept about man needing his mate that can't be denied? I've never been clear on this. Anyone? #cinema #TCMParty

I just discovered this hour-long doc on Don Siegel, featuring a long interview with the man himself. "I find directing very boring, dull...I don't like it" are among some of his more joyous pronouncements. Well worth a watch. #FilmTwitter #Filmmaker #TCM http://raymonddefelitta.org/uncategorized/a-documentary-about-legendary-director-don-siegel/

Old Hollywood studios always had a 'ranch'--land somewhere in LA where they shot their westerns, outdoor stuff etc. Hal Roach's was in a neighborhood called Beverlywood which is near West LA. Dig these before/after views. http://raymonddefelitta.org/film-history/beverlywood-a-hal-roach-child-friendly-community/ #Cinema #LosAngeles #TCMParty

Old school NYC brownstone mailbox. I love when stuff like this remains untouched for decades. Perhaps even a century.

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