Apropos of yesterday’s Nat Cole/Chico Marx post, here’s a terrific demonstration of Cole’s artistry at a young age. It’s a ‘soundie’ (made for jukebox consumption) of ‘Come To Baby, Do’, featuring his original trio which included Wesley Prince on bass and the criminally underrated guitarist Oscar Moore. (I like the force those two words–‘criminally’ and ‘underrated’–have when butted up next to each other. Perhaps it’s because someone once used them to describe my movies). Nat is 23 years old here and as charming and suave as he would ever be in the remaining twenty years of his too-short life. The film was directed by one William Forrest Crouch who made a lot short soundies and one full length musical feature called ‘Reet Petite and Gone’, starring Louis Jordan. (I like inserting the word ‘one’ before giving somebody else’s name. Where did that custom originate and when did it die?)  Crouch, according to Wikipedia, was ‘half of an interracial couple with children’ though they don’t say which half. He was active during the 1940s and I can find no trace of him after 1949, or what he did with the remaining fifteen years of his life. Such is the miracle of YouTube, however, that we are now discussing a forgotten man who performed an incredibly important function–filming important historical musical acts–but who I doubt is being discussed anywhere else at this moment in North America. I can’t speak for the rest of the world, of course, but I hazard a guess that its the same there as well. I like the way the words ‘hazard a guess’ sound when grouped together. Perhaps because it’s what I did to get through school…


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2 Responses

  1. I like the way one Raymond D uses “I like the way”. Love me some Nat anytime, and yes, the one Oscar Moore is criminally underrated.

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