Here’s a production number from the 1930 version of ‘Good News’, adapted from the hit 1927 Broadway musical of the same name by DeSylva, Brown and Henderson. The lead singer/dancer is Penny Singelton who later played ‘Blondie’ in the Columbia Pictures series of that iconic comic strip. Here she does some dandy gymnastics–and in heels, no less.

But the real reason we’re watching this clip today is the appearance of eccentric dance star Al ‘Rubberlegs’ Norman (his entrance is at 1:30). Norman was a vaudeville performer whose popularity took him to Broadway and Hollywood–he can be seen in the ‘Happy Feet’ number in ‘King Of Jazz’ (also 1930) and worked well into the 1940s (he’s credited as being in ‘Cover Girl’ but I don’t remember a rubberlegs routine in that movie…a subject for further research).

Go back two posts to see how this whole thread of tracing the art of eccentric dancing began (it begins with a diving board comedy routine that will scare and amuse you no end). And if you don’t have time to do so then just enjoy the above number. Like all early talkie-musicals its real pleasures lie not in the cinematic style and verve (there isn’t any) but in the fact that the unimaginative recording of the number places you squarely in the middle seat of a Broadway theater in the 1920s, seeing a show exactly as it would have been seen at the time.





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