Monday, September 30, 2013

Dark Monday • Gold Diggers of 1933

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A young Ginger Rogers is featured in the opening number of the Warner Brothers musical 'Gold Diggers of 1933. The movie also starred Aline MacMahon, Joan Blondell, Ruby Keeler, and Dick Powell. The movie was a classic Hollywood tale of a Broadway show trying to make it to the stage, the money struggles from the Wall Street Crash and the Great Depression taking a toll. Rogers sings the opening number, introducing the iconic "The Gold Diggers' Song (We're In The Money)" to the public. The song, with lyrics by Al Dubin and the music by Harry Warren, celebrates America coming out of tough time, with a renewed happiness for all. Although I must point out, the true recovery didn't happen for a few more years. This is a special performance, as it even includes some Pig Latin! I hope you enjoy this Tin Pan Alley classic, complete with choreography only Busby Berkeley could put together as Ginger Rodgers sings"The Gold Diggers' Song (We're In The Money)".

In a highly unusual decision, the movie ends with a stunning Joan Blondell and Etta Moten singing "Remember My Forgotten Man", a stirring and moving song about the men who got lost in the Depression, losing jobs, many of whom had fought in World War I a decade before and were awarded certificates for a bonus that would not be paid until 1945. This political statement at the end of an otherwise light and frothy studio musical was a real surprise. Also the use of Etta Moten, a beautiful classically trained vocalist, who at the beginning of 1933 became the first African American singer to perform at the White House. This is really quite a nice surprise, so I hope you enjoy "Remember My Forgotten Man".


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