Tuesday, August 2, 2011

It don't mean a thing....

Come on finish that sentence. You know you want to.

When I was younger I had the HUGEST crush on Christian Bale. 
(I also had a crush on Charlie Sheen, I had GREAT taste in men when I was 10.)

This crush ended in 2000 when I waited in line for (I don’t want to admit how many) hours to get into the Sundance premiere of American Psycho. They stopped the line only 10 people or so ahead of us. I was bummed, but later found out it was hailed as “pornography” and “the most loathsome film at Sundance.” That same year he played a crazy murderer in Shaft. He had played bad guys before, that was OK, but now he was getting kinda yucky. His personal life started getting a little creepy too.* 

This was also the same year I met my husband who was not a method actor turned crazy person. That is one of the things I found most endearing about him.

But I must credit Christian Bale and the movie Swing Kids for creating my LOVE of music from the 1940’s. 

I believe a better word might be obsession. Music from the 1920’s-1950’s is a passion of mine. Mostly the really happy campy songs and the jazz!

So imagine my surprise when I found out Brenda Sills loves that kind of music as well.
(I always thought we were soul sisters, but now I know it ;)

Brenda is well versed in LOTS of different kinds of music.
She loves the song Who put the Overalls in Mrs. Murphy’s Chowder from the 1890’s (the gay 90’s, were they not?)

From the 1920’s she’s fond of It Dont Mean a Thing if it Aint got that Swing (A big song in the aforementioned Swing Kids) Here’s Miss Ella singing it in 1974. She’s AMAZING!

Puttin’ on the Ritz by Harry Richman from the 1930’s
I don’t think this is the version she was thinking of, but it’s easily the funniest.

On the Atichson, Topeka, and the Santa Fe from the 40’s.
She likes the Crosby version, but I couldn’t find the Crosby version. I’m partial to the Harvey Girls version by Garland.

One of my personal favorites that we share is Johnny Mercer’s GI Jive. Here is Louis Jordan singing it.

Some other fun ones she mentioned:
Powder Your Face With Sunshine
~ Evelyn Knight and The Stardusters
Bell Bottom Trousers
~ Jerry Colonna
Cement Mixer
~ Alvino Rey and His Orchestra/Rocky Coluccio, Vocal
Twelfth Street Rag
~ Pee Wee Hunt

We also share and affinity for DANCING to all of this great music.

   [No Video- Dancing TOO spectacular for film]

And why should the fun stop in the 1950’s? We love John Denver’s Grandma’s Featherbed from the 1970’s!

I think I could talk about this topic all week but we should stop here.

If you haven’t delved into the beautifully fun, politically incorrect music of the past here’s one of my favorites:
(starting at 2:20)


(*I hope beyond hope that my impression of Christian Bale is wrong and that if he did go creepy, he’s completely normal and happy now. *fingers crossed*)


  1. Doesn't the fact that he plays the coolest Batman ever, redeem him? It does in my opinion. Plus, who can forget him in 3:10 to Yuma? Despite a few questionable roles in his early acting years, and I'm including his part in NEWSIES, he's been a good role picker. :)

    And you have forgotten the incomparable, Billie Holiday. Greatest. Singing. Voice. Ever.

  2. Wait...that's HIM in the Newsies?!?!? Mind = blown. I would type more, but I have to go find my tape of 90s musicals.

    Don't judge.

    *runs off singing King of New York*

  3. good for you getting over christian =)
    and lovely tribute to music and cinema!

  4. I was in love with Charlie Sheen after seeing him in Ferris Bueller's and REd Dawn. But then I heard about the hookers. EW ever since.
    And I loved Christian in American Psycho! (Jared Leto is in that one too!!)

  5. I think that Christain Balle has started to make a come back though, in Batman and the Prestige.

    I love music too. Older music is so fun to listen too!

  6. Love Christian Bale in Newsies! My favorite song from that time period is "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy." Who doesn't want to take up tap after that?

  7. LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE JAZZ! I listen to it on NPR at night. And with my hubby. And any time I have a chance, really. One of my absolute favorites is Dave Brubeck. He's a little later than the 20s... mostly 50s and 60s, I think. He does Piano Jazz. Listen to Stardust. My very favorite. Although Take Five and Rondo a la Turk are good too.

    I love vocal jazz and piano jazz and ... okay. I could just go on and on and on. It's such an emotional thing, really. That's what I love about it.

  8. I knew I would elicit a lot of comments in favor of Christian Bale. I think his film choices have become MUCH better. He was going through a phase, I think. Just a shame that he lost me in that phase. I no longer adore him like I did, but I do still think he's a fabulous actor.

    Of course Billy Holiday is fabulous and if this post was all about me then the Andrew Sisters and Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy would be in there. I taught myself to sing each sisters parts, for nearly every song, on my hour commute into San Francisco as a teenager.

  9. Dance, dance, dance. Sing, sing, sing. Put that nickel in the nickelodeon and Music, music, music! This is fantastic, Shelly! I love music and dancing and singing to Can't-Sit-Still-Tunes— although I usually only go music crazy around my family. :D

    There are SO many songs I love, it would be impossible to list them all! And I have a hard time finding things in my brain so I just listed a few that were on the top of my head. & the renditions aren't necessarily my favorites - I just wrote down the artists I have on my record collection. Boy is it fantastic to spin a bunch of old records!

    I LOVE the Andrews Sisters too - great movies, great songs! And Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy? - One of the greatest!

    I also LOVE old movies like crazy - a lot of great fun and music in those!

    And Christian Bale? He was way crushable in Newsies. Lost his crushableness though - he should see if he can figure out what he did with the charm, personality, etc. that made him loveable. I love Newsies - one of my faves! Some fantastic music in it - I wish more movies were made like that! Wish, wish, wish!

    Thanks Shelly for a super post and for finding those songs! Wahoo! And I LOVE when you said we're like Soul Sisters! Love, love, love it! - Reading it sent a thrill of wonderfulness through me!

  10. I remember talking about swing music/newsies with you and Chris Porter. I also have a post on my blog called We Hail Christian Bale, that phrase was also written in my high school year book.

  11. Christian Bale is still my #1 Hollywood crush. And although I first fell in love with him while watching "Newsies," I haven't grown a love of the music. I think I'll spend more time listening to it. I do like that it's theatrical. I like theatrics.

  12. I'm with Curtis. I think even my husband had a crush on him after watching Batman Begins.
    By the way, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

  13. Sooo happy :D

    LOVE Christian Bale.
    LOVE Swing Kids - LOVE the music from that era.

    SUch a happy place here today :D

  14. Two things I love in this post:

    1. The picture of Christian Bale from Empire of the Sun. Loooooove that movie.


  15. Saw American Psycho. Gave me new appreciation for Huey Lewis and the News, as well as the improbable physics involved with dropping a chainsaw down a stairwell. But I loved Christian in 3:10 to Yuma. and John Denver makes me smile. Annie's Song is my fave.

  16. I'll admit it: I have a total man-crush on Christian Bale. It started with Newsies because he was so cool, and now that's he's Batman, he can do no wrong in my eyes...

  17. Swing Kids is one of my all-time favorite movies. And I've avoided any movies that would ruin my image of Christian Bale--deny deny deny!


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