Super thin storyline but who cares. It’s all about the music from one of my favorite entertainers, Louis Jordan.
Louis is forced to stay at a sanatorium for a rest because of playing too many gigs. Agent Mack Morgan calls Louis’ manager and says he had him booked for more dates and he better not play any benefits or he’ll sue.
A young boy on crutches named Billy tells Louis he wants to learn to be a cowboy. Louis tells nurse Betty that he wishes there was a place where kids could get well and be in the sunshine. Louis takes his medication and dreams of such a place.
Louis is Two Gun Jordan and His Jivin’ Cowhands. They play at the H & H Ranch in Lookout,Arizona. The initials stand for Health & Happiness. Neighbor Mack Morgan tells H & H owners Bob and Betty that the place is too big for them and he’ll buy it. He holds the mortgage and says unless they have the money by the end of the week he’ll foreclose. They’re expecting a rich patron who stays there every year.
Morgan has one of his henchman fake a wire to the patron that an epidemic has broken out at the ranch. It works. There’s an article in the paper that says he’s now taking a holiday at the sea shore. Morgan shows the article to Bob and Betty and tells them they have one more day to get the money. Louis promises to get all his show friends together for a jamboree. No one knows that Morgan has discovered oil on Bob and Betty’s ranch.
There’s a break as Bob performs some trick riding and even gets Louis on a bucking bronco all backed up by the sound of Louis’ band.
Billy takes Louis to a shooting range with bottles lines up. Billy’s a crack shot but Louis is way off. That’s a good thing because he shoots a bottle that has the oil claim attached to it. Morgan finds out and sets up a plan to have Louis arrested as a horse thief. Billy has been keeping an eye on Morgan and his pals and goes back to the ranch to tip everyone off. There’s a big brawl followed by a long chase of horseback full of ridin’ and shootin.’
It all comes to a feel good ending when Louis wakes up and puts a plan in motion. The music makes it wall to wall fun.
( 4:24) 1. Big Noise from Winnetka
( 5:32) 2. Take the “a” Train
( 5:48) 3. Some of These Days
( 5:46) 4. Sweet Georgia Brown
( 3:01) 5. Petite Fleur
( 4:08) 6. Lonesome Road
( 8:33) 7. Don’t Be That Way
(11:25) 8. Drum Boogie
Posted in vintage music
Long comedy with Norman Wisdom playing two parts. In one he’s a man who wants to be a policeman just like his late father. In the other he plays an Italian hairdresser who runs a mob in London. There’s a lot of funny stuff along the way, most of which looks like it was taken from the silent era. It’s a funny opening as Norman dreams of being on the force and then a good bit on a subway.
Norman Pitkin (Norman Wisdom) works at Scotland Yard cleaning cars. He gets into a water fight with Sir Ronald Ackroyd and is fired.
Scotland Yard is being pressured by the Home Secretary to break the mob run by hairdresser Giulio Napolitani (Norman Wisdom). Sgt.Wilkens goes to the salon undercover and takes some film. She also spots microphones under the chairs. They’re used to pick up conversations about parties the women are attending while wearing their jewels. That sets up robberies. To keep the peace a gangster sets up a marriage between his daughter Rosanna (Jennifer Jayne) and Guillo. She hates him.
Pitkin made another try and joining the force. He put on some fake legs to make him almost seven feet tall. He ends up being tossed out. He goes home and puts on his father’s old uniform and goes outside. There are a number of long gags and then he runs into some young boys playing football and is coerced into being a referee. He blows his whistle and ends up being chased by at least fifty cops. The bit goes on way too long but it is staged and photographed really well.
Norman is arrested. When he’s released the uniform is confiscated. Depressed he wanders around and spots Rosanna. She jumps into the river and he rescues her and takes her home. Looks like romance is on the way.
Norman’s luck is improving. Superintendent Hobson looks at a picture of Guillo and notices a resemblance to Norman. He wants to use Norman to go undercover and pose as Guillo. Norman plays hardball and demands to join the force. He finally gets his way. Now he’s shown a film of Guillo and tries to get the impression down. Meanwhile Guillo and his men nab Rosanna when she leaves Norman’s place.
Time for Norman to do his thing. He walks into the salon and another long bit ensues. There’s some real funny stuff before it’s all over.
Wisdom is hilarious as Guillo I just wish the movie was cut by fifteen minutes or so. Still it’s worth seeing to check out one of Britain’s funniest comics.
01. If You Live (2:31)
02. The Seventh Son (2:37)
03. Eyesight To The Blind (1:42)
04. Do Nothin’ Till You Hear From Me (3:16)
05. Lost Mind (3:34)
06. I Got A Right To Cry (2:53)
07. Baby, Let Me Hold Your Hand (3:18)
08. Parchman Farm (3:20)
09. Don’t Get Around Much Anymore (2:50)
10. One Room Country Shack (3:05)
11. I Hadn’t Anyone Till You (2:34)
12. Young Man’s Blues (1:28)
13. That’s All Right (2:26)
14. Baby, Please Don’t Go (2:35)
15. ‘deed I Do (1:56)
16. Mad With You (2:10)
17. Fool’s Paradise (3:36)
18. I Love The Life I Live (LP Version) (2:22)
19. You’re A Sweetheart (2:11)
20. I Ain’t Got Nobody (1:50)
01. V-8 Ford Blues (2:14)
02. Hey, Good Lookin’ (1:40)
03. Life Is Suicide (2:43)
04. Please Don’t Talk About Me When I’m Gone (1:26)
05. Ask Me Nice (2:31)
06. Back On The Corner (1:52)
07. If You’re Going To The City (3:47)
08. I Ain’t Got Nothing But The Blues (3:54)
09. Swingin’ Machine (2:27)
10. Stop This World (3:26)
11. The Song Is Ended (2:36)
12. Meet Me At No Special Place (2:33)
13. It Didn’t Turn Out That Way (2:44)
14. I Don’t Worry About A Thing (2:15)
15. City Home (2:31)
16. I Love The Life I Live (UK EP Version) (2:21)
17. Your Mind Is On Vacation (2:38)
18. The Well (3:20)
19. Idyll (4:16)
20. Stand By (3:58)
MOSE ALLISON, vocals & piano on all tracks, plus:
Featuring: ADDISON FARMER, HENRY GRIMES, BILL CROW (bass), FRANK ISOLA, NICK STABULAS, OSIE JOHNSON, PAUL MOTIAN (drums), among others.
Recorded in New Jersey and New York between 1957 and 1962.
(*) BONUS TRACKS (CD 2, 18-20):
Instrumental sides from the same sessions.
Posted in vintage music
Singer-actress Gracie Fields is a lot of fun to watch and listen to in this story about a group of actors who work as a household staff for a snobbish man played by Monty Wolley. If you were a fan of “Gilligan’s Island” you’ll get a real charge out of seeing Natalie “Mrs.Howell” Schafer as a former fan dancer who married a wealthy man.
Molly Barry (Gracie Fields) is hoping for a job as a housekeeper. She doesn’t want her prospective employer to know she lives in a theatrical rooming house. She realizes she doesn’t have any references. Then in walks Kitty Goode (Natalie Schafer). She knows everyone and she doesn’t want her new hubby to know her background. Molly tells her to give her references.
Instead of the man she’s expecting it turns out to be Peabody the Butler (Reginald Gardiner). She recognizes him as Harry Phillips. He was an actor until booze brought him down. He doesn’t want to hire her. Kitty comes in to do her bit and they recognize each other.
Molly invites him to a party. Pretty soon he’s soaking up the beer. He gets drunk and Molly takes him to the home of John Graham (Monty Wolley) where he works. She goes into the empty housekeeper’s room. The next day Molly starts doing the job. The staff resents her. It’s not long before she finds out the scams they’re all pulling and she fires them.
A friend of Grahams’ convince him to get back into the political game and stand for Parliament. Fifteen years ago he had a messy divorce when his wife was caught playing around. She went to South Africa. He’s kept the newspaper front page about it. His friend tosses it into the fireplace.
That night Graham’s son Jimmy (Roddy McDowall) comes home from school for the summer. He tells Molly his father hates him and says his mother died when he was young and was almost a saint. He’s a nice kid and likes Molly. A telegram arrives from Peabody that Graham wants a dinner for eight to be prepared. One guest is an influential publisher.
Molly calls around to agencies but can’t find a replacement staff. She turns to her actor friends and they come through. When Peabody gets back he’s shocked to see them and keeps quiet to Graham about it. The dinner is almost a bust. Of course it turns out smashing.
Later that night Graham comes down to congratulate everyone but hears them making fun of him. One of those involved is Jimmy. He gives the staff notice. Molly tells him they quit anyway. The next day things are looking up. Graham and Jimmy settle their differences and the staff stays on.
Now there’s a visitor and the group is going to need their acting talents.
This is light,feel good fun that never gets sappy and has a number of laughs throughout. Gracie sings a few songs along the way.
Half hour variety show with The Hi-Los as regulars. She had a lot of good guest stars along the way. This episode featured singer-songwriter-actor Matt Dennis along with Frances Bergen. She’s the wife of Edgar Bergen.
Rosemary opens with a few bars of “Tenderly.” Nelson Riddle leads the orchestra. After the intro Rosemary sings “Seems Like Old Times.” It’s a set that looks like a radio station. She mentions that it reminds her of when she and sister Betty started at WLW in Cincinnati.
Rosemary does a bit that’s supposed to be at a resort hotel. Matt Dennis plays a social director. Frances Bergen plays a girl looking for a husband. Matt and the Hi-Los do a song called “Relax.” Here comes Frances and she flirts with Matt. She wants to know who the man is sitting on a bench. Matt says he’s a millionaire. Goodbye Frances. Rosemary consoles Matt by singing “That’s How It Is With Me.”
Frances flirts with the millionaire. The voice of Charlie McCarthy tells her she can do better. She’s the only one who can hear him. The man thinks she’s nuts and leaves. Charlie says they should make up and Frances sings “You’re Getting To Be A Habit With Me.”
Frances, Matt and Rosemary sing Matt’s composition “Let’s Get Away From It All.” Matt tells the story of how he and a partner wrote “Violets For Your Furs” and sings it while accompanying himself on piano. Rosemary closes the show singing “Nighty Night.” That’s followed by Rosemary saying good night to her guests.
This is a pleasant way to spend a half hour.
Will Hay is hilarious as Dr.Benjamin Twist the headmaster of St.Michaels School For Boys. Graham Moffatt who appears in a number of Hays’ movies is a scheming student named Albert. He’s also very funny. If you like to laugh don’t miss this one. Hay is funny in all his movies but this one has a little something extra in his manic performance.
A gang wants to steal the Mona Lisa. The person who can do it for them is currently residing in prison. His son is a student at St.Michaels. Twist’s classroom is a shambles. He tries teaching but the boys, led by Albert, bet on the horse races. Twist finally lats down a bet. There’s a long sequence in the classroom where the lines fly fast and furious.
Dropping in to see how they are progressing is Colonel Willoughby-Gore. He ask the students a number of questions about India where he was a Bengal Lancer. They can’t answer anything. He brings Twist before the Board of Education in an attempt to have him fired.
The Board is amused by Twist and say they’ll hold off on a decision after they see how a select group of boys do on a special exam on French.. Thanks to one of the boys stealing the exam the group passes with flying colors and are invited to Paris.
Sneaking into the group is escaped con Arty Jones, the man who can steal the painting in sixteen seconds. The boys all go to a Parisian nightclub which just happens to be the gang’s headquarters.
Throughout the movie Hay is brilliant and he tries to keep the boys in line and out of trouble and also keeping his job. This will make you a Hay fan.