Swingin’ Together (1963) Failed TV Pilot

James Dunn-Bobby Rydell

James Dunn-Bobby Rydell

Bobby Rydell stars as the leader of Bobby Day and The Four Knights. The band travels around in an an old bus named Lucinda driven by James Dunn as father figure P.J.Cunningham. The pilot features Stephanie Powers, Lloyd Corrigan and Frank Cady. The show was part of “Vacation Playhouse” that ran from 1963-67.

The show opens on the bus as Bobby and the band do the theme. They’re headed for a country club gig. They stop at a gas station. Character actor Frank Cady plays the attendant. There’s some dumb dialogue especially involving a band member named Yogi because he’s into yoga.

They get to the country club and set up. They play a twist and Bobby sings and plays drums. In walks Linda Craig (Stephanie Powers). She’s the one that hired them to play the charity gig. She never heard them before and doesn’t want to hear them again. She fires them. She says their music is undignified.

Speeding up in a sports car he can’t drive is Linda’s father (Lloyd Corrigan). P.J. tells him what happened and threatens to sue for defamation of character.  Then he tells him how to deal with Linda. Back home he takes P.J.advice and Linda says she’ll show up at the dance.

There are more songs including Bobby doing Chubby Checker’s hit “Let’s Twist Again.” The script gets really dumb when father tells daughter he’ll teach her how to twist.

The show ends when they’re on their way to their next gig and stop again at the gas station.

Rydell does have a lot of talent and appeal and a better concept may have worked for him. The music was nothing special and the attempt at comic characters didn’t work. No surprise it wasn’t picked up.

James Dunn had a long movie career. In 1945 he won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for “A Tree Grows In Brooklyn.”


About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
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