Monday, September 7, 2015

#TheLawrenceWelkShow Homage to Big Band Leader Ted Lewis

Lawrence Welk Show paid homage to big bands where ppl who are now probably dead honored another dead guy, a tempus fugit thought on mortality which creeps some folks on twitter out:

This slightly morbid sentiment is also expressed by Alena Graedon in her novel "The Word Exchange":

But back to The Lawrence Welk Show, the singer, Jack Imel, mentions the name of the guy they are honoring, Ted Lewis, at the end of the his performance.

Apparently, Lewis shtick was wearing a top hat and tag line was, "Is everybody happy?"

illustrated by a video uploaded by Desdemona202

Ted Lewis sans hat but with tag line "Is everybody happy?" @2:30 in his recording of "When My Baby Smiles at Me" uploaded by boyjohn

But as the Ted Lewis recording of "On the Sunny Side of the Street" uploaded by On & Off the Airwaves with Those I Love... illustrates, Lewis didn't mono-maniacally employ his tag line:

A dvd extra on "The Gay Divorcee" included the cartoon "Shake Your Powder Puff" created by ppl also now dead spoofing the same dead guy that the Lawrence Welk band honored:

Personally, I think this cartoon would've been more appropriate as an extra on another Astaire Rogers film "Follow the Fleet" since the Astaire Rogers Hermes Pan choreography for the Irving Berlin song, "I'm Putting All My Eggs In One Basket": 

seems to emulate the scrunched up shoulder routine of the cartoon dancing goats:

and plus, the cartoon musical revue includes a singing sailor chorus:

like the Berlin "We Saw the Sea" song:

The complete "Eggs In One Basket" Astaire and Rogers routine uploaded by Gregory May:

and in case the above link breaks:

If you wondered why you can only see the back of Ginger's head for the first part of the song, it was because poor Rogers didn't get along with the director of the film, Mark Sandrich, at all. In her autobiography "Ginger: My Story", Rogers complains that from the get go, Sandrich gave her the unsolicited and demotivational feedback that she couldn't sing, act, or dance and he basically considered her a waste of space who should've carried a plant around to reconvert carbon dioxide back into oxygen. 

Things seemingly came to head on the set of the 1935 film "Top Hat" when Sandrich partnered with Astaire to criticize the feather dress Ginger designed for the "Cheek to Cheek" dance number.

I doubt "The Green Mile" John character would have describe Rogers' character as an angel if she had not insisted on keeping the dress she designed in the film.

Astaire managed to forgive, if not forget, but Sandrich seemed to hold an indeligible grudge. Apparently, Ginger snitched to the producers, which prompted them to write a letter of reprimand to Sandrich, described in a clip from "Astaire and Rogers: Partners in Rhythm" documentary:

Sandrich's passive aggressive response was to then try and block Ginger out of as many shots as possible in all future films they made together.

And the proverbial Final Curtain Call to this blog post:

1 comment :

  1. Thanks for this post investigating some of Ted Lewis' contributions to American popular culture. You can find out more about Ted at the Ted lewis Museum in "The Capital of the World" Circleville, Ohio!