One of the great comedy acts based on the American minstrelsy tradition, but with a decidedly white face.
Thanks to YouTuber SpikeJonesEstate
Monday morning, Hellzapoppin’ and everybody’s Jumping at the Woodside!
I came across this extraordinary clip on YouTube. Hellzapoppin’ was the name of a very popular legit Broadway show of the 1930s which was structured like a vaudeville show. It had singers, dancers, audience interaction, and comedy bits, headed by the vaudeville comedy team of Olsen and Johnson. (Magic fans might take note that Theo Hardeen, Houdini’s younger brother, also did a stint as an escape artist during the three year run of the play.)
It was later made into a movie, and this clip from it features Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers (who were also in the stage show) starring:
– William Downes (uniform) and Frances “Mickey” Jones (maid).
– Norma Miller and Billy Ricker (chef’s hat).
– Al Minns (white coat, black pants) and Willa Mae Ricker.
– Ann Johnson (maid) and Frankie Manning (overalls).
One of the interesting things about this dance number was that for some reason, though it was choreographed (I believe by Frankie Manning) to Count Basie’s famous “Jumpin’ At the Woodside,” when the film was finally released, a different music track was substituted for the Basie standard.
Kudos to the YouTuber PostmanSwing who restored Count Basie’s original music track to the video, and provided the identities of the literally breathtaking dancers. This is the kind of number that makes you say at its end, “Holy cr@p!”
For most enjoyment, please view at full screen.