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The Man Who Danced with Fred Astaire

John Franceschina

in Hermes Pan: The Man Who Danced with Fred Astaire

Published in print:
2012
Published Online:
September 2012
ISBN:
9780199754298
eISBN:
9780199949878
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199754298.003.0004
Subject:
Music, Dance, Popular

With The Gay Divorcee, Pan begins a seven-year association with RKO that includes the choreography for every Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers musical through The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle, though he ... More


Hermes Pan: The Man Who Danced with Fred Astaire

John Franceschina

Published in print:
2012
Published Online:
September 2012
ISBN:
9780199754298
eISBN:
9780199949878
Item type:
book
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199754298.001.0001
Subject:
Music, Dance, Popular

This book tells the story of a boy from Tennessee who, armed with only an 8th grade education, an inexhaustible imagination, and an innate talent for dancing becomes the most prolific and popular ... More


“I am a creator”

Todd Decker

in Music Makes Me: Fred Astaire and Jazz

Published in print:
2011
Published Online:
May 2012
ISBN:
9780520268883
eISBN:
9780520950061
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:
10.1525/california/9780520268883.003.0003
Subject:
Music, History, American

This chapter defines the product Fred Astaire sold and how he made it. Astaire worked within a popular music culture that relied on songs, originating as sheet music and presented to the public in a ... More


Swing Time: (Thirties)

Constance Valis Hill

in Tap Dancing America: A Cultural History

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
February 2010
ISBN:
9780195390827
eISBN:
9780199863563
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195390827.003.0005
Subject:
Music, History, American, Dance

This chapter begins with the tap challenge between Baby Laurence Jackson and Freddie James in Harlem. It then launches into the 1930s in which “tap was everywhere.” The decade that saw more tap dance ... More


“You play and I'll dance”

Todd Decker

in Music Makes Me: Fred Astaire and Jazz

Published in print:
2011
Published Online:
May 2012
ISBN:
9780520268883
eISBN:
9780520950061
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:
10.1525/california/9780520268883.003.0010
Subject:
Music, History, American

Prominent use of black performers in “The Carioca” suggested to some in the African American community that Fred Astaire's future films might provide further openings for black song-and-dance talent ... More


“Keep time with the time and with the times”

Todd Decker

in Music Makes Me: Fred Astaire and Jazz

Published in print:
2011
Published Online:
May 2012
ISBN:
9780520268883
eISBN:
9780520950061
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:
10.1525/california/9780520268883.003.0007
Subject:
Music, History, American

Popular music has almost always been dance music. The dance bands' primary economic role was playing for dancing, and the film musical—especially during the era of the band pix—reached out to dancers ... More


Conclusion

Todd Decker

in Music Makes Me: Fred Astaire and Jazz

Published in print:
2011
Published Online:
May 2012
ISBN:
9780520268883
eISBN:
9780520950061
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:
10.1525/california/9780520268883.003.0011
Subject:
Music, History, American

Jazz records had a meaningful place in Fred Astaire's musical life. Astaire announced his retirement in 1946, symbolically ending his career with a solo dance to “Puttin' on the Ritz” in Blue Skies. ... More


“Jazz means the blues”

Todd Decker

in Music Makes Me: Fred Astaire and Jazz

Published in print:
2011
Published Online:
May 2012
ISBN:
9780520268883
eISBN:
9780520950061
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:
10.1525/california/9780520268883.003.0008
Subject:
Music, History, American

In 1952, Fred Astaire remarked that “jazz means the blues,” and this chapter examines this comment in practical terms by detailing Astaire's varied use of the twelve-bar blues progression as a ... More


Introduction

Todd Decker

in Music Makes Me: Fred Astaire and Jazz

Published in print:
2011
Published Online:
May 2012
ISBN:
9780520268883
eISBN:
9780520950061
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:
10.1525/california/9780520268883.003.0001
Subject:
Music, History, American

Fred Astaire filmed his first dance solo in a Hollywood musical to the sound of a live jazz jam session. The occasion, a momentous one in hindsight, was by Hollywood standards a genuine jazz ... More


“There's a difference and Astaire is it”

Todd Decker

in Music Makes Me: Fred Astaire and Jazz

Published in print:
2011
Published Online:
May 2012
ISBN:
9780520268883
eISBN:
9780520950061
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:
10.1525/california/9780520268883.003.0002
Subject:
Music, History, American

Fred Astaire's path as dancer, singer, movie star, and icon is incomparable. Still, comparisons need to be made, if only to understand exactly how Astaire managed to carve out and sustain a uniquely ... More


Hollywood Horsemen and Horsewomen: Fred Astaire, Betty Grable, and the Further Adventures of Bing Crosby

Alan Shuback

in Hollywood at the Races: Film's Love Affair with the Turf

Published in print:
2019
Published Online:
May 2020
ISBN:
9780813178295
eISBN:
9780813178325
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
DOI:
10.5810/kentucky/9780813178295.003.0009
Subject:
Film, Television and Radio, Film

Among the Hollywood luminaries who found success as Thoroughbred owners were Fred Astaire, Betty Grable, and Bing Crosby. Astaire was more than smitten with the sport, having discovered the pleasures ... More


Music Makes Me: Fred Astaire and Jazz

Todd Decker

Published in print:
2011
Published Online:
May 2012
ISBN:
9780520268883
eISBN:
9780520950061
Item type:
book
Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:
10.1525/california/9780520268883.001.0001
Subject:
Music, History, American

Fred Astaire: one of the great jazz artists of the twentieth century? Astaire is best known for his brilliant dancing in the movie musicals of the 1930s, but this book argues that his work as a ... More


“Fixing up” tunes

Todd Decker

in Music Makes Me: Fred Astaire and Jazz

Published in print:
2011
Published Online:
May 2012
ISBN:
9780520268883
eISBN:
9780520950061
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:
10.1525/california/9780520268883.003.0006
Subject:
Music, History, American

Writing and music department staffs at the Hollywood studios did not normally mix. Fred Astaire worked closely with the musicians, and this chapter focuses on their specialized task of making musical ... More


“We're in the Money”

Richard Barrios

in A Song in the Dark: The Birth of the Musical Film

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
February 2010
ISBN:
9780195377347
eISBN:
9780199864577
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195377347.003.0017
Subject:
Music, Popular

The musical resurgence was spearheaded by the election of Franklin Roosevelt and by Warner's 42nd Street, both of which indicated that better times were ahead. Busby Berkeley's dance spectacles ... More


The Past as Prologue

Richard Barrios

in A Song in the Dark: The Birth of the Musical Film

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
February 2010
ISBN:
9780195377347
eISBN:
9780199864577
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195377347.003.0018
Subject:
Music, Popular

With 1934 and the newly enforced Motion Picture Production Code, the musical left behind its older, more haphazard identity for a streamlined, often trivial future. Films such as Wonder Bar and ... More


“I play with the very best bands”

Todd Decker

in Music Makes Me: Fred Astaire and Jazz

Published in print:
2011
Published Online:
May 2012
ISBN:
9780520268883
eISBN:
9780520950061
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:
10.1525/california/9780520268883.003.0004
Subject:
Music, History, American

This chapter surveys Fred Astaire's films through the lens of what industry types called the background, the general setting of a film that plays host to the story, characters, and, most crucially, ... More


“Something that'll send me”

Todd Decker

in Music Makes Me: Fred Astaire and Jazz

Published in print:
2011
Published Online:
May 2012
ISBN:
9780520268883
eISBN:
9780520950061
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:
10.1525/california/9780520268883.003.0009
Subject:
Music, History, American

Fred Astaire worked on a relatively small scale, trying always to stay within what he once called the “welcome limit.” Part of the task of routine making involved forging a unified, original ... More


Fifteen Cents a Dance

John Franceschina

in Hermes Pan: The Man Who Danced with Fred Astaire

Published in print:
2012
Published Online:
September 2012
ISBN:
9780199754298
eISBN:
9780199949878
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199754298.003.0003
Subject:
Music, Dance, Popular

The Pan family moves to Hollywood where Hermes and Vasso discover that securing work in musical films is more difficult than they had imagined. Hermes acquires a variety of odd jobs before taking a ... More


“Tell them to let it swing”

Todd Decker

in Music Makes Me: Fred Astaire and Jazz

Published in print:
2011
Published Online:
May 2012
ISBN:
9780520268883
eISBN:
9780520950061
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:
10.1525/california/9780520268883.003.0005
Subject:
Music, History, American

The production of musical films brought together two normally separate studio departments: writers in the writing department conceived of the story and wrote the dialogue; composers, lyricists, dance ... More


Astaire and Rogers: Carefree in Roberta

Peter William Evans

in Hollywood and the Great Depression: American Film, Politics and Society in the 1930s

Published in print:
2016
Published Online:
January 2018
ISBN:
9780748699926
eISBN:
9781474426749
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:
10.3366/edinburgh/9780748699926.003.0007
Subject:
Film, Television and Radio, Film

This chapter challenges the conventional notion that the song and dance musicals that Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers made for MGM in the 1930s epitomized Hollywood escapist fare in the Depression ... More


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