Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Swingin' Betty Boop

Sorry for disappearing. Shit School has hit the fan and there was a family death, etc. A nightmare. But here I am! And stay tuned...something big is coming. The beauty of being an American Studies student is that I can do things like watch cartoons and call it academic work. That's what our professor had us do in my jazz studies class a few weeks ago. We watched cartoons featuring that hot little lady, Betty Boop.

Her creators, brothers Dave and Max Fleischer, loved jazz and always looked for ways to incorporate into it their works. They were big Louis Armstrong fans, as you can tell from this offensive gem from about 1932:


I really liked this one featuring Cab Calloway singing St. James Infirmary. The Fleischer brothers studied Cab Calloway's dancing, following him frame by frame and the result is amazing [and sort of trippy]. The full cartoon is a little more than 7 minutes long, but bear with me. It's really great:


Isn't the song amazing? I downloaded it right after class. I listen to a lot of jazz from the 50s to the 80s [some argue in the 80s it wasn't jazz any more, but for the sake or argument it is] so I forget how great earlier artists were. What do you think about the cartoons? What do you love about Betty Boop?

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1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry to hear about your loss. Hope you and your family are coping ok.

    Betty Boop is definitely a good way to take your mind off things. I love her big big eyes and tiny mouth. Her hair is iconic

    Polly x

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Thanks so much for your comments!