Monday, October 27, 2008

Ah, that Wendy Lane has taste! Johnny Cash's "Hurt" is one of the most moving combinations of artist, song, and image I have ever seen, and it is one of my favorites.
So here are another five that I love enough to have watched repeatedly. All have music, but none of them are what you would call "music videos", because sometimes I just don't want to follow instructions...

1. Dancing with Drummer
There has never been a dancer like Eleanor Powell. She had it all: grace, strength, sex appeal, humor, and rhythm, rhythm, rhythm. And in this clip, she also has the great Buddy Rich on the drums. Watch this one, and notice that once she starts dancing, you are seeing lo-o-o-ng shots, with virtually no cuts.

2. Dancing with Brothers
I remember seeing the Motown 25th Anniversary Special on TV, and swooning over all the performances, but none more than that of the Jackson Five. As amazing as Michael is on his own, it is good to be reminded that the whole group was electrifying.

3. Dancing without Moving
Before the Andrews Sisters became "the" harmony group of the 40s, there was something better: the Boswell Sisters. These Louisiana girls could sing and swing circles around the Andrews Sisters, and I have heard from several different sources that Connee Boswell was Ella Fitzgerald's favorite singer. Check out their impeccable harmony and gorgeous phrasing. The best. Period.

4. Dancing in the Spirit
A few years ago, Oprah Winfrey gave a weekend party to celebrate and pay tribute to the legendary women who have inspired her. Her guests included Maya Angelou, Patti Labelle, Ruby Dee, Leontyne Price, Kathleen Battle, Tina Turner, Sidney Poitier, Smokey Robinson... the list truly does go on and on. This clip shows what happened at the gospel brunch. There were a lot of singers there; does that give you a hint?

5. Dancing with Horse
This horse and rider team bring tears to my eyes. I have done enough riding and working with horses to have a sense of how incredibly difficult it is to do this "dancing", and how much trust we are seeing in front of our eyes.

There are so many more clips: Sammy Davis Jr., Maria Callas, Ella Fitzgerald, on and on. Listening to the records was always great, but it is priceless to be able to see and hear these artists, their expressions, their movement, the excitement of the performances (even if the artist is a horse!). Thank you to all the devoted fans who find these wonderful bits of film and post them!

No comments: