Happiness is not a riddle

When I'm listenin' to that big bass fiddle….

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qwt6mIbyj_U&w=480]

Last 5 posts by David Byron


  1. says

    Especially if you have carpal tunnel syndrome or a kindred malady.

    This, of course, is not the version I recall from my childhood. That would be this version, which might've seemed fine to the general audience in 1937, but which now seems conspicuously problematic in the racial and social dimensions– the second most questionable and regrettable sequence in Astaire's oeuvre.

    My mother loved old movies– anything from the silents through the 30s– and enough of them were shown on TV in LA of the 60s and 70s that they were an important fabric in the crazy quilt of my childhood. So Astaire was something like a demigod to me in primary school, and Rogers was possibly my first celebrity crush. Fred's dance to this Gershwin tune is exhilarating, whimsical, admiring, precise, effortless– and oh, so badly framed. Even so, this version– or, more precisely, this version is the one that I actually hear in my head.

  2. JTM says

    The Astaire movies were favorites of a girlfriend, and I was exposed to many of them on various date nights. The memories of them hide deep in my subconscious, though, because my attention was never on the movies. At some point I'll watch them all again just to see what I missed the first time around.