Grandma Beautiful’s crackpot Fred Astaire Theory: Fred was secretly Black. You could tell by the shape of his rump and by the way he danced.
“So Near And Yet So Far” is from the 1941 movie “You’ll Never Get Rich” which starred Fred Astaire and Rita Hayworth in her first starring role. As part of the film’s promotion, Hayworth did a Life Magazine spread. A picture of her kneeling on her bed became the most popular pin-up of all time. Have a gander. Lovely isn’t she?
Here is a clip from the original film. The speaking parts are dubbed into Spanish. My meager and ancient high school Spanish chops are not equal to the translation task so I have little to no idea what they’re saying. The song is still in English and dance is a really cool rumba hybrid though so please enjoy!
I just finished watching “Ken Burns’ Jazz” documentary. People rib Burns about his “film a postcard and pluck a banjo” style of film making but I found this series really informative. I did think it was curious that Fred Astaire didn’t rate so much as a mention even though he was responsible for introducing the world to so many of the songs we now consider jazz standards. Of course the program’s main focus was African-American contributions to the art. If only Fred had had the courage to admit his secret Negrosity*, he could have totally dominated the show!
*Yes, I just made up a word.