Have I mentioned how much I love soundies? Okay fine, but have I mentioned it today? This one is from 1942 and it features singer-dancers Marie Bryant and Paul White performing the song “Bli-Blip.” It was written by Duke Ellington and Sid Kuller for the musical review “Jump For Joy” which was aimed at breaking down African-American racial stereotypes which were prevalent in the entertainment industry at the time. Bryant and White starred in the show.
I checked the internet to see if restaurants with singing waitstaff exist any more. It turns out there is a place in Studio City, CA called Vitello’s Italian Restaurant where they do still sing! It’s mostly showtunes apparently so I’m not sure if they swing. They do have live jazz there though so that’s bound to count for something. I guess the one drawback to the place is that most customer reviews say the food is awful. My favorite quote was ” it’s Chef Boyardee nasty!” Perhaps it’s a good thing that most restaurants aren’t quite as musical these days. I guess at some point in our recent past we, as a nation cried out “more service, less swing!” Now our restaurant music may be canned but at least our ravioli isn’t.