Dennis Nyback’s Music Film Hootenanny All This Week at the Grand Illusion

Film collector extraordinaire and Washington expat Dennis Nyback is back in town with a mind-boggling series of programs devoted to music films, playing for the next week at the Grand Illusion Cinema (at the corner of 50th and University Way).

Many of the programs are one-show-only, so pay attention and carpe diem. Here’s the details courtesy of the Grand Illusion’s mailing list (which you should subscribe to via the web site, all the way at the bottom of the homepage):

On Friday, June 6th is ZERO TO MTV is a series of three minute musical shorts from 1914-1984 Contrary to popular belief, the three minute film short was not invented by MTV. Conversely, the very first sound films made were three minute music shorts. This program starts with an Edison test film made in 1914. It continues through the twenties with test films made by Lee DeForest, Fox-Case and Movietone. The thirties portion features Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, and others. The forties feature shorts made by the Soundies company. In the fifties there are Snader Telescriptions. In the sixties Scopitones appeared. The program will end with 35mm shorts featuring Kiss, Motley Crue, Deep People and others. Friday June 6th at 7pm & 9pm

On Saturday, June 7th is THE HIGH LONESOME SOUND, a program of musical films by John Cohen, who traveled to the backwoods and hinterlands of America filming musicians. This program features his films THE HIGH LONESOME SOUND and MUSICAL HOLDOUTS. Musicians include Roscoe Holcomb, Bill Monroe and many others. See notes at Saturday June 7th at 7pm ONLY

Also on Saturday, June 7th is CHARLIE IS MY DARLING. This is a great and one of kind look at the Rolling Stones filmed during their tour of Ireland in 1965. It never had a wide release. The last time it was shown in Seattle was at the Pike Street Cinema in 1993. The short with it will be a production film on the making of the Beatles’ YELLOW SUBMARINE. Saturday June 7th at 9pm ONLY

On Sunday, June 8th is HILLBILLIES IN HOLLYWOOD. A fabulous bunch of Hillbilly, Cowboy, Hawaiian, Rockabilly, and other acts. Expect to have a foot stomping, Wa-Hooing great time! Sunday June 8th at 7pm ONLY

Also on Sunday June 8th is BOOGIE WOOGIE BOOGIE WOOGIE BOGGIE WOOGIE. There was a big Boogie Woogie craze in the 1940s. This program is made up filmed performers and cartoons. The performers include Albert Ammons and Pete Johnson in the great BOOGIE WOOGIE DREAM. It also features Lena Horne and Teddy Wilson. Maurice Rocco does Rumboogie. Ray Bradley with Freddy Slack does Boardwalk Boogie. Sunday June 8th at 9pm ONLY

On Monday, June 9th is JAZZ IN THE 1920′s. This program features two awesome films made by the enigmatic Dudley Murphy in 1929. You should look him up. They are BLACK AND TAN with Duke Ellington and ST. LOUIS BLUES with Bessie Smith. Also: Eddie Peabody and His College Chums (1928) with Hal Kemp’s band, Louis Armstrong and Sidney Bechet. Monday June 9th at 7pm ONLY

Also on Monday, June 9th is HARLEM IN THE THIRTIES. Several of these films are suppressed due to racial content. This a very rare chance to see the greatness in them. Included performers will be Cab Calloway , Duke Ellington, Ethel Waters (in the film BUBBLING OVER), The Mills Blue Rhythm Band, and others. Monday June 9th at 9pm ONLY

Tuesday, June 10th features RADIO DAYS 1929-1944. All shorts featuring radio stations and people at home listening to radios. Included will be THE BLACK NETWORK (Nicholas Brothers), CAP’N HENRY’S SHOWBOAT (Annette Hanshaw), Cab Calloway (HI DE HO), RADIO SALUTES (Ruth Etting), Rudy Vallee, Kate Smith, and others. Tuesday June 10th at 7pm ONLY

Tuesday, June 10th also features VAUDEVILLE DELUXE. This program is highly recommended by Travis Stewart who wrote “NO APPLAUSE, JUST THROW MONEY”. I screened it for him in NY. It features vaudeville performers, both black and white, from 1928 (Gus Visser, the Man With the Duck) to 1937. You get to see W.C. Fields juggle, Roy Smeck play the uke, rope skippers, singers, Chaz Chase eating everything, and finally, Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers with Slim Gaillard and Slam Stewart. Tuesday June 10th at 9pm ONLY

Wednesday, June 11th is THE SOUND OF JAZZ (plus some Bebop). In 1957 CBS brought together the greatest assemblage of jazz talent ever brought together for a one hour live broadcast. The kinescope of it provided much of the footage in A GREAT DAY IN HARLEM. Here it is seen in full, including original commercials. Thelonious Monk, Billie Holliday, Coleman Hawkins, Count Basie, many more. Also on the program will be JAZZ DANCE (1954), Booker Little with Max Roach (1962) and more. Wednesday June 11th at 7pm ONLY

Wednesday, June 11th also has SOUNDIE PANORAMA. A lot of greatness and also some musical atrocities. Soundie films were shown in jukebox-like devices called a Mills Pan-O-Ram. Wednesday June 11th at 9pm ONLY

And finally, Thursday, June 12th is the infamous SCOPITONE A GO-GO. A hit in New York at the Cinema Village. The show that started the Scopitone buying craze. Eddie Vedder came to the Scopitone shows at the Pike Street Cinema and bought his own Scopitone machine. Thursday June 12th at 7pm & 9pm

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