ASTAIRE AND ROGERS AT RKO

So many of the great songwriters wrote for the musicals Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers made at RKO in the 30s.
If it wasn’t the Gershwin brothers,George and Ira, it was Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern or Cole Porter, or Harold Arlen.. Such a treasure of glorious songs, and most of them fell into the lap of Fred Astaire – who totally did them justice.

In a BBC program broadcast in October,2013, nearly a dozen Astaire/Rogers numbers were shown, with the concentration on the song part of the musical numbers. Ginger had one solo (“Let Yourself Go“) and she shared “A Fine Romance” with Fred.
Fred was regularly give the songs to sing before the duo would go into their dance.

 

"Let Yourself Go" (Betty Grable in chorus)

“Let Yourself Go” (Betty Grable in chorus)

”Let yourself go, relax, You got yourself tied up in a knot.  The night is cool but the music’s not!”

 

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“Pick Yourself Up”   ………”I’m gonna learn to dance or burst…”

 

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“Top Hat,White Tie and Tails”

“I’m stepping out, my dear, to breath an atmosphere that simply reeks with class….”

 

 

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                                            A Fine Romance

”I might as well play bridge with my old maid aunt.  I haven’t  got a chance. This is a fine romance.”

 

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They Cant Take That Away From Me”……………”The way you wear your hat,The way you sip your tea…..”

 

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“Let’s Face The Music And Dance”………….’Before the fiddlers have fled,Before they ask us to pay the bill….”

Ginger wears  the  dress with the beaded sleeves that slapped Fred in the face.

 

imageOne of my favourite songs, “Night And Day“. Fred had sung it on stage before the film version of The Gay Divorce was made.

I’m trying to imagine what it must have been like to sit in that theatre and watch, live, Astaire singing and dancing💓

 

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“The Way You look Tonight“. Fred is at the piano ,singing about how lovely Ginger is – she has been washing her hair and comes up behind him,her head full of foam and a towel round her shoulders!

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Fred and Ginger with Irving Berlin

Fred and Ginger with Irving Berlin

 

Fred with George and Ira Gershwin

Fred with George and Ira Gershwin

4 responses »

  1. What a glorious look at the golden era of song. I have lots of favourite male singers – Bing Crosby, Nat “King” Cole, Perry Como – but I consider Fred Astaire the voice of the 20th century for introducing so many classic songs to the world with his inimitable voice and phrasing.

  2. Glad to hear from you, Patricia. Fred doesn’t always get the credit he deserves for his singing. And RKO deserves a lot of credit. They got the best songwriters in America.

  3. THANK YOU for these photos! I just shared a one-hour program of songs written for Fred Astaire at a local retirement community this afternoon. Singing an hour of the wonderful songs written for him (or for him and Ginger, or earlier in his career for him and his sister Adele) is a tonic for the soul!

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