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> Fayard Nicholas 1914- 2006, Older Half Of Nicholas Brothers
dismuke
post Jan 29 2006, 06:34 PM
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I am a huge fan of the Nicholas Brothers - a really great tap dancing team and 1930s child stars. Fayad Nicholas passed away this past Tuesday. You can read an overview of his career on his Los Angeles Times Obituary


Maxwell DeMille has put up a really cool 1930s film clip of the Nicholas Brothers in action at: http://maxwelldemille.com/screening-room.asp# I can't get the clip to work in my Mozilla browser - but it plays fine in IE The Nicholas Brothers clip is about 3 minutes long. I am not sure how long it will be up so be sure and visit the link as soon as possible - it is well worth your while. After the Nicholas Brothers clip, some other fun vintage related cartoons and musical shorts are also shown.
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otto
post Jan 29 2006, 07:09 PM
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Hi everybody. A big Nicholas Bros. fan up here in Winnipeg, too. FYI: There exists a Ben Bernie Pabst Blue Ribon broadcast from 1935 out of Chicago that features the Nicholas Brothers. I used to own a copy that vanished with an exwife. C'est la vie. I also have a Nicholas Brothers CD, a Japanese issue of a 1950's Mercury album (EJD-1032). A lot of fun, and worth looking for.
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RichConaty
post Jan 29 2006, 09:05 PM
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I'm playing one of their 1936 recordings, "Your Heart and Mine," in the first hour of tonight's "Big Broadcast." It's mostly Fayard offering encouraging words to Harold, but it's still charming. I only recently saw "The Big Broadcast of 1936," where they were given a fair amount to do.
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Ian House
post Jan 29 2006, 09:26 PM
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I am deeply saddened by this news. Thanks for your post Dismuke - I am also a HUGE fan of the Nicholas Bros. Their performances have given me such a great deal of joy throughout my life...and it was always a comfort to know that Fayard was still with us...Sigh. I'm a little depressed that I am just now learning of this news; I don't think that there was any mention of it on the cable news programs that I am devoted to -although, to be fair, I've been very busy lately -maybe I just missed it.

_ _ _

I have recently become rather obsessed with one of their film performances -a singing and dancing duet with the exquisitely beautiful and talented Dorothy Dandridge in the film "Sun Valley Serenade" ... That two or three minute clip is the BEST part of the entire movie -worth the admission price! ... I ordered the VHS version of the movie from Amazon and have since worn out that part of the tape. (It's not yet released on DVD)... Alas, it is not possible for me to provide a film clip here -but here's a screenshot:



Also, I live close to the Stanford Theatre in Palo Alto, California ... a movie palace treasure which shows nothing but classic movies. Not too long ago, they had a wonderful double-feature -Stormy Weather and Sun Valley Serenade. It was such a rare privilege to see the Nicholas Bros (and others) performing at their zenith in both films. Stormy Weather is the greatest showcase of Harlem talent put on film -Anybody who has never seen it should really try to find it somewhere...

The Nicholas Brothers were the finest song and dance team IMHO

Ian


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dismuke
post Jan 29 2006, 10:40 PM
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My favorite Nicholas Brothers performance of the ones I have so far seen is from a 1935 Vitaphone musical short called "An All Colored Vaudeville Show." They are simply outstanding - and it is one of the most excellent artistic concretizations of undiluted joy I have ever seen - it captures the very essence of what childhood should be like (and adulthood, too, for that matter).

I have uploaded a copy of the full short feature in .wmv format to one of my servers. I may eventually have to take it down if the bandwidth consumption gets out of hand - but I don't anticipate that happening in the next several days.

The clip lasts 11 minutes and the Nicholas Brothers are featured in the third segment, so you will need to wait for a few minutes before you see them. But, it will be a fun wait as you will get to watch a very nice performance by Adelaide Hall. And the number after the Nicholas Brothers is outstanding too - and at the end it gets simply wild.

I watch this film clip when I need a bit of cheering up - and it always does the trick.

One caveat: while the performances are happily lacking in the racial stereotypes which black artists were often expected to conform to on film, a couple of the background sets - while very artistically executed - do employ racial stereotypes.

The .wmv file is 85 megabytes in size - so, unfortunately, it would be very difficult for those on dial up to watch. If you are on dial up, your best bet is to ask someone you know with a broadband connection to download and burn a copy to CD for you. I also ask that those on broadband connections please right click on the link and "save as" to your hard drive before you view the film. That way, if you want to view it again, it will not take up additional bandwidth. It doesn't take all that many 85 mg downloads to really start cutting into bandwidth quotas. Since the file is large, it will take a few minutes to download even for those on broadband - but the wait will definitely be worth it, I assure you. This film is simply spectacular.

Here's the link. Enjoy.

http://radiodismuke.com/vaudeville.wmv
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MathGeek
post Jan 30 2006, 01:02 AM
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Thanks for the Nicholas Bros. link. I also enjoyed the Adelaide vocal from there especially since the only Adelaide I'd heard previously was her vocal on Creole Love Call with Ellington from c.'27 which is just great so could you add some more Adelaide on Radio Dismuke especially more of her wordless vocals if you happen to have any?
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Fredrik
post Jan 30 2006, 11:58 AM
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A kind collector in England has sent me some CDs with transfers of old Vitaphone musical shorts. One of them features Eubie Blake's orchestra - dressed as cooks and sitting inside a giant pie - and also a couple of very young talented tap dancers. I don't think they're credited with names but my guess is that this is a very early Nicholas Brothers film.

Fredrik
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gregoryagogo
post Jan 30 2006, 10:29 PM
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Who can forget their acrobatics?!









Love,
Gregory wink.gif


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