Monday, February 11, 2013

Rabbit hole

Patty Lacy and Ray Hirsch.

You've been there, you know you have. 

What starts out as a quick look at a friend's band's video on YouTube turns into a 2 hour journey back into time; getting nostalgic, watching videos of the music you grew up listening to. 

I'm no different. 

Not too long ago I put together a video of vintage movie and TV dance clips to go with a tune I had recorded. One clip in particular kept haunting me. Who were these people jitterbugging and what movie did this clip belong to?  

The dancing was fabulous and the clip funny in a corny 1940's kind of way. One couple was clearly really good, they knew how to dance and I wanted to know who they were.  Thus began my Saturday afternoon journey down the YouTube rabbit hole.

After searching using lindy hop, jitterbug, 1940's dancing, etc., I eventually found them and the movie. 

"Mad Youth" was released in 1940 and featured 1938 National Jitterbug Champions Patti Lacey and Ray Hirsch (the two dancers I wanted to "discover"). It was re-released later with the title "Girls of the Underworld." 

The story includes jitterbugging (duh), strip poker and girls imprisoned in a prostitution/white slavery ring. Pretty lurid stuff. 

The amazing part is that Ray Hirsch is still with us and still dancing, and Patty Lacey is still living in Los Angeles.

The video I made using footage from "Mad Youth" can be seen here: