Adventure 15: The "Boffo" Finish



Finale to "Stormy Weather" 1943 with Cab Calloway, Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, Lena Horne and the Nicholas Brothers

Any performer will tell you, the way you leave the audience is the way they'll remember your act. There's no finale like the one in Stormy Weather.

As I said at the beginning of this program, I'm constantly amazed at the "pop culture amnesia" that seems to be an epidemic today. People have forgotten some of the greatest achievements of mankind... and what have they replaced it with? Infomercials, current events clowns, celebrity gossip and patently phony reality shows. Now, I can already hear you saying... "Well. me and all my friends know about important stuff... all kinds of stuff!" Whenever I ask one of my archive interns what kind of music they listen to, I always get the same answer- "All kinds of music!" Then I ask, "Who's your favorite country and western artist?" or "What's your favorite opera?" and I get blank stares. It turns out that "all kinds of music" means "acid house, electronica, trance, darkwave, eurobeat, speedcore, etc."- a million different names for the same kind of music. It isn't their fault that they're ignorant of the cultural riches of the 20th century. Big media has kept them in the dark so they can spoon feed them "pre-packaged, pasteurized entertainment product".

The "good stuff" is all out there. You don't need a fancy shmancy archive. All it takes is a "breadcrumb", a clue, a YouTube video clip, an MP3, a name to Google- and this wonderful world opens up like a flower. It turns out that the world we live in isn't such a drab and dreary place after all!

But if you need reminding just how ignorant the world we live in can be, click through that Amazon link up there and look at the credits for the stars of "Stormy Weather". If you know who those people actually are, all you can do is slap your forehead and shake your head.

I hope I gave you some good "breadcrumbs" today. Give me a few in return in the comments.