Daily Archives: September 22, 2011


Both these photographs surfaced on eBay (where else?) and I presume they come from the short-lived 1939 musical production SWINGIN’ THE DREAM (a “hot” version of A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM) which featured Louis, Maxine Sullivan, and a Benny Goodman small group.  How it managed to close after only a few performances is beyond me, but I wasn’t there in 1939 to ask my parents to take me to the show.  (Somewhere I read that James P. Johnson was the rehearsal pianist, which astonishes me.)

I invite the creative writers in the audience to submit appropriate dialogue for the first shot — where Louis appears to be wearing an ascot (or is it a bandanna), a tight, short white jacket, and a large sombrero.  A very pretty Maxine appears to be serenading a jack-o-lantern while dressed as a maid, no surprise — against a background of shiny metallic fabric:

That one took all my energy to describe: the second one has fewer details (the seller, I presume, has photographed it with a scrap of paper or tape at top, “ebay,” in case we needed to be reminded):

No jack-o-lantern, no sombrero, no bandanna; Louis is aiming his trumpet at another angle . . . Is #2 the rehearsal, #1 the performance?  Can anyone explain, or are you all equally speechless?