Daily Archives: May 8, 2012

“SANDRA”: FOR ADULTS ONLY, 1944

I don’t know how seriously anyone is going to take my gentle warning in this title, for by 2012 standards, this short burlesque film of “Sandra” is tame.  But it must have been seriously arousing then — produced by “Quality Pictures” for audiovisual jukeboxes . . . placed in taverns, I assume.

Lest you worry that JAZZ LIVES has all of a sudden sunk to slavering over antiquarian naughtiness, let me reassure you.  First, the source of this film is the very knowledgeable jazz-film scholar Mark Cantor, and it appears on his YouTube channel, CantorJazzOnFilm.

Our interest, for the moment, is twofold — for those who can concern themselves with subjects aside from the lithe and nimble “Sandra.”  (I put her name in quotation marks because I assume that it might well be a pseudonym.)

Not seen on camera is a reasonably swinging jazz sextet, directed by the pianist / composer David Rose.  In one of the sweet ironies of this film and of history, perhaps twenty years later, Rose’s big hit — aside from HOLIDAY FOR STRINGS — was a single on the MGM label called THE STRIPPER, which later became the music for a television commercial for shave cream (Noxema?) with a breathy woman encouraging the lathered-up male to “Take it off.  Take it ALL off.”  Pop culture — an anthropologist’s dream!

But I digress.  What piece of light classical music is the sextet offering, and are any of the players immediately evident?  I think I hear trombone, clarinet, vibraphone, piano, string bass . . . but aside from that, it’s somewhat murky.

And here’s “Sandra,” doing her lowdown dance:

I am not good at estimating women’s ages, but if Sandra was legally of age when she performed her dance, she would be — at least — eight-nine now.  Is she with us still, or are there any grandchildren, cousins, or nieces who recognize her?  “Research!”

May your happiness increase.