“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.

6 responses to ““SANDRA”: FOR ADULTS ONLY, 1944

  1. Tame, but all natural. No artificial ingredients.

  2. jOhn Cooper

    I’ve sent this along to Dita who I used to know from nights at the Derby in Hollywood. She is an expert on such matters and she should be able to answer questions.

    jOhn Cooper

  3. Bill Gallagher

    I will have to have a talk with my wife, Sandra.

  4. You might have to ask her to stand still first? Or perhaps put on a robe? One never knows . . . (Will the real Sandra please — stand up — or something?)

  5. When i clicked on Sandra’s pic. i happened to be listening to
    OPERAVORE, a non-stop, streaming opera channel of WQXR radio. When lo & Behold (a great old comedy team), Operavore began streaming the Pilgrim’s chorus from Tannhauser…right around the moment the Pope’s staff sprouted its green leaves of redemption, I’m still awestruck. I do believe Sandra’s real name is Mme. Melisande, whom my parents refused to let me watch perform at the 1939 N.Y. World’s Fair. However, i will consult my older sister, Kate, who indeed get to see (and imitate) the Madame’s maneuvers.
    PS: Michael, I still owe you a report on my impressions of the of the performers I saw at Central Plaza back in the 1940s. I just got back from a trip, and will shortly dig into my memories, before they fade into “the days beyond recall.”

  6. Dear Dave,

    Your comment (not to mention the sprouting of the Pope’s staff) is the reason I spend so many hours at the computer. “Oh my goodness!” to quote Dan Barrett. Please send my love to Kate and keep a big chunk for yourself. May your happiness increase! Gratefully, Michael

    P.S. What do you think that graceful woman’s REAL name was? I’ll bet it was something more prosaic than Mme. Melisandre.

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