Video Gallery

Humoresque Roller Rink

Humoresque-athon

Nine lyricists including Al Dubin (Lullaby of Broadway) and Mitchell Parish (Stardust) tried their hand at gilding Dvorak’s “Humoresque” back in the day. I hooked them together to create a “Humoresque-athon” – medley of mirth. Who do you think best captured the spirit of the old Czech master?

The Hippodrome

“Please don’t talk about me when I’m gone”

Why do some songs have a longer shelf life than others?  How can one song invite so many interpretations? What keeps a song in our hearts? The Spotlights are on “Please don’t talk about me when I’m gone” – a 1930 jump-blues composition by the team of Sam Stept (That’s My Weakness Now), Sidney Clare […]

J.M. for "Spotlights"

Meeting Soprano Jeanette MacDonald in “San Francisco”

What’s the best film for getting acquainted with Hollywood soprano Jeanette MacDonald? Click on the photo to find my answer on YouTube.
 My first encounter with Jeanette MacDonald was through a local broadcast of MGM’s major box office hit from 1936, San Francisco. It’s been a long-term affair ever since – with both her and […]

LoveIsABoreFeaturedImage

“Love Is A Bore,” The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone 1961; A look at Cleo Laine

For Track 5 of “Ladies of the Nightclubs” we explore a familiar question: What becomes a legend most? Sometimes the answer is: Another legend. The 1961 film, THE ROMAN SPRING OF MRS. STONE, is packed with legendary artists of all sorts.
*See important note!

Ann Sheridan in Nora Prentiss

“Would You Like A Souvenir”, Nora Prentiss 1947; A look at Ann Sheridan

Rare shots of The City are a part of the film’s curious appeal. Singer Janet Roitz works with vocal coach Sean Martinfield on “Would You Like A Souvenir?” — the first of Nora’s more sophisticated band numbers.

Rosalind Marquis in Marked Woman

“My Silver Dollar Man”, Marked Woman 1937; A look at Rosalind Marquis

In this second track of “Ladies of the Nightclubs”, San Francisco Bay Area singer Janet Roitz and vocal coach Sean Martinfield explore the challenges of a great Depression Era blues number, “My Silver Dollar Man”, and its place in the film MARKED WOMAN, starring Bette Davis.

Veronica Lake in This Gun For Hire

“Now You See It, Now You Don’t” This Gun For Hire 1942; A look at Veronica Lake

TRACK 3 in the series, LADIES OF THE NIGHTCLUBS. Popular San Francisco singer Janet Roitz and vocal coach Sean Martinfield take a look at the musical side of Veronica Lake in the 1942 film noir classic, THIS GUN FOR HIRE. The film was a box office bonanza for both Miss Lake and her handsome co-star, Alan Ladd.

Jacqueline Fontaine in Guess Who's Coming To Dinner

“The Glory Of Love” Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner 1967; A look at Jacqueline Fontaine

Though her appearance in the 1967 film is shorter than brief and her name a mystery in the screen credits, Jacqueline Fontaine is a true and steadfast “Lady of the Nightclubs”.

Janet Roitz

“Meglio Stasera” It Had Better Be Tonight, The Pink Panther 1963

“Meglio Stasera” translates to, “It Had Better Be Tonight”. Music by Henry Mancini, lyrics by Johnny Mercer, the song was introduced in 1963 in the first of the PINK PANTHER films directed by Blake Edwards.

Ethel Waters and Count Basie

Stage Door Canteen, 1943: A Look At Ethel Waters

Ethel Waters is on a very long list of popular and revered celebrities who appear in the 1943 film, Stage Door Canteen. The title refers to an actual New York City location that was staffed and operated by members of the American Theatre Wing. Its purpose was to offer refreshments and entertainment to enlisted folks who were on leave or on their way to war. Sol Lesser (producer of all the Tarzan movies from the ‘40s and ‘50s) wanted a film that combined the basic elements of a documentary with a dramatic screenplay involving fictional characters and have it all take place in a legitimate nightclub. Stage Door Canteen is that brainchild.