Thursday, April 29, 2010

Spike Shieks the Q

For some reason we've never posted the film clip of Scott's legendary 1937-39 Quintette miming "Twilight in Turkey" in the 1937 Eddie Cantor farce Ali Baba Goes to Town. It's both entertaining and historically significant. There is precious little footage of the 1930s RSQ, and despite the gag performance, the viewer gets the sense of the band's chemistry. Scott typically assumes a minor role—no close-ups, a mere background prop, as befits his often acknowledged discomfort being on camera. What immediately comes to mind is Scott's derisive quote about why he left Hollywood and flew his band back to New York a year later: "We are musicians, not comedians." Nevertheless, it's great to see drummer Johnny Williams even when he's faking it.

We were reminded of this great film clip by the discovery of this 1942 Spike Jones Soundie (short music film), "The Shiek of Araby." It's an obvious homage to the RSQ performance:

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