Monday, August 11, 2008

USA - Vintage Black Cinema

Location : Gulf Of Mexico, 26 31 N , 094 17 W

Firstly I am a bit surprised that in this age of extreme political correctness in the US, the USPS came out with a stamp sheet called "Black Cinema". Maybe they thought that "Colored Cinema" might be misleading. :)

Regardless, I was thrilled to get my hands on this sheet. I am an minor Jazz fan and so I was very happy to get my hands on the stamps featuring Duke Ellington and Louis Jordan.

Let me tell you a bit about the stamps.

Remembered as the first screen appearance of Duke Ellington, the 1929 Black and Tan features three songs by Ellington and his Cotton Club Orchestra. In this 19 minute short movie, Ellington, playing himself, is in danger of having his piano repossessed. When his fatally ill girlfriend dances at a night club, she saves Ellington's music - and asks to hear his "black and Tan fantasy" on her deathbed. So by all accounts, it wasn't a fresh and happy short movie.

I haven't seen the movie myself, and I as an policy don't post you tube videos on my blog. But if you are so inclined, you can get the first five minutes of the movie on youtube at this link.

The other stamp I was keen about was of Louis Jordan. This chap was one of the most colorful person in the Jazz industry and was an accomplished singer, Saxophonist, and a bandleader. He had a band called the tympani five and sang his way into peoples hearts right through the 1930s to the 1950's. An amazing personality, the Caldonia was called a short film simply because in that time, no body had coined the term "music video". This was an 18 minute film featuring four of Jordan's songs.

Links : Official website of Louis Jordan.


Ada said...

A beautiful set, (and yes we still say Black though most prefer the term African American)an interesting way to pay homage and learn history.
You got my BoB vote!

Velu said...

Thanks for the comment ada.. and the vote. :)

Chica Loca said...

wow I like this set too , hope can get it. Me collect stamps and postcards too for a pet project if you interested ^_^

Chica Loca said...

I mean to see :))