Kitty Packard has been having something of an extended sojourn as of late and I felt it necessary to implore your forgiveness with this post. A personal favorite from 1948, A Song is Born is the Howard Hawks‘ remake of his beloved 1941 screwball Barbara Stanwyck and Gary Cooper starrer, Ball of Fire.
In my opinion, this particular segment of celluloid is living history in its most impressively organic form. Here we have the unprecedented (and arguably unmatched) interracial jazz ensemble of Tommy Dorsey, Lionel Hampton, Mel Powell, Benny Goodman, Charlie Barnett (WOW) and Pops himself, Louis Armstrong, jamming together in the film’s titular ‘A Song is Born.’ The rehashed plot with Danny Kaye and Virginia Mayo may lack Hawk’s original, shall we say, oomph, but the music makes the film positively priceless. (And in my opinion, the Kaye-Mayo combo is amongst the most underrated screen successes.)
Watch here as some of the very greatest jazz greats get their groove on.