Yes, this is research too

Eleanor Powell and Buddy Rich rocking out (starts at about 1:25 via Emma Bull):

Okay, I admit that this comes from 1942. However, part of my 1930s novel takes place on a cruise ship just like Ship Ahoy. Well, except for not being a sound stage. And, um, one of my characters adores the Tommy Dorsey band. So even though this is a future Tommy Dorsey band appearance that she will never see it totally counts as research. And also another of my characters can see into the future and uses that ability to follow Eleanor Powell’s career.1 Thus watching this clip is TOTALLY research.

Lord, how I adore Eleanor Powell. Broadway Melody of 1940 is one of my favourite movies of all time. I know everyone squees over her “Begin the Beguine” routine with Fred Astaire, which to be sure is deeply squee-worthy, but I also love this one (gets going around 2:15):

Eleanor Powell + boats = joy!

And Broadway Melody of 1940 totally counts as research because it was shot in 1939 and last time I looked that was in the 1930s.2

Just in case some of you have never seen “Begin the Beguine” here you go:

You’re welcome!

  1. Some of these things may not be true. []
  2. Even though my book is more set in the early 1930s. But never mind that! []


  1. The Scarlet Tree on #

    Oh it is the LION from Wizard of OZ in that top clip!

  2. Karissa on #

    Have you looked into “Anything Goes”? I know that musical came out in the early 1930s and it’s also set on an ocean liner. 🙂

  3. Jess on #

    Oh man. I clearly need to bone up on my Eleanor Powell, because she is spectacular.

    I made a post recently celebrating my favorite tap dancers/numbers here. It’s looooong, but it’s got Fred and Ginger and Shirley, all of whom are very much 30s stars! Excellent for procrastination research.

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