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Documentary on Chick Webb and the Savoy coming soon

March 18, 2011

I know I promised you Part 2 of Irene Thomas Week, but it will have to wait while the post goes into editing. Meanwhile, enjoy these…

A documentary on Chick Webb (probably my all-time favorite band to dance to, I know this thanks to a night where Kyle Smith played nothing but Chick Webb for an hour) called The Savoy King is in post production, and I recently stumbled across these rough-cut selections from it on YouTube. Also, you can find out more info about the documentary at

The first clip has some footage of a young Frankie Manning and partner doing what appears to be social dancing at the Savoy (The background is the same background of pictures at the Savoy, so I think this location is verified). (It begins roughly around 2:05 and Frankie does some swing outs lower left on the screen around 2:16). It’s footage that’s also available on Ken Burns’s documentary Jazz, Episode Four.

This next clip has a brief moment where the camera pans around a computer generated Savoy Ballroom. Hopefully this kind of thing will continue in the documentary and they’ll show a lot more of the interior.
(Also, it begins with Frankie talking about the shim sham, and in the background are modern dancers Joel Domoe and Melanie Myers. Hey guys. How’s it goin?)

And, here are two clips form the Ella Fitzgerald section.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Bill T. permalink
    March 30, 2011 12:42 pm

    Chick Webb rests in peace in Maryland’s Arbutus Memorial Park a short walk from the University of Maryland/Baltimore County (UMBC) campus west/southwest of Baltimore.

    On a warm and sunny Sunday afternoon last September (2010), I went to find the Chick Webb gravesite. A gentleman from the Park helped me find it. I paid my respects to Chick by listening and quietly movin’ to Lindyhoppers Delight about 10 joyous times in a row on that warm and delightful September day.

    After a few minutes, I spotted a white object wrapped around the inner circumference of the metal floral receptacle built into the headstone. It was a card someone inserted there. It said: “Thanks from two friends who are forever grateful for the music you left us.” (One was from Baltimore and the other was from Canada.) I gently tucked the card back into the place it came from.

    It was that part of the visit that touched me the most…reading that message and knowing there are many such admirers out there even today.

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