My friend Nancy has started a fabulous blog called THE SINGING HAND, which is “an exploration of under-appreciated and rare instruments, with an emphasis on the dreamlike and the handmade.” The first entry is great, let’s hope she runs with it. Check it out.
Here’s a picture of Nancy scrubbing her back.
Nancy’s really handy with a mop, too.
Okay, okay, it’s Joan Blondell.
Here’s Joan Blondell singing “Remember My Forgotten Man” in a Busby Berkeley-choreographed number from Gold Diggers of 1933. This song basically lambasts the government during the depression for “forgetting” the hard-working men who fought in the war and cultivated the land, and now they’re standing in soup-kitchen lines with holes in their hats. What I like about it is how she says that by forgetting him, the government is forgetting her- he’s just a shell of a man now- where’s the hunky, industrious guy she fell in love with?
FDR’s first New Deal programs, such as the Civilian Conservation Corps, began employing hundreds of thousands of unemployed men in the spring of 1933. Here are some of those forgotten men constructing a road.
The outlaw became a folk hero during the Depression, spawning some great songs. “Pretty Boy Floyd”, Woody Guthrie’s ballad to the handsome bank robber, closes with the line “You will never see an outlaw drive a family from their home”-they robbed banks but they didn’t foreclose on the farms of hard-working people. Woody Guthrie recorded this five years after Floyd was ambushed and shot to death in East Liverpool, Ohio in 1934. Here is his original followed with a version by The Byrds from their 1968 album, Sweetheart of the Rodeo.