Saturday, March 15, 2008

Alice Babs

I guess I'm doing a series on singers-film stars. Maybe I'm just into that subject right at the moment. Well, then here's another edition:

Alice Babs. Now, she's not totally an unknown in these circles, because she sang with Duke Ellington's band, starting in 1963. She had an extreme range as a jazz singer. Duke Ellington said that when she did not sing the parts that he wrote for her, he had to use three different singers.

Before meeting up with Ellington, though, she was a star back home in Sweden. Her first big breakthrough was in, of course--that's part of the subject here--a Swedish film made in 1940 in the midst of all the turmoil going on outside Sweden's neutral borders--called Swing it, magistern (or Swing it, teacher).

Now...before Sweden became this liberal progressive ABBA nation we've all come to love and admire, it was once a quite more conservative population, and in spite of Alice Babs' well-behaved and cheerful nature, she was yet the object of scandal to members of the older generations. By our standards it would be hard to understand, but in her time she really pushed the envelope.

Of course, I'm not going to let you go without a little YouTube© video to leave you with. This is from the film, Swing it, magistern--which film has recently been released on DVD, according to The song is called Regntunga skyar, which means Heavy rain clouds:
-Antonioni fan

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