They don't know I'm posting this because I walked in the studio this morning and captured what they really do. Yes, they are funny, organized, and entertain you in the morning, BUT now I have exposed them for what they really are.

Today, #ScopitoneSunday with The Lounge-O-Leers shares the super-ginchy-all-singin'-all-dancin' "For You", performed by the very perky Freddy Bell and Roberta Linn -- who demonstrate how wild the west really was. And swinging', we might add.Born Ferdinando Dominick Bello in Philly in 1931, Freddy Bell formed one of the first white acts to play early R&B hits, Freddy Bell and the Bellboys, at age 20. After playing throughout the Midwest, the group landed a booking as The Sands' house band in Las Vegas. In 1955, the group recorded their cover of Leiber and Stoller's "Hound Dog" for Teen Records (with Bell's revised lyrics, "toned down" from the original Big Mama Thornton version at the request of the record label) -- and, according to R&R lore, Elvis saw them playing their version of the tune in The Sands' lounge and was so taken with it that he decided to record it and, well, the rest is history.In 1956, B-movie producer Sam Katzman cast Freddie and the Bellboys in a quickie movie to exploit the "new" music… "Rock Around the Clock". The film, of course, was a sensation and promoters scrambled to book the stars of the flick. Bell and his group became the first US rock act to tour the UK… and one of the tunes from the movie, "Giddy-Up-A-Ding-Dong", even reached #4 in the British charts. And while Freddie and the Bellboys never hit the big time, they continued performing their mix of music and comic bits in Vegas -- not only at The Sands, but also at The Desert Inn, The Sahara and The Flamingo.Meanwhile, Roberta Linn, born in Gravity, Iowa in 1931 to a farmer's daughter and a minor league baseball player, started out as a child actress in films including "Little Miss Marker" and the "Our Gang" comedies. Later, Roberta become a big band singer, and appeared as a Lawrence Welk's first TV "Champagne Lady", from '49 to '54, when the show aired locally in LA. Linn left the show to star in her own CBS television show, "Cafe Continental", winning an Emmy for outstanding female performer. Despite serious health issues (including a medically-induced coma in 1958), Roberta continued performing and appeared in a variety of nightclub revues -- with "Variety" calling her "The Best Friend a Song Ever Had". A good friend of Frank Sinatra, Linn performed throughout Las Vegas during the Rat Pack heyday… and married and began performing with Freddie Bell in October 1961.When Louis Prima and Keely Smith graduated to the main showroom, Bell and Linn (with the Bellboys) replaced them in the Sahara lounge. In 1964, they recorded their album, "The Bells Are Swinging", and appeared in the movie "Get Yourself a College Girl" (performing "Talkin' About Love"). Then, as the Vegas lounge scene began to fade, Bell broke up the Bellboys in '66, and he and Linn launched a supper club in Newport Beach, CA… but by the early '70s, both the club and the marriage dissolved. Ultimately, Bell became one of Vegas' longest-running lounge acts (more than 50 years) before succumbing to lung cancer at the age of 76. Linn moved on to a second career selling timeshares -- but also continues to perform and is celebrated annually in The City of Palm Springs on "Roberta Linn Day".As for this peppy little tune, it was written by Joe Burke and Al Dubin in 1930, and was first recorded in 1931 -- as a ballad -- by The Glen Gray Orchestra (with Kenny Sargent on vocals). It was later covered by the likes of Perry Como ('47), Dean Martin ('57), Timi Yuro ('60) and Ricky Nelson, who charted at #6 with his rockin' version in '63. Now for the Scopitone. Yes, some of you may recognize this little film as a clip which appeared on Season One of the TV series "Lost" in a flashback sequence. However, the song doesn't seem to have ever been recorded by Freddie and Roberta other than in this Scopitone… and, as to why this Scopitone sets the number in a world of cowboys (and a rather unusual Indian maiden), who can say? But this is the wild west we want to be a part of -- the grooviest, hippest vision of life on the range that we have ever seen! Who needs a shoot-out when you can have a frug-in? No contest, we say.

Posted by Lounge-O-Leers on Sunday, March 13, 2016

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