Harlem, New York City, New York, United States, North and Central America
"Basin Street Revue is a 1956 feature film compiled by Studio Films, Inc. from previously recorded Snader Telescriptions featuring renowned African American jazz singers and musicians from the 1950s. Performers include Willie Bryant, Sarah Vaughan, Lionel Hampton, Paul Williams, Jimmy Brown, Amos Milbur, Faye Adams, Coles and Atkins, Herb Jefferies, Cab Calloway, Count Basie, The Clovers, Nat King Cole, Martha Davis, Frank Foster, Mantan Moreland, Nipsey Russell, and Marie Bryant.
35mm black and white compilation film of a variety of short musical 'Soundie' films made for music-film jukeboxes, and television, by the Snader Telescription and Studio companies in the 1950s. It consists of four 35mm prints (a-d).
The film begins with a title sequence that announces each performer as a firework explodes behind their name. This is followed by a shot of a theater marquee with the title Basin Street Revue. A credit roll then displays the below the line contributors. Next, an announcer introduces the emcee, Willie Bryant, during a shot of a theater audience. Bryant emerges from behind a curtain as the audience applauds. As Bryant begins to speak, Nipsy Russell walks across the stage and interrupts Bryant with a joke about his mother in law. Bryant then begins his introduction of the show’s proceedings; he refers to the show as the “Harlem Variety Revue.” Bryant then introduces the first performer, Lionel Hampton and his orchestra. The curtain parts and Hampton and his orchestra perform “Ding Dong Baby.” An unknown woman joins Hampton on the stage as he sings, but does not sing herself; he gives her a kiss on the cheek before she exits. After the conclusion of the song, the curtain closes and there are multiple shots of the audience cheering as Willie Bryant again appears to announce the next performer, Sarah Vaughan, who performs “You’re Not The Kind.” The song concludes, the curtain closes, and there are multiple shots of the cheering audience as Bryant emerges to introduce the next performers, Jimmy Brown, the saxophonist from the Apollo Theater’s house band, the Paul Williams Band. Bryant and Brown engage in some stage banter before the performance of “My Love Is True.” The song concludes, the curtain closes, and there are multiple shots of the cheering audience as Bryant emerges to introduce the next performer, Martha Davis, who performs “We Just Couldn’t Say Goodbye.” Bryant mentions that Davis is performing with her spouse, bassist, Calvin Ponder. There are multiple insert shots of the audience during the performance. The song concludes, the curtain closes, and there are multiple shots of the cheering audience as Nipsy Russell and Mantan Moreland enter the stage. They perform a short comedy routine together before Bryant introduces the next performer, Amos Milburn. He performs “Bewildered.” The song concludes, the curtain closes, and Bryant has the curtain reopened so Milburn can take a bow. The curtain again closes and Bryant invites Faye Adams onto the stage. The engage in some brief stage banter before she performs “Somebody, Somewhere” in front of the curtain. Jimmy Brown emerges from behind the curtain to perform a solo. The song concludes, there are multiple shots of the cheering audience, and Bryant introduces the next performers, The Clovers, who perform “Lovey Dovey.” The song concludes, the curtain closes, and there are multiple shots of the cheering audience as Bryant emerges to introduce Sarah Vaughan for a performance of “These Things I Offer You (For A Lifetime).” The song concludes, the curtain closes, there are multiple shots of the cheering audience, and Bryant introduces Coles & Atkins. The duo sing and them perform a tap dance routine. Their performance concludes, they bow and Bryant introduces Herb Jeffries by way of a brief skit. Jeffries performs “A Woman Is A Worrisome Thing” from the balcony of a fire escape. The song concludes, the curtain closes, there are multiple shots of the cheering audience, and Bryant introduces Cab Calloway, who performs “Calloway Boogie.” Calloway dances with an unknown female dancer. A “The End” title card appears as the song and the film conclude.