C’mon everybody, do the Raftero   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2012.11.01 at 11:02

Current mood: amusedamused

carole lombard bolero 45a

For sheer sex appeal, “Bolero” ranks at, or near, the top of Carole Lombard’s movies. Not only do we see Carole cavort in stockings and underwear, not only does Sally Rand perform her famed fan dance, but Lombard and George Raft sensually dance to Maurice Ravel’s famed composition, even though it was an anachronism (http://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/252867.html).

Unlike Lombard, who never was a professional dancer (though her contests as a teen against the likes of Joan Crawford at the Cocoanut Grove are legendary), Raft danced for a living well before becoming a film star. He broke through in 1932’s “Taxi!” dancing against James Cagney (whose hoofing expertise often goes unnoticed), and later that year made an even larger impression in the original “Scarface.”

Paramount, which had a thriving sheet music business, decided to capitalize on Raft’s dancing by having Ralph Rainger compose a piano solo for the film known as “Raftero”:

carole lombard bolero raftero front largecarole lombard bolero raftero back large

The back page purported to explain Raft’s dancing history, though by 2012 standards much of it appears racist — although conversely, it could make Raft the dance equivalent of Bing Crosby, who had many black fans at the time and was frequently labeled “the hippest white man in America”:

carole lombard bolero raftero back closeup 00

It also describes the mechanics of the dance:

carole lombard bolero raftero back closeup 01

This unusual pre-Code film artifact is being auctioned at eBay. Two bids already have been made as of this writing, topping out at $10,49; bidding closes at 1:41 p.m. (Eastern) Sunday. The item is in good condition. To learn more, visit http://www.ebay.com/itm/1934-GEORGE-RAFT-CAROLE-LOMBARD-film-song-BOLERO-dance-moves-on-back-RAFTERO-/160911118104?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item25770ccf18.

Oh, and as far as I know, the following year, Paramount never commissioned a work called “Raftumba.”

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Posted November 1, 2012 by vp19 in Uncategorized

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