Learning the Charleston

My friend Chris, with whom I worked for many years, often forwards me (on a list of his friends) emails with links another friend of his has found on the Internet.  Recently his friend has discovered the British Pathe site – if you don’t know what British Pathe was, you should probably go and prowl around.  This was the outfit that did the newsreels that were shown in the cinema, before the silent movies; and later before the talkies, through much of the 20th century.  According to Wikipedia, they gave up in 1970, defeated by television; but the archive exists and you can buy videos from the site. They are not cheap.  But if you want to see the original video of the Titanic leaving port, this is where you go.

I was staggered by the video of Queen Victoria attending a garden party in 1898!  (God, she was ugly!  And God, the film quality is awful – but after all, it’s almost 115 years old…)

The best, though, was an extended (silent) lesson from the 1920’s on how to do the Charleston!  It has a music track (probably originally played live by an orchestra), but no words.  It ends with – no.  I won’t tell you.  It’s too crazy.  It’s only about 7 minutes, so watch it, and wait for the wildest taxi ride you’ve ever seen!

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