The World of Soundies is filled with both wonderful discoveries and missed opportunities. This Soundie clearly illustrates the latter.
Maxine Sullivan was one of the finest singers to emerge during the Swing Era. Her voice was soft, dulcet and somewhat understated. Yet Maxine never failed to swing whatever she was asked to perform. In January 1942 she recorded and filmed two Soundies. Surely, an artist of her caliber deserved the two additional titles afforded to much lesser vocal talents.
Backing Ms. Sullivan is Benny Carter’s orchestra. Sadly, the group is only heard on soundtrack, and the only solo is by pianist Billy Kyle. Check out the personnel and see what was missed here: Benny Carter, alto sax and leader; Emmett Berry, Dizzy Gillespie, Nathaniel Williams, trumpets; Jimmy Hamilton, Al Gibson, Franz Jackson, reeds; Billy Kyle, piano; Charles Drayton, string bass; Kenny Clarke, drums.
Some of These Days is a standard by Shelton Brooks. In this version additional material has been added by Minoco Jack-of-all-trades Charles Abbot. It is used to introduce both the song proper and some “dramatic action” midway through the Soundie. (A second title, A Case of the Blues, is not one of Porter Grainger’s better efforts.) The three African American rag dolls are typical of the unfortunate stereotyped props that might be used in not only a Soundie, but in a Hollywood feature as well.
We can only fantasize about an instrumental by Benny Carter’s orchestra, perhaps with Dizzy trading fours with Klook. But what we have here, a fine vocal by Maxine, is certainly something to be treasured.