Television Film Corporation was formed in the spring of 1940 to produce shorts for the “open market”; that is, they did not have a projection device in mind and planned to sell their shorts to whomever was interested in screening them. They produced four shorts in the early summer of that year, but then realized they were ahead of the curve – the Panoram would not be available and in place for another six months – and Television Film Corporation called it quits. But their four shorts were not to be “lost films”: the subjects were sold to Soundies Distributing during the recording ban and issued in March and April 1943.
Wingy Manone (occasionally Mannone, as seen on screen here) was reportedly a difficult person to work with, although his singing and trumpet playing, both squarely out of the Louis Armstrong tradition, are always a joy to listen to. “The Saints Come Marching In” has perhaps been over-performed, but not so at this time. Only two recordings, one by Satch and the other by Wingy, preceded this film version.
For those who are not familiar with Wingy or his music, it should be noted that he lost his right arm in a streetcar accident at age ten, hence the nickname; the prosthetic was so well done that many listeners were not aware of the situation, which did not affect his music one bit!
New Orleans-born Manone was working on the West Coast in the early 1940s and this combo includes a New Orleans pal, trombonist Santo Pecora. (The rest of the musicians are identified on screen.)
Three minutes is not enough time for the musicians to stretch out, but this short gives us a good idea of the sounds Wingy was sharing with jazz / swing / Dixieland fans in Hollywood at this time. And on screen, no dancing or “song story.” Just an undiluted jazz performance that I think members of this group will enjoy!