When I see vintage videos and films, I tend to think of them as outdated. Don’t get me wrong, I am still a huge fan of “I Love Lucy” (anyone from Netflix, if you’re reading this, please hear my request – bring back Lucy and Ricky, pretty please!), but I just tend to gravitate towards newer films I can relate to. However, what’s easy to forget is that without these gems, these pieces of movie magic, we wouldn’t be where we are today. This trio you’re about to see is the precursor to what’s on modern tv.
These are the Ross Sisters in 1940 performing a musical dance number sequence from the MGM film called “Broadway Rhythm.” And they are absolutely eye-popping.
Born in West Texas, Aggie, Maggie and Elmira are trained gymnasts, critically acclaimed for their flexibility, strength and contortionist skills. While they can sing and dance too, it was their acrobatics that really got them noticed.
The video starts off pretty vanilla. Three women dressed in gingham shorts, and white crop top blouses with pigtails, run into the foreground and burst into song. They are singing some jive words on top of a big band orchestral piece of music. Words like roo-doo-doo-wee-ooh-doo are being sung, as the Ross sisters sway and move back and forth on screen.
The song is called “Solid Potato Salad” and they are singing literally about salad and how they prefer to eat it, asking for someone to take their plate, fill it up and bring it back. What’s interesting to note here is that even their use of colloquial language is a precursor to how some words are used today. It’s presumed that since they are singing about how good the potato salad is, by adding the adjective “solid” beforehand, the potato salad is really good. Just like how it’s used today.
All terms and language aside, at about the 1:00 mark, things take a turn for the wild, and goes from vanilla to “are we in 1944 or 2018?” This is a pretty remarkable performance!