Second Chorus (1940) Script

The leader's Danny O'Neil.

Do you know him?

Oh, sure he's the best trumpet player this college has ever had.

Let's get closer.

I thought you'd like the music.

Great, wasn't it, Ellen?

Hi, Stu. Where've you been?

Oh, I've been around.

Funny I was just saying the other day I ought to see more of old Stu.

Well, er, we'd better go and sit down or something Ellen.

See you later.

Your playing was wonderful.


You don't think she meant you, do you?

You don't think she meant you, do you?

Wait a minute.

You don't think she'd fall for that station house music of yours?

It's not so much my music, it's my personality.

I'll show you.

Hello Stu.

Oh, Mr. O'Neill, won't you join us?

Oh, thank you. See you later son.

Well Stu. Do you want something?

Me? Oh, no, no.

I've been wanting to meet you for some time Mr. O'Neil.

That's wonderful! You mean you like the band?

Oh I didn't mean I wanted to meet the band exactly, although I thought they did back you up rather well.

Thanks. Is there any special number you'd like to hear?

I would like to hear the Call-Me-Up-and-Call-me-down blues.

The what?

The Call-Me-Up- and-Call-Me-Down blues.

I know what you mean. I'm afraid I haven't got the number.

Oh, I'm sure you'll be able to get hold of it.

Why don't you go back to the bandstand and look for it?

No hurry Stu.

It's such a long time since we got together. I want to make the most of it.

It's heartwarming that's what it is.

Nothing like old college friends, I always say.

All for one and all for one. Ha, Ha.

Yes sir, I think I'd better be getting back. So long Stu.

So long.

Alright let's play number nine.

Why can't you go on a picnic?

Mr. Dunn is inside, Mr. Taylor.

Mr. Dunn? He wouldn't be any fun on a picnic.

This is a collection agency. Not an escort bureau.

Now will you please get of my desk?

Is this fellow annoying you Miss Miller?

Hello. Hello.

I was just seeing Miss Miller here about the encyclopedias.

I figure I can take care of the details.

As Miss Miller was kind enough to serve me with the summons, I'll explain the details.

What is there to explain?

Seven years ago, you bought a set of encyclopedias for which you've never paid.

But I didn't buy them.

Please, you're wasting my time.

See, you're wasting Miss Miller's time.

As I was saying seven years ago, I must have broken a mirror because that walked in and became my roommate.

I was only a simple freshman at the time.

What are you now? A simple sophomore?

Oh, Miss Miller you're being a bit unkind.

After all, we've worked hard to stay in college this long.

It's not easy for a couple of bright guys like us to go on flunking year after year.

What in the world are you talking about?

Well, it's like this.

As long as we can stay in college, the band makes us a comfortable living.

That's right five, six thousand dollars a year.

That's more than you can make on Wall Street.

Besides, it's a nice life. Cultural, relaxing, gay.

Getting back to the subject.

This roommate whom I trusted ordered a set of encyclopedias in my name.

That's gratitude.

It was a birthday present. You were crazy about them.

I was crazy about them till I got the bill.

(Mr. Dunn) Miss Miller.

What's this?

Mr. O'Neill, Mr. Taylor, Mr. Dunn.

Oh, yes. Oh, yes! Step right in.

Now look Mr. Dunn. Here's the situation: we're temporarily embarrassed.

You see we're working our way through college.

You've been working your way through college for the last seven years.

Well, takes time.

Specially when you're struggling.

Boys you don't pull any wool over me. You ain't broke, you ain't struggling.

You mean you doubt our word?

You said it. I've got your number. You're businessmen.

Now pay up or go to jail. That's final!

Final, Eh?



Well, maybe we ought to ask for an extension, hit it.

(Overlapping dialogue) Ok. Dunnsy boy we do make money.

We haven't got any right now just give us one month.

Just one month's extension. OK Dunnsy.

I won't listen.

(Overlapping dialogue continues) I'll be around in a -

What do you think we are? Fly-by-nights?

My word is good enough, isn't it?

Everybody in town can-

Have that money here tomorrow or I'll see you in court.



That's a sordid little fella, isn't he? Sordid little place.

Must be a sordid life for such a lovely girl.

Oh, there's nothing so sordid about it.

Except the people we deal with.

It's a pity we can't take Miss Miller out of this.

Yes. How'd you like some fresh air?

Sorry, I have work to do.

She's very businesslike, isn't she?


I like that in a secretary.

In fact, I'd like to have a secretary like that.

You know, there's an awful lot of work running a band.

Come to think of it, we do need a secretary.

But I don't need a job.

So she doesn't need a job.

Whatever it is I won't do it. Now, I want to tell you.


Now look Mr. Dunn I want to do the right thing.

We don't care anything about the encyclopedia company.

No, we care about you.

Oh yeah - er, well maybe I said a few hasty words, boys.

Let bygones be bygones, eh?

Two dollars? But the bill's a hundred and ten.

That's for you to fix things up.

What are you talking about?

Are you asking me to take a bribe?

A two dollar bribe?

Oh, come on, Dunn. We're all men of the world, you know.

We'll keep it under our hats. Don't worry about it.

Sure, you can depend on us. She'll tell you.

She? Who?

Miss Miller.

Miss Miller.

Miss Miller! Come in here please.

Did you intimate to these men that I could be bribed?

She didn't say your could be bribed, she said you could be fixed.

Well Mr. Dunn, I didn't say any such thing.

(Overlapping dialogue) Oh get her.

Oh yes you did, she didn't want us to tell you.

Don't believe him Mr. Dunn, I heard her myself. Didn't you hear her?

Wait a minute!

I'll have you deadbeats put in jail, and as for you Miss Miller you're fired!


Thanks a lot old man.

Thanks old boy.

Miss Miller, Miss Miller, wait a minute!

Haven't you rover boys caused enough trouble already?

It was really a kindly gesture.

A very kindly gesture. Now I haven't even a reference.

But I don't demand a reference.

We know you for what you are.


You mean you really want me to work for you?

Sure, Wouldn't you like it?

What's your salary?

Eighteen a week.

He'll double it.

Yeah - er - Yeah!


Hit it.

(overlapping dialogue) Let me tell you, here's the chance of a lifetime: we’re going all the way to the You can't go wrong if...

Alright I'll take it.


When do I start?

Right now.

Well now that I'm working for you, I'll tell you something.

Dunn can be bought but his price isn't two dollars, It's ten!

Here you want to take care of the details Hey!

Well, here we are.

You can have half of that desk, a quarter of that rack and just - go to work.

There's only one detail that you've omitted.

What are my duties?

Oh, you type a little. Telephone a little.

Keep the leader happy.

Keep your eye on the brass section.

I thought you said this was a job.

Lining up good engagements is no cinch.

What's so difficult about it?

Operator get me The Riverdale Country Club.

Oh no, we've already tried.

Who's in charge there?

Mr. Bent, isn't it?

Bent real sourpuss.

Hello Mr. Bent?

This is Mr. O'Neill 's Secretary No Danny O'Neill, the orchestra leader.

I read in the paper that you're planning a Halloween dance...

Hob Harvey's Cornell Clippers oh, but we entertain too Do we entertain?

No but we can dream up something.

Oh but our entertainment's terrific. That's our strongpoint.

Mr. Benn until you've seen the Perennials you haven't lived.

It isn't that I don't admire Emil Colman, but isn't his music... shall we say rowdy?

Now, Mr. O'Neill 's salon ensemble play everything gently but with a lilt.

And all his boys are from such nice families.

Very well, we'll expect them at seven-thirty.

Thank you.

Believe me, bud, my outfit are killers. Just what you need for one-nighters.

Can they pack 'em in like Dorsey? Solid Jack!


Furthermore, I could come down the day before the dance and help you with the decorations.

That is, of course, if you want me to.

(Shouts of approval)

Wait a minute men, we took a poll on the campus and almost everybody voted for Artie Shaw's band.

Artie Shaw? Who's Artie Shaw?

(Shouts of approval)

(Both agents together) You were terrific, Chief.

Yeah, yeah - glass of water please.

What about that prom, is it set?

Not exactly, chief.

They hired that college band. Danny O'Neill's Perennials.

O'Neill again, Huh?

This is the fourth time we've run into them on college dates.

Either they've got a great band or a fine manager.

I gotta go up and hear them sometime.

Oh, I wouldn't worry about them.

They'll be graduating in another week.

Hmm! Not The Perennials.

OK, boys. No graduation this year. I flunked three courses.

(Cries of congratulations)

Alright, boys, break it up break it up.

Oh, Danny you're wonderful.

Well Danny old boy, we made it again, Huh?


What's the matter?

Well Hank, I don't quite know how to tell you.

What do you mean I passed?

Oh, I couldn't graduate - not with my marks.

What are you kiddin' me?

Oh, listen there must be some mistake.

I'm not gonna take this lyin' down.

I'm gonna see the Dean about it.

They can't do this to me.

Oh, Danny.

Poor old Hank he got careless.

You didn't have anything to do with this, did you?

Why Ellen!

Of course - a little peace and quiet won't hurt either of us.

But poor Hank.

You still have me.

I guess we'll have to carry on as good old Hank would have wanted us to.

It seems to me.

It seems to you?

I said it seems to me.

You said it seems to you.

It seems to me I smell a mouse.

Somewhere about the house.

(Tempo) It seems to me.

It seems to you.

I said it seems to me.

You said it seems to you.

That such embarrassing situation calls for concentration.

Do you dig me Jack?

(Unison) We dig you Jack.

Can you think of a plan?

We solid can.

To get me out of this mess?

Er- yes, yes, yes.

(Unison) We'll start the music and play it back.

Solid, Jack.

(Unison) Solid Jack.

Can ya sing and dance? I'll take a chance.

Are your boots on right? I got 'em laced up tight.

Is Miss Miller a killer? From Spanish villa.

Is her dancin' mellow? Why mello as a cello.

(Unison) Then it seems to me ob-vious-ly.

Why not go right into your terpischore?

What will it be?

Don't look at me.

Now, let me see what will it be?

I never could do the Conga Could never get thru' the Conga.

But if you say 'do the Conga'

I ain't hep to that step. but I'll dig it.

I never could see Mazurkas There poison to me Mazurkas But if it's to be Mazurkas I ain’t hep to that step but I'll dig it

(Unison) When they invented the Charleston He was a total flop.

Right! But say - if you want to Charleston I'll never stop or dance till I drop.

I never could dig the polka.

The corniest jig, the polka.

But if you say dig the polka.

I ain't hep to that step but I'll dig it.

Hi Hank.

Hello there.

Did you get anywhere with the Dean?

No, it seems that the article I wrote on the decline of the harpsichord and her sister instruments is what really put me across.

Is that so?

Yeah, funny I don't even remember writing that article.

Yet the Dean said it was so good, he couldn't possibly think of flunking me.

Tough luck.


Cheer up boy it's probably all for the best.

What have you got there?


Think of it Hank.

You'll go into your father's textile business, a cog in a great industry.

Stamping you personality on miles and miles of tweed making the wheels turn.

Punching the clock - listening to the song of the looms -

what volume is that?

It's... Ham to Ilk. Why?

Oh, nothing. Music wasn't for you, Hank.

You could never have got anywhere with that beat-up trumpet of yours.

Your medium is textiles.

Your father was a textile man - so was his father before him.

Why, you've got wool in your blood Hank.

What's the bookmark for?

Oh, it's an article there - rather interested the Dean.

You know, funny thing about that article.

It's almost identical with my thesis.

Interesting coincidence.

Yes, that's what the Dean thought.

I had quite a time persuading him that the marginal notes weren't mine.

As a matter of fact, I tried to convince him that the handwriting wasn't yours.



What did he say?

He said you were fired.

You dog!

Now, take it easy, Danny.

You low, conniving dog!

You too will have to face the world.

Fall right into your father's concrete.

You'll be a cog within a cog.

You can't get away from it, Danny my boy.

You've got concrete in your bones.

(Ellen) Danny, hey! Hurry! Wonderful news!

A telegram!

"Will be in town Saturday. Would like to look over your outfit." Artie Shaw.

Well, what do you know?

Hey, well there it is. Shaw wants to look me over.

Look you over? Look us over.

Alright, us. Hmm, seems to be in a kind of a rush about it.

I wonder how soon he wants me to start.

Hey, it didn't take him long to find out I'd be available, did it?

You'll be available indefinitely, I'm afraid.

Yeah. Now then, first thing tomorrow, I must find Ellen a new job.

Don't bother. As soon as I get set, I'll send for you.

Oh, that's very kind of you.

Alright. Let's get organized.

Call the boys and tell them to be there early. Summer uniforms.

And you - you go home and run your scales. Come on!

Look, fella. Don't bury it. I'll be out in a few minutes.

Artie Shaw!

Artie Shaw, he's here!

Good, thanks.

Hey, what about the buck you promised me?

Alright, alright beat it.

OK, gang. Sweet Sue.

Hank! Shaw, he's coming in now!

Swell. Thanks, pal.

Come on, give out.

I'll bring you some change.

Now, a nice and easy background on this one, boys.

Hey, Danny. Why don't you lay out on this one?

Save your lip till Shaw comes. I'll take the lead.

Are you kiddin'?

I'm OK, I've been in the woodshed.

You've been in the cornfield. Alright, boys. One-two.

(Band plays "Sweet Sue")

Say, that's quite a little shindig you're pitchin' in there.

Gee, thanks, Mr. Shaw.

Band on straight salary or percentage?

Oh, percentage.

Oh smart, uh!

Thanks again, Mr. Shaw.

Where's Mr. Miller?

Mr. Miller?

Yeah, the manager of the band.

Oh, that Mr. Miller... There she is.

This is Mr. Shaw, Mr. Miller - I mean, er...

We've been expecting you, Mr. Shaw.

Swell. If you're not too busy, I'd like to talk to you for a few minutes.


Won't you stay and hear the band, Mr. Shaw?

I'd like to but I'm on my way down to Trenton to play a date.

Anyway, it was nice talking to you.

Thanks and goodnight. Goodnight.


No trouble.

Where is he?

He's gone.


Where's Shaw? What did he say? He's gone. You ruined it.

What are you talkin' about? I was terrific. When do I start?

Oh, take ten, son.

What was his proposition?

Well, his proposition rather surprised me.


Quibbled about salary?

Wait a minute, I don't work on Sundays.

Look, Ellen, what gives? When do I start?

You don't.

What? Well, then what did he want?


Ellen! Oh, Danny!

I brought you this!

Oh, I guess I'm a little late.

Oh, Danny. How darling of you. Hank's inside getting a ticket.

Is he?

Gosh, Ellen, I hate to see you go.

Oh, I hate to go, Danny.

I - I kinda hoped that...

What Danny?

Oh, nothing. I guess it was just silly, that's all.

No, it wasn't. What was it?

Excuse me. You're sprouting.

Here's some popcorn. Sonny, hold this for the lady. Here's your ticket, Ellen.

Come on, I'll tell the conductor when to let you off.

Now, be a good girl and don't talk to any strange men.

I won't. I'll see you in New York?

(Over-lapping) - I hope so. Yes.

Well, I don't know. Portland's a long way from New York and concrete kinda holds a man down.

Well, you'll be there, Hank?

No. I've gotta pay a lot of attention to those mills in Fall River.

Well, I won't be seeing either of you?


Well, I'm afraid not.

(Conductor) All aboard!

Well, goodbye, you idiots. Goodbye. Look after her orchids.



When do you start for Portland? Tonight.

When do you leave for Fall River? Oh, about an hour.

I'll see you off.

No, don't bother. You've got to pack.

Yeah. Well, this is it.

Right. So long, Danny.

So long, kid. It's been a lot of fun. You bet it has. Take care of yourself.

I'll drop you a line. Do that.

A college band? Whoever heard of a good college band?

Oh, we were under the impression that this was an important affair.

Oh, it is.

Oh well in that case, I know you'll want Mr. Shaw.

That's fine. Thank you.

A couple of relatives.

Well, what's cookin', Ellen?

We close the Atlantic City job on our own terms.

That's swell.

And the intercollegiate prom.

Not a bad two day's work. Looks like my hunch about you was pretty good.

I'm glad. Mr. Shaw, I... I wonder if I could ask you a favor.

Of course.

It's - it's about a couple of trumpet players.

Oh, well, you see I always pick my own men, Ellen and I don't...

Of course, but all I want you to do is hear these boys.

They're marvelous. Where are they? Around town?

Practically. One's in Portland and the other's in Fall River.

But they could be here in a jiffy.

Isn't that a lot of travelin' just for an audition?

But they wouldn't mind. And once you hear them, you'll know what I mean.

If you think they're that good, I'll listen to them.

Thank you. Not at all.

Call the Western Union boy to pick up two telegrams. Thank you.

What floor is Artie Shaw on? (In unison) Seventeenth.

Going up.

Hold it, buddy.

What floor is Artie Shaw on? (Unison) Seventeenth.

Aren't you going to Fall River the hard way?

I suppose this elevator stops at Portland.

No, sir. Last stop is the 22nd floor.

So you were going to give a lot of time to the mills.

Listen, I've got as much right here as you have.

Why don't you face facts, Hank? Ellen's not even established yet.

She can't possibly get us both in the band.

I'm going to get a try-out with Artie Shaw if I have to tear down this building floor by floor.

17th floor next.

Here's a present for you, Sam.

Have one on me, Sam.

Oh, excuse me.

Where's Artie Shaw's office, please? Right that way.

Oh, thanks.

(Overlapping dialogue) Mr... Mr. Taylor to see Miss Miller.

Miss Miller's very busy right now.

(Overlapping) She'll see me, we went to college together.

Hey, is that 34 or 54 Highcroft Road?

34. Hey, wait a minute. What have you got there?

Why, this is for me!


Hank, Shaw's sending for me.

Me too. You know, I knew he'd get around to that sooner or later.

Any answers?

We'll take care of the answers, bud. Here.


It's alright.

What do you make of this? Look at that, Fall River.

Say! Excuse me...

Something phony about this.


He walked out on us at the Prom, didn't he?


You don't suppose it was deliberate? Why would he?

You mean he'd want us to cool for a while so we'd work for peanuts.

Listen, we're not that hard to get.

No. But then he got Ellen down here as a decoy, thinking we'd work for nothing on account of her.

That's it. How do ya like it?

I don't like it. He can't treat a friend of ours like that.

No, sir!

I'll fix him. Just for that, I'm gonna ask for 25 dollars a week more.


Young lady, you can tell Shaw that we'll see him.

Mr. Shaw is very busy.

Never mind, we'll tell him. Thanks. Come on, Hank.

Hey, wait a minute.

Hi, Shaw.

Now, just a minute, fellas. You'll have to wait outside.

I'm the new trumpet player you just sent for.

And me too. We've just got your wire.

What the?

Oh, yeah-well, you certainly took your time getting here.

Well, we had a couple of other offers to consider.

Alright, boys, I tell you what you do.

Drop down to the hotel tonight and play a couple of tunes for the band.

That'll be swell. Love to.

See you then, I'm sorry, I'm pretty busy now.

Well, that's alright. Which is Miss Miler's office?

Right across the hall.

Oh, thanks. Think I'll have a little talk with her.

OK, Artie - ha, ha, ha.


Danny! I can't believe my eyes.

It's so good to see you.

Kinda surprised you, huh?

Kinda surprised you, huh?

And Hank, wherever did you come from?

Artie Shaw's office.

We were just talking a little business.

But Portland?

Portland's loss is your gain.

And Fall River?

Fall River will have to suffer too.

Did Artie say anything about giving you a try-out?

Oh, sure.

Oh, darlings, that's wonderful!

Yes, but we haven't promised him anything yet.

Straight ahead.

Hey, there!

Good evening, Cap.

I'm the new trumpet player with Artie Shaw.

I ain't never seen you before.

It's alright, you're going to see plenty of me from now on.

Oh, by the way. If my brother happens to drop around here tonight, tell him that Shaw's not giving any more auditions, see.

If he makes a fuss, just throw him out.

You know how these little family jealousies are. Thanks.

What's your name?

Danny O... O' Taylor.

Danny, I'm so glad you got here early.

I was lonesome. I haven't seen you since late this afternoon.

Not a bad house. How long are we booked here for?

You're only booked for one number.

This audition? Mere formality.

Where's Hank?


How do I know? Am I my brother's keeper?

I thought he was coming with you.

He probably got cold feet.

Couldn't face the humiliation of being turned down.

Poor boy, I wish I could do something to help him.

Oh, yes.

Ah, now, Ellen. I'm very fond of Hank.

After all, he did bring us together.

If it hadn't been for those encyclopedias I might never have met you.

I'll always be grateful to him for that.

Won't you?

Danny, this is no time. Yes, it is. This is just the time.

Yesterday, what was I? A carefree schoolboy.

Today what? A man with his career assured, a man with plans for the future.

Danny, don't you think you ought to be warming up?

I've been warmed up a long time.


Shall I take the vocal?

(Starts singing) Would you like to be the love of my life for always.

And always watch over me.

To square my blunders and share my dreams.

One day with caviar.

Next day a chocolate bar.

Would you like to take the merry-go-round, I'll lead you I need you - just wait till you see.

I hope in your horoscope There is room for a dope who adores you.

That would make the only dream of my life... come true.

For the love of my life...

is you.


So, I'm your brother, huh?

I was afraid you wouldn't make it.

You shouldn't worry about me, brother Danny.

Ellen, I think you'd better leave.

No, no, stick around.

What happened, Hank?

Brother Danny here framed me with the doorman.

All I wanted was to be alone with you for once.

See that? He admits the whole thing.

Oh, now wait a minute. That doorman hit me in the lip.

He did? Yeah.

Oh, that's too bad. How'd you like to even it up, huh?

Oh no, boys, please. You have to go on in a minute.

You're putting me in an awful position.

Now, come on, let's forget it. I'll tell Artie you're here. Good luck, darlings.

Yeah, darlings.

You haven't forgotten the two trumpet players?

No, I'll be right with you.


Quick, let's go.

I'll put your boys on, but first give me a hand with that character over there.

He's been here ten nights in a row. He's an awful ear bend.

Well, well.

Mr. Chisholm, this is Miss Miller.

How do you do, Miss Miller?

Well, sir, did that last number jump for you?

Oh, very peppy. Very peppy indeed.

By the way, what chord did we finish on?

Er, B flat.

Shaw, I missed it again.

Won't you two join me?

I'm sorry, I've got to get back and play the next number.

But Miss Miller can tell you all about the band.

Is Miss Miller hep as you boys say? Hep as they come.

Fascinating, swing jargon. I'm becoming hep to it myself.

Well, see you later, Mr. Chisholm. So long, gate.

That's short for alligator. Please be seated.

Are you a musician, Mr. Chisholm?

Oh, I should have been but I was forced to give it up.

I said music and father said bottle caps. Father won.

Oh, what a pity. I take it that the banjo is your instrument.

Oh, no, the mandolin. The flat-back mandolin.

Alright, you're on. What do you want to play?

How about "I'm Yours"?

That's a tough arrangement to play at sight.

I'll play anything that's on the paper.

OK. How about you?

Pick one.

Alright, I'll leave the book with you. Look 'em over.

Artie! On the question of who plays first, may I suggest alphabetical order - in the interest of fairness?

Sure, OK. Alright, we're on in about three minutes.

What's the matter? Aren't you going to look over your parts?

I couldn't hit a bad note if I tried. Not tonight.

Why is tonight an exception?

Oh, I don't know.

It makes all the difference when you know someone's depending on you.


Oh, nothing, nothing nothing at all Who's depending on you?

Nobody. Forget it, Hank, forget it.

Say, you were alone here with Ellen when I came in.

For almost the first time since I've known her.

Yeah? Well, what happened? What did you say to her?

Look, Hank. Ellen and I...

I don't suppose it's any concern of yours, but when I get set with Shaw, Ellen and I...

You proposed to her. What did she say?

She just looked at me and gave her tender unspoken yes.

How do you know it wasn't an unspoken no?

A fella can tell.

One of those rare occasions when silence was more eloquent than words.



Alright. That's the way it is. I wish you all the happiness in the world.

Have me over for dinner sometime.

Thanks, Hank. Alright.

I'm glad you're not gonna let this come between us.

OK. Here we go.

Here we are, Danny. You know what I wish you, Danny boy.


(Out of tune)

Fascinating music.

I can't understand it.

(High-pitched note)

Well, that was just dandy. I'll be sure and call you.

In the meanwhile, if anything else comes up, take it!

You sure you know what you're doing?

Say the word.

OK, fellas. Here we go - one, two.

See what I mean? I've even got music in my feet.

(Noise of fighting)

Excuse me.


Well, have you finished, the both of you? You've ruined everything.

After all you've pretended to think of me.

After I've tried so hard. After Artie went...

Please, I never want to see either of you again.

Danny O'Neill? Who have you played with?

Er - O'Neill's Perennials.

Never heard of them.

Have you heard of Artie Shaw?

Oh, were you associated with him?

Associated with him?

I made a deeper impression on him than any trumpet player he ever heard.

One moment please.

Artie, there was one thing about last night. Maybe I shouldn't bring it up.

Now, wait a minute. If it's about those...

No, no, no. It's about Mr. Chisholm. No, I mean it.

(Phone buzzes)

Yeah? Who? Him? Are you kiddin'? Well, throw him out.

Anything serious?


Out! Alright.

Hello. Tell Tommy that Hank Taylor's here, will you?

Get off the desk.

Uh? Alright.

Of course, Mr. Chisholm talks a lot but he's sweet.

He says he has the soul of an artist but that his money's stifling it.

Now, you've always wanted to give a concert.

I know I can get him to back you.

How do I know he's different from those crunchy, crinkle breakfast food guys?

They've all got some angle.

Alright, I'll guarantee to get him without one string attached.

No musts about what I should play? None.

No bottle cap ads? Honor bright.

OK. Sounds swell if you can do it. Good. I'll get to work on it right away.

(Phone buzzes)

Yeah? What? Him? Throw him out.

Alright. Now wait a minute, I've got offers from Miller, Duchin, Goodman.

I got plenty of jobs. Don't say I didn't give you a chance.

I think I'll put a small wager on Magic Melody.

Lester, you're wonderful.

Always willing to back something musical.

Artists need a man like you.

You think so?

(Trumpet playing "Hunting song" in a jazzy fashion)

Old English hunting song, I believe.

My dear, are you choking?

(Russian-sounding music)

This place was one of my finds.

They're all real musicians.

Too bad they're not better known.

Ellen, you remember what you said - I might be able to help?

Why can't I give these musicians to the world?

Oh, but your first duty is to the American artists.

Oh, yes. So it is.

Look at him. Centuries of Slavic balance have gone into that dance.

Vos goot!

Vos goot? Vos perfect!

(Sings "Love Of My Life" in pseudo-Russian gobbledygook)

He's miles away. Perhaps dreaming of a little girl on the Steppes of Russia.

You can tell by his face he's loved and suffered.

Oh, please take me home, I can't stand any more of this.

I can't tell you how much I appreciate you letting me back this concert.

Not at all, not at all.

And how grateful I am to you, Ellen.

To think, after all these years, I'm back in my true medium.

By the way, how much did you say I should arrange for?

Er, roughly fifteen thousand.

Oh, wouldn't you say that twenty would be safer?

After all, J. Lester Chisholm must stand for nothing but the best.

There she goes, there she goes - always thinking of me.

I can't tell you what a jewel you have in this little girl.

I'm finding out every day.

And what an inspiration.

Mother thinks that every girl who's attracted to me is after the Chisholm money.

(Door buzzer)

Come in. Oh, Lester.

Stay where you are.

Don't move.

You don't know what a picture you make in the candlelight.

Lester, you've brought your mandolin.

For you.

Oh, you shouldn't have.

Why not? Tonight's our night to celebrate, isn't it?

I thought we might have a quiet evening of music.

Just you and I.

I always say there's nothing like duets to make a home a home.

Can I use your house phone, please? Certainly.

Who do you wish to speak to? Miss Miller.

Who's calling? Mr. er... Dunn.

Oh, Mr. Dunn.


Hello, Ellen. It's me, Danny.

I've been trying to get in touch with you.

I'm downstairs. And I thought maybe I could...

No, I can't see you tonight. No, I'm not being vindictive.

I just can't see you. Of course, Hank isn't here.

Look, Danny, I'll have to talk to you tomorrow.

No, he isn't.

Ellen, wait a minute.

Goodnight, Mr. Dunn.

Er, goodnight.

Mr. Dunn...

That was just an old college friend I was talking to.

We won't be disturbed again, Lester.

Shall we continue while we're in the groove?

(Chisholm singing)

(Singing badly) Beautiful Dreamer, queen of my song.

List while I woo thee with soft melody.

What was that? B-flat.

No, I heard a noise. Is there someone in there?

Hardly. That's my bedroom.

Now, don't be nervous.

I'm not a bit nervous.

See, just as I told you, it's your imagination.

(Door shuts)

(Like a dog) Grrr...

Yes boy, yes boy.

(Sniffing, then howling)

Sport, shut up.



What do you hear from the gang in college?

What do you think you're doing under this bed?

Looking for a collar button.

I've got as much right under here as you have.

Say, if you're in here, I wonder who's out there?

That's right. I thought it was you.

Better investigate.

No, wait a minute. We don't want to upset Ellen - today of all days.

That's right. Not today.

So that's why you came up. I thought so.

What are you talkin' about?

Well, you just happened to call on the day Shaw announced his concert.

Well, I read something about the concert in the paper.

But I'm much too busy to help Artie out.

I'm working like a horse.

You're working?


Not with Dorsey.

No. He wouldn't change his style to suit me.

I've got a little engagement just out of town.

I never had such a big audience.

Fourth trumpet, huh?

No sir, boy. Strictly solo stuff.

Why? Is the concert the reason for your visit?

Who, me? Yeah.

I'm much too busy for that. Doin' what?

After I quit Whiteman. You quit Whiteman?

Sure, too big a band for me.

If I'd stayed with him, I'd have lost my individuality.

Same thing happened to Bix.

So you're unemployed, huh?

No, not at all. I've just hooked up with a terrific European outfit.

I never dreamed such things could be done to music.

I wonder what's going on out there?

Sounds as if she's giving somebody an audition.

I never heard of Shaw with a mandolin section.

What about a breather? That's a wonderful idea!

Sometimes it's a little tiring. Yes.

Let's have a toast to the concert.

(Chisholm off screen) Ellen, you've made me feel like a boy again.

(Ellen off screen) Really?

(Chisholm) You've made me believe that money really isn't a handicap.

(Cork popping)

(Ellen) That's what I want you to believe, Lester.

(Chisholm) To think, after all these years, I've something to look forward to.

Well, to our big night. To our big night.

She's being taken advantage of.

She seems to be liking it.

I've seen that fella before. Where was it?

At the Russian restaurant - The Little Bear.

The Little Wolf. I saw him with her at the racetrack.

We've got to get her out of this. What are we waitin' for?

Would you have another glass? I don't think I should.

Well, you know best.

That's what I admire about you, Ellen.

You're so different from the other girls in this town.

Oh. I can hardly believe that, Lester.

You wouldn't. You're so innocent.

You wouldn't believe the carryings-on.

Oh, I've been told things.

(Sound of bucket being kicked over)

What's that? Somebody out there.

You're just imagining things again.

No, look.

(Whistle sound)

What in the world?

(Danny off-screen) He's not home, is he, Ellen?

Who is it?


Oh, er, it's just a neighbor.

He always wants to borrow the lawn- mower or something. Excuse me.

Danny, Danny, is it you?

Is that guy here again? Pardon me, Mr...


Oh, Chisholm, yes. Ellen told me about you.

Yeah, I guess she's getting rid of him.

Well, she'd better.

You know, I told her flatly - I said it's either him or me.

You know, I used to trust that guy.

I went to college with him. I shared my room, my tie, my troubles.

But I won't share Ellen.

You don't blame me, do you?

I didn't know. I think I'd better be going.

No, I didn't mean you. Stick around.

Make yourself at home. Do you need anything?


Glad to have met you.

Oh, mercy!

Danny, how dare you come up here?

I'm glad I came up.

Well, I'm not. Get off this roof this instant.

You need me, Ellen.


Oh, I'm not blaming you for one moment, but.

What are you talking about?

He's not the kind of person to be around you.

You don't know what you're getting into.

Of course, it's not your fault. Hank and I both realize that.

Hank? Is he here too?

Yes, he's inside taking care of the details.

Good heavens!

Oh, dear.

Lester! Lester, wait a minute - Lester.

Why didn't you tell me you were married?

But I'm not married.

Then who's that man?

Oh, that was just Hank.

Ellen, I can't believe it. You of all people.

Oh, dear. Oh, dear.

Well, you mustn't be so upset.

I'll send him away.

Now, don't make it worse, Ellen.

I can't stand it. I can't stand it.

I'm leaving for Cincinnatti in the morning.

Cinncinnatti? Well, what about the concert?

Well, you can tell Mr. Shaw how much I appreciate the chance he gave me.

Under the circumstances I can't accept it.

Oh, but Lester you can't throw away your whole musical career.

My musical career is over. Here, I'll never touch it again.

Oh, he said "I didn't know."

Poor Mr. Chisholm. Poor Mr. Chisholm Poor Mr. Chisholm played on the mandolin But he couldn't win Cos he tried to swing And he broke a string every time.

Oh, he says - "I'd better be going."

Poor Mr. Chisholm. Just couldn't dig the jive.

When he did arrive at the proper note - he...

Now look Ellen.

Now, this is all for the best What we did may have been a little drastic.

Yes, it may seem a little brutal at first.

But you'll thank us for it later.

So I'll thank you for it.

I suppose that Artie'll thank you for it too.

Artie? What do you mean, Artie?

What's Artie got to do with Mr. Chisholm?

Nothing. Nothing in the world.

He was only the backer of the concert.



Alright, let's go again. Shh!

Ellen, you've got to listen to me.

There's only one thing I've got to do.

Tell Artie the concert is off. Then leave town by the first train I can get.

Ellen, you can't. I'm awfully sorry about all this trouble.

I wouldn't hurt you for the world. You know how I feel about you.

Remember the other night, when I took the vocal?

I wasn't kidding.

There's one part I remember - the merry-go-round I'll lead you.

You weren't kidding. That's over, the merry-go-round is out.

No, Danny. It's too late. No, it isn't.

Go back in and act as if nothing's happened -

I'll have Chisholm back here in an hour.

What can you do?

Don't worry. Just don't say anything to Shaw until I get back.

What can I say?

You can do it. Give me an hour.

Alright, Danny. One hour.

That's right.

Hurry up, he's checking out.

What 20,000?

Oh, that 20,000.

Send it back to Cinncinnatta.

I'm going back there myself.

On second thought, Joe, you just leave it where it is.

You bounder. Leave this room immediately.

Mr. Chisholm, I brought you your mandolin.

I won't listen. Leave this room.

Take it easy. You're going to listen whether you want to or not.

We've come to clear Ellen's name.

I won't hear her name mentioned in my presence.

Oh, now don't say that, Mr. Chisholm.

Who are you?

I'm a man who wants to see justice done.

Alright, talk. No, I can't.

Come clean. Alright.

Mr. Chisholm, I have a confession to make.

I've never done this before in my life. I lied to you.

Go on. Alright.

Ellen is innocent.

Innocent? I saw with my own eyes.

He framed her deliberately.

Impulsively. I am not Ellen's husband.

I know that. Who are you?


He's her - her brother, Hank.

Brother? Aren't you ashamed?


Why did you endeavor to create this false impression?

I - I - I was trying to protect her.

Hit it.

(Rapid dialogue) We didn't know who you were.

And how much you meant to her.

You're just about the most important man in her life.

Oh, I didn't realize. Oh, what have I done?

You've acted shabbily.

You have misjudged a wonderful girl.

Jumped to brutal conclusions.

Oh, dear. Do you think she'll ever forgive me?

Well, there's a chance - if you go about it in the right way.

Yes, if you crawl back to her on your hands and knees.

And beg her to forgive and forget.

Oh, I will. Do you think this will interfere with letting me back the concert?

Well, I don't think so.

No. Ellen isn't small. But you'd better hurry.

Oh, I will. I'll get my hat and gloves.

Er, you make yourselves at home.

Poor Mr. Chisholm.

Well, we've finally done right by our Ellen.

It's about time.

Yeah. Makes you feel good, doesn't it?

You know, self-sacrifice, doing unto others.

That's the life.

Yeah, but a little self-sacrifice goes a long way.

We ought to think of our own careers for a change.

After all, we are the intimate friends of Shaw's backer.

No, we mustn't use Chisholm.

We owe it to Ellen not to take any more chances.

Oh, no. Ellen won't respect a couple of failures.

It's true if it wasn't for us the concert would be off.

Certainly. He owes us a break.

Here I go. Boys, if there's ever anything I can do.

Nonsense, Mr. Chisholm. We're glad to do a good turn.

If there's anything we can do for you.

Oh, you've already done enough.

Oh, I mean helping you select numbers for the concert and that sort of thing.

You see, I don't select the numbers for the concert.

Why, I hardly dare venture an opinion.

But you should.

After all, I'm only the backer.

Only the backer?

Why, Mr. Chisholm, you're the impresario.

The most important man in the entire organization.

You've got to be the guiding hand.

Choose the music.

Pick the men.

It's your duty.

Think of the other backers. You're letting them down.

You're letting Shaw down.

This is terrible. Why didn't anyone ever tell me this before?

Why, I would have been delighted to do it.

It's not too late. Not if you work fast.

I don't know which way to start. What would you suggest?

First of all, line up a number.

That's a good idea, but off-hand I can't think.

Oh, sure you remember the... rolling-back-to-mammy- on-the-big-river blues.

Rolling back to mammy on the big river blues.

That's it, he's got it. He's got it.

Now, don't be too hasty.

Perhaps I can think of something better.

What about a folk song?

A folk song.

I've got just the number for you.

Listen to this.

Oh, you're gonna like this Chis.

This is back to the good earth, full of sweep - play that, Danny.

I like that. What's it called?

"Hoe-down the bayou."

Do you hear that? That's New Orleans.

I visited there. Three weeks.

I don't recognize it.

You don't?

Well, that's the spirit of New Orleans.

I can almost smell the Delta.

I can smell the Delta.

Can't you smell the Delta?

I have a slight cold.

Well, nothing that your mandolin won't cure.

Now you pick this up, Chis. Pick it up, boy.

Yeah, yeah, come on, son. The train won't wait.

That's it. Now, we're sailin' up that river on the Memphis, Chattanooga. Hold on, Chis.

Hear them steamboat whistles blowin.' Tote that barge, pull that bale.

There's a cabin in the cotton, Solid South, solid North, solid Jack.

Solid Jack.

Right, wagon wheels-a-creakin' Westward.

Now, we're rollin' past that junction on to Kansas, Cincinnatti.

Cincinnatti, my home town.

His hometown, your hometown, everybody's hometown. Cincinatti!

Boys, words fail me. I must see Shaw at once.

That's the spirit, Chisholm. Don't let America down.

You sure it's my duty as a backer?

You can do anything.



Alright. I'll not only see that this epic-making number of yours is given the finest presentation in the world, but I'll go further.

I'll play in it myself - on my mandolin.


A rhythm in letter B. I'll set the tempo at C.

Trombones make a definite entrance. Saxes come in good and strong, and strings pick it up from there.

Ellen, can you ever forgive me? Oh Lester.

I know I don't deserve it. I've let you down in more ways than one.

But I'm going to make up for it right now.

Shaw, can I see you a minute.

Hi! Take ten, fellas.

Hello Mr. Chisholm glad you dropped in.

I didn't just drop in Mr. Shaw. Sit down please. And you Ellen.

I realized I've shirked my duties but I've got something to make up for it.

A folk song for the concert, it'll kill you.

Folk song?

It's got everything. The sweep of the prairies, creaking of wagons, the Mississippi.

Sounds peachy.

It goes like this.

Da da da da da.

Hoe down the bayou.

Can't you smell the delta?


Chattanooga, Louisiana, solid North, solid South.

Hoe down boy, hoo! That's the steamboat whistle.

That's my home town, your home town, everybody's home town.


Are you kidding?

It'll sweep the country.

I insist that you play it at the concert.

(Overlapping) If that's the way you feel about...

Prairies, wagons, steamboat whistles. That's its sweep.

Listen Artie I've heard part of it. It's not a bad song.

How can I tell from that? Get me someone who can play it.

I'll get you the composer himself. He's right outside, right away.

I fixed it.

Good boy Chis.

You've done a great job.

Go in there and give 'em all you've got.

Maybe we'd better explain about our secret.

I could back you up on the mandolin.

No, no, no. Save it.

You don't want to give away the big surprise.

No practice comes first.

Besides you're no song plugger.

Would Heifetz go around selling songs to band leaders?

That's fine I'll stand by and explain it as you play it.


We'd better stay out here, too many people might make Shaw nervous.

Well I might be needed.

Come on down the lobby, I'll buy you a cigar.

I don't like cigars.

Don't you worry about it I'll smoke it myself.

Artie he'll be here in a minute.

I know but I'm holding up a whole rehearsal Ellen.

Hello Mr. Shaw.

Oh, it's you again, huh?

I guess so.

You aren't going to let something that's over stand in the way of a good song?

OK. Let's hear it, this better be good. Yes sir.

Poor Mr. Chisholm played on the mandolin.

But he couldn't win.

'Cos he tried to swing and he broke a string, every time.

Poor Mr. Chisholm just couldn't dig the jive.

When he did arrive at the proper note, he arrived by boat, every time.

He tried to jazz up his mandolin.

But never could quite control it.

He always brought Bach and Handel in.

When he took a lick, he always broke a pick.

Poor Mr. Chisholm you're quite a gay old blade with your serenade.

But you're corny Jack, better truck on back to the buke.

Get a uke.

You disgraced your kin on the mandolin, every time.

Did you like the tune Artie? Kinda cute.

Make an arrangement of it and maybe we can find a spot for it.

But remember no trouble this time.

Don't worry Mr. Shaw. And thanks a lot.

Mr. Chisholm playing a mandolin, that'll really be something.

Alright Ben, call the boys.

I'm within the hour. Chilsholm is back.

I'm making an arrangement. You see Ellen I've settled down.

The merry-go-round's out.

Out nothing, you just happen to get the brass ring.

This is your big chance, Danny. I hope.

Did he understand it? Did he go for it?

Hook, line and Cincinatti. Nice going boy!

Wonderful! Calls for a celebration.

Attaboy Danny.

Fellow artists, I give you the concert. We accept it.

Lester we're proud of you.

Oh Ellen, I'm only the backer.

That's a very important role Lester.

It's not as though I was a real contributor, as though I was one of the performers.

Well, now look... We just about killed this bottle.

What kind of a host are you? How about a refill?

Oh excuse me, of course, of course.

Oh, you won't tell her while I'm gone?

Not a chance. Don't worry about it.

Lester, wait a minute, tell me what?

It's just a little surprise. Let's tell her. I'm gonna play in the concert.

Lester you're not.

Well I am, I knew you'd be delighted.

What am I standing here for? Wine is what we need, wine.

So the merry-go-round is still on?

We couldn't help it, all we did was flatter him a bit.

If we disillusioned him, he'd call the whole thing off.

What do you suppose Shaw will do? Shaw will never find out.

Hank's going to keep Chisholm away from him.

Me? Oh no!

But I'll be busy with my arrangement.

Alright I'll make a bargain with you.

You get me a job with Shaw with a nice fat trumpet part and I'll look after Chisholm.

Oh sure. I'll do my best.

You'll do better than that or else.


That'll get 'em Artie. Oh, it was wonderful.

Glad you like it.

Here's my arrangement.

Oh fine. You make all the changes we talked about.

Yeah, but I don't know how good it'll sound after that.

Artie, there's one little favor I want to ask you.

You're gonna use some extra trumpets. I know a fella that...

Not that partner of yours, that guy can't get through number without falling off the stand.

Nothin' doin', period. We'll run over this in the morning.

Danny, what are we going to do about poor Hank?

It's going to be tough but we'll keep on trying.

Ninety-six, two, three, seven... Two, three... ninety-eight...

Two, three, ninety-nine... Two, three and one hundred and stop.

One hundred times without a slip.

No, no. You were pretty fuzzy on thirty-seven.

You were a quarter beat off on seventy-six.

Now you take one more hundred and we'll turn in.

No, now it's just two days before the concert.

I'd better go down and tell Artie our secret.

No not yet. It's too late tonight anyhow.

It isn't, the band's staying late to rehearse.

You haven't practiced enough.

I've practiced for ten days, twelve hours a day, six hours a night. I'll go stale.

Are you ready?

One... Two...

Tonight at 8:30, Artie Shaw will present an interesting newcomer to the musical world.

Interesting newcomer that must mean me.

What? Yes sure, sure, sure.

Henry, are you worried about the rehearsal?

Me no. Is it worrying you?

Not at all. There are few troubles that a good nights sleep won't cure.

Look you watch your own health, I've got insomnia.

Insomnia, that's too bad you should er...

(Knock on door)

Come in.

Good afternoon Mr. Chisholm.

Hello, well what about a drink?

Good idea.

I'll be right back. I just want to spruce up a bit.

Hello. Give me the Majestic Theatre, will you?

It's better so...

What? What's that? What about her?

Yeah. Wait a minute, excuse me Chis, this is a personal matter.

Say Danny you wouldn't lie to me at a time like this, would you?

It's all set, you're in! You gotta' get down here right away.

Well this makes up for a lot of things Danny.

What Chisholm?

Wait a minute don't you worry about Chisholm.

I just got a plan to keep him here.

You bet, so long.

Good news? It depends on your point of view.

One man's drink is another man's poison.

Yeah... Well Henry everything happens for the best.

You know it's always darkest just before dawn.


The lad worthwhile is the lad who can smile when the rest of the word's gone wrong.

Right, right as rain.

We'll have it over here.

Henry if ever anything comes between us, always remember I had your best interest at heart.

That cuts both ways partner.

Well happy days. Happy dreams.

Bottoms up.

Bottoms up.

There must be some answer.

Well never mind.

I can't raise Hank anywhere.

He'll never believe I didn't have anything to do with this.

Last week I'd been sure you had, but this week no.

You know you're improving so amazingly Danny I think I'll make you my manager.

Thank you.

Ladies and gentlemen we have a little blues number, which recently came to my attention bearing the somewhat ambiguous title, "Hoedown the Bayou".

Since then it has grown up and been transformed into something special.

Before playing it, I'd like to introduce the man who wrote it: Danny O'Neil.

Go on.

How do you feel?


OK. It's all yours.

Danny you were wonderful.

Nice work Danny! I'm gonna' have to hire you after all.

Thanks Artie.

Only because I don't want to lose a good secretary.

(Crowd) Artie Shaw, Artie Shaw!


Ninety-nine... One hundred... Take it again.

I hope in your horoscope there is room for a dope, who adores you.

Vas goot!

Vas perfect!