Friday, January 11, 2013

Out of the Past: Jack Buchanan, the one and only.

Jack Buchanan looking oh-so-delightfully suave. I'm loving those pants!

I fell in love with a post over at Lauren's blog - The Past on a Plate - featuring a recipe for Afternoon Tea Hearts pastry AND links to a few Jack Buchanan ditties including the world renown EVERYTHING STOPS FOR TEA which is now officially one of my favorite songs of all time and should probably be the National Anthem of Great Britain.

What, you never heard of it?

Well, I never did either. At least until yesterday when I read Lauren's wonderful post. Thank you, Lauren.

As much as I love Jack Buchanan, I never even knew he was a real-life, song and dance man (despite his having proved it in THE BAND WAGON) and had songs galore on youtube. You live and learn.

Free Downloads of Jack's songs.

You don't know Jack Buchanan? Well, I'm here to remedy that deficit in your show-biz education.

Maybe some of you remember Jack as the sophisticated, ego-encumbered theater impresario AND musical comedy actor from THE BAND WAGON with Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse? He steals the film from Fred and Cyd and everyone else - he can't help himself, he's such a ham-bone. I love the guy. (Yeah, I know, I keep saying that - can't help it.)

Jack Buchanan (1891 - 1957) was a Scottish theater actor, producer, director and singer. On screen he was the epitome of the debonair, bon-vivant, man about town as we all imagined (then and now) such a man to be. He fit the profile deliciously.

Here he is keeping up with Fred Astaire in THE BAND WAGON. (I maintain he steals the film.)

- and again from the same movie, the brilliant 'That's Entertainment' number with Jack, Fred, Nanette Fabray and the perpetually grumpy and clumsy, composer and non-actor, Oscar Levant.
Fab. U. Lous.

What's not to love about any of 'em?

But this is not a Fred or Nanette or Oscar post, it's a post about Jack Buchanan whom I adore now and forever.


  1. I'm so glad you enjoyed my post! I love Jack Buchanan, too.

  2. I did, Lauren. I'm also a big fan of Afternoon Tea. Everything does, indeed, stop for tea. :)

    Loved your post.

  3. Patti, I'd only heard of Jack Buchanan though I don't think I ever heard him sing or saw any of his films. I enjoy musical comedies, especially Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Ginger Rogers, and Donald O'Connor, and I'm going to check out Buchanan too.

  4. I remember Jack Buchanan from the Band Wagon. I'm a big Fred Astaire fan, and that clip with Fred and Jack was featured in That's Entertainment. I've been feeling too old lately, because all the bloggers seem so young, but seeing this post made my day. Thank you!

  5. Fun post, Yvette. I just have to say this (though it's not about Buchanan) -- check out Oscar Levant's hands in the final dance bit in the "That's Entertianment!" clip. Clenched throughout the entire number! Uncomfortable? Yes, indeed.

  6. Prashant are you able to access the links on my post? If not I'd make it my business to get my hands on THE BAND WAGON asap. :) Wonderful movie, wonderful performances.

    The links, really, are only an enticement anyway.:)

  7. When you start feeling old, A.L. come on over and we'll figure out a way to shake things up. :)

    I'm an oldie myself, looking much older than you if that picture is anytime recent.

    I wonder sometimes how many 'women (or men) of a certain age' are manning the gates at their own blogs on the internet. I'll bet there are plenty of us.

    If nothing else, the internet will keep us young. HA!

    And you're very welcome, A.L.

  8. I don't think that's a fist really, John. Not a tension fist. I think it's that he doesn't know what to do with his hands while he's 'dancing' and moving in front of the camera. He is just a clutz. He seems relaxed enough in the early part of the number.

    But admittedly, he's like a bull in a china shop.

    Levant is quite wonderful in this movie and also in AN AMERICAN IN PARIS(in which he plays Gershwin music - let's not forget Levant's expertise on the piano) and also in THE BARKLEYS OF BROADWAY, a lesser liked Astaire and Rogers film with one of my favorite musical numbers , 'A Weekend in the Country ' I should of stood in bed.' HA!

    Also note at the end of the That's Entertainment number he practically pushes Nanette Fabray out of the frame. I exagerate, but honestly....

  9. Yvette, I am so sorry I addressed you wrongly. I was going through Patti's and a few other blogs all at the same time when I left a comment on your blog. I'll have to see what damage I have done in my comments on other blogs!

  10. Wonderful, Yvette! I knew about Buchanan's prolific career, but had never really experienced him in anything but "The Band Wagon." You are so right -- he does steal that movie. Just watching him explain the show to the group of potential backers is enough to make you laugh until you have to make a dead run for the ladies' room. I really enjoyed this!
    P.S. After 2 tries, I'm wondering why proving I'm not a robot means I have to have incredible vision -- good heavens, some of that stuff is so dim!

  11. Agreed, Yvette - a great performer. And The Band Wagon is my favorite movie musical, and Jack Buchanan is a major reason for that. (Come to think of it, so is Oscar Levant!)

  12. Not to worry, Prashant. I know what you meant. :)

  13. Becky, I'm sorry about the proving you're not a robot thing, but it's the best way for me to keep spam from driving me nuts.
    I just keep re-doing it until I get something legible.

    Yeah, Buchanan. Love the guy. That scene where he gets Cyd Charisse's manager/boyfriend to sanction her appearing in a B'way show when all along he'd vetoed it, is PRICELESS.

  14. Agreed, Les. I wish Buchanan had lived longer and made more musicals. :)

    Oscar Levant, too.

  15. Oh Yvette, no criticism intended -- I use the robot thing too. I was getting those weird comments from spammers as well. Just strikes me funny that some of them are so dark or illegible! If one is really bad, I just type gobbledygook to get past it to a better one. LOL!

  16. Some of them are totally illegible, it's true. I wonder if the people who invented the thing are aware of it.

    Oh, they must be. :)

  17. My family are related to Jack Buchanan but you guys know more about him than us :(


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