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'Love Me or Leave Me" tops list of favorite Musicals 1952 to 1986

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Roscoe Pond performed with the Native American “Daystar” dance company as a modern dancer. (Rosalie M. Jones, Executive Director). Roscoe grew up on Jazz music because his father & grandfather were one time musicians. He sang Jazz standards in college & in several One-Person shows. Below - Roscoe gives us his 12 favorite musical films from 1952 to 1986.

  1. Love me or Leave me” (1955) James Cagney & Doris Day. A loosely based bio-pic of 1920's Jazz singer Ruth Etting. I know every song by heart & my favorite is, “It all depends on you.” I sang “Shakin' the Blues Away” in a voice class student production. I did alright, but not great.

  2. GiGi” (1958) Louis Jourdan & Leslie Caron. Best Picture Oscar winner about two people who fall in love at the turn of 20th century Paris. I know every song & my favorite is “The night they invented Champagne.” I used to dress up on Halloween as Gaston (Jordan). Women loved it after I told them who I was supposed to be.

  3. The Cotton Club” (1984) Richard Gere & Gregory Hines. A film about the famous Harlem nightclub during the Jazz age of the 1930's. “Crazy Rythm” with Hines is my favorite song & dance number. He's also my favorite male dancer because he has panache, style & class.

  4. Victor/Victoria” (1982) Julie Andrews & James Garner. She's a woman-pretending to be a man-pretending to be a woman-in 1934 Paris. “Le Jazz Hot” & “Crazy World” tie as my favorite songs as part of an incredible soundtrack from beginning to end. I would've given anything to have been a male back-up dancer in “Hot” or “Shady Dame from Seville.”

  5. Daddy Long Legs” (1955) Fred Astaire & Leslie Caron. A young girl's college tuition is paid by an unknown benefactor. “Sluefoot” is my favorite song & dance number. The kids laugh at the “old man” Astaire who makes the dance his own. Caron just hangs on as they become one.

  6. Lady Sings the Blues” (1972) Diana Ross. A bio-pic of legendary singer Billie Holiday. My favorite song is “Good-morning Heartache.” I sang that in voice class at college & I was only 19 which was way too young. I also sang it in my first one-person show. You have to have life experience because it's about the blues. I could sing it today – maybe.

  7. Singin' in the Rain” (1952) Gene Kelly & Cyd Charisse. It's about a silent film star who has to transition into talking pictures. “Gotta Dance” is my favorite song plus the big dance sequence with Kelly. He joins a seductive Charisse, who dances with him, but still goes back to her boyfriend who has money & jewels. Sexy-as-all-get-out.

  8. Round Midnight” (1986) Dexter Gordan & Lonette McKee. It's the story about tenor saxophone player, Dale Turner & his life struggles. My favorite song is “How long has this been going on?” which is a duet with singer McKee. The soundtrack is really, really smooth.

  9. A Star is Born” (1954) Judy Garland & James Mason. An aging film-star discovers a singer whose career surpasses his own. My favorite song is the very first number called, “Gotta Have Me Go With You.” Garland is perhaps the greatest entertainer of all time. Someone uploaded the original 45 vinyl record to “YouTube.” Way, way cool.

  10. White Christmas” (1954) Danny Kaye & Vera Ellen. Two soldiers help out their military leader by putting on a show during Christmas. “Choreography” is my favorite song & dance number. Ellen is a tap dancer who makes it look so easy. She is mixed in with Kaye who is followed by his experimental modern dancers dressed like Martha Graham.

  11. I'll Cry Tomorrow” (1955) Susan Hayward & Jo Van Fleet. It's a bio-pic about singer Lillian Roth who falls into alcoholism. “Sing, You Sinners” is my favorite song & Hayward did her own vocals in the film. Lillian's voice was still intact after alcohol ravaged her body.

  12. The Bandwagon” (1953) Fred Astaire & Cyd Charisse. A group of theater players create a musical after a really awful dramatic production. My favorite is a dance piece. Astaire spoofs detective Mickey Spillane who strides into a bar filled with gangsters. He meets up with Charisse & they dance a sexy, but dangerous number together.

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