Talk About A Lady

The band filmed several musical shorts in the Forties, but was only ever featured in one full-length movie, and that was strictly a Columbia B-picture programmer. Talk About a Lady (originally Duchess of Broadway) starred Jinx Falkenburg and Forrest Tucker, and seemingly Stan plugged neither of the two principal songs from the film, though both had the makings of a hit. “Avocado” is in the “Tampico” genre by the same writers—Allan Roberts and Doris Fisher—with vocal by June, Gene, and the band (Stan is dressed in full sombrero on his back); while “I Never Had A Dream Come True” is a pleasant enough ballad.

—Michael Sparke
Stan Kenton: This is an Orchestra! Denton: University of North Texas Press

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In November of 1945 Billboard wrote that “Kenton will do a picture for Columbia, tentatively titled Duchess From Broadway, during his current Palladium stay.”

Metronome had a similar announcement in their December 1945 issue. “Band begins work in a Columbia picture, Duchess of Broadway, about December 1.” In the following issue it was revealed that “the Kenton band does four numbers in the Columbia musical Duchess of Broadway, three of the vocals being shared by June Christy and Gene Howard.”

And on 28 March 1946, It was released, with a new title, and only one of the vocals mentioned by Metronome.

PLOT
A country girl (wanting to break into show-business) comes to New York City and (by her actions) manages to restore the optimism of a jaded and disillusioned nightclub owner. Eventually she marries the manager of one of the man's nightclubs. [Les Adams—IMDB]

The “lady” is country lass Janie Clark (Jinx Falkenberg) in this peppy Columbia musical. Upon inheriting several million dollars’ worth of real estate, Janie heads to Manhattan, where she runs up against her snooty, avaricious relatives. One of Janie’s assets is a nightclub, providing the heroine ample opportunity to exhibit her singing and dancing skills. The film is stolen by jumbo Joe Besser as Roly Q. Entwhistle, a would-be magician who unofficially adopts Janie and protects her against her enemies. Five songs are heard during the proceedings, none as entertaining as Besser’s “You Craaazy You” antics. [Hal Erickson—All Movie]

CREDITS
Directed by George Sherman
Produced by Michael Kraike
Music by Marlin Skiles

CAST
Jinx Falkenburg (Janie Clark)
Forrest Tucker (Bart Manner)
Joe Besser (Roly Q. Entwhistle)
Trudy Marshall (Toni Marlowe)
Richard Lane (Duke Randall)
Jimmy Little (Buffalo)
Frank Sully (Rocky Jordan)
Jack Davis (Carleton Vane)
Robert Regent (Arthur Harrison)
Mira McKinney (Letitia Harrison)
Robin Raymond ('Peaches' Barkeley)
Stan Kenton and His Orchestra

STAN KENTON ORCHESTRA
SAXOPHONE
Al Anthony, Boots Mussulli, Vido Musso, Bob Cooper, Bob Gioga
TRUMPET Ray Wetzel, Buddy Childers, John Anderson, Russ Burgher, Bob Lymperis
TROMBONE Ray Klein, Freddie Zito, Jimmy Simms, Milt Kabak, Bart Varsalona
PIANO Stan Kenton
GUITAR Bob Ahern
BASS Eddie Safranski
DRUMS Ralph Collier
VOCAL June Christy, Gene Howard

Avocado
composed by Alan Roberts and Doris Fisher
arranged by Boots Mussulli

I Never Had A Dream Come True
composed by Alan Roberts and Doris Fisher
arranged by Gene Roland

Unnamed instrumental

Entire movie