St. Louis Blues

  • 1958
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Biography, Musical

Cole is featured as W.C. Handy, famed black composer of immortal blues tunes. His father (Hernandez) is a minister who feels his son is playing "the devil's music," but Cole finally chooses the music he knows he does best. Kitt is a New Orleans singer who encourages him, and Dee a local girl who simply wants to make him happy. Tragedy strikes when psychosomatic...read more

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Cole is featured as W.C. Handy, famed black composer of immortal blues tunes. His father (Hernandez) is a minister who feels his son is playing "the devil's music," but Cole finally chooses the music he knows he does best. Kitt is a New Orleans singer who encourages him, and Dee a local

girl who simply wants to make him happy. Tragedy strikes when psychosomatic blindness sets in, but Cole eventually overcomes this, becomes widely admired for his music, and wins grudging acceptance by his father. ST. LOUIS BLUES is short on fact and conviction, with an unimaginative direction that

merely records the action. The only reason to see this film is its wonderful cast of popular musicians and their renditions of Handy's work. Cole's voice is at its lyrical best, and there are fine performances by Calloway, Jackson, and Fitzgerald. Watch for future pop star Preston playing Handy as

a child. What's really significant about ST. LOUIS BLUES is its almost exclusive use of black talent. Songs include "Hesitating Blues," "Chantez Les Bas," "Beale Street Blues," (W.C. Handy), "Careless Love" (based on folk music by Handy; lyrics by Spencer Williams, Martha Koenig), "Morning Star,"

"Way Down South Where the Blues Began," "Mr. Bayle," "Aunt Hagar's Blues" (Handy; lyrics by Tim Brymn), "They that Sow" (hymn), and "Going to See My Sarah" (spiritual).

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Cole is featured as W.C. Handy, famed black composer of immortal blues tunes. His father (Hernandez) is a minister who feels his son is playing "the devil's music," but Cole finally chooses the music he knows he does best. Kitt is a New Orleans singer who… (more)

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