Happy Birthday, Frankie!

What else is there to say?  This is from Frankie’s 88th Birthday Celebration in 2002.

My favorite DC memory of him where he took us to school.  In the midst of an improvised Big Apple during a jam, he jumps up out of his chair from the sidelines, stops the presses and shows the kids how its done.

And my favorite “new” video of him with his son Chazz Young.  I don’t get tired of watching this.

Learn more about him at his official website: www.FrankieManning.com

Frankie95 Highlights and Observations Pt. IX

Almost there.  Part nine of my Frankie Manning’s 95th Birthday Festival recap.  Technically the end, but I’m going to add a couple other notes after this, including one that should have been at the beginning.  You can see a compilation of all videos from the weekend here on my site.    This note was originally posted on July 8, 2009.

I’d like to say I decompressed on the ride back, but I just sat on the train and stewed, making myself angrier. I started writing a summary of my weekend experiences, but that turned into a litany of threats, culminating in a step by step plan to take on everyone I held responsible for pissing me off. I was pretty much prepared never to step into another Lindy Hop dance again, but fortunately a few people stepped in to pull me from the edge.

Skye gave me a call while I was on the train. We only had a chance to chat very briefly at the event, but he knew I was upset. He had an interesting take on things. Among his observations was his thought it was a good thing that the event was big enough to absorb individual people’s bulls#!t without messing it up for everyone else too much. Read the rest of this entry »

Frankie95 Highlights and Observations Pt VII

Part seven of my Frankie Manning’s 95th Birthday Festival recap with a few grammatical edits from the original.  You can see a compilation of videos from Sunday here on my site.    This note was originally posted on June 24, 2009.

The rest of Sunday evening went pretty smoothly.

Sitting through the Jack & Jill semi-finals reminded me why these things are usually scheduled in the afternoon of most events. We were originally supposed to do it right after the show and before the bands took the stage to give people time to go eat dinner or otherwise freshen up. Unless you’re in it, prelims and semi-final dance contest rounds aren’t the most riveting things to watch. Thanks to Joel Domoe, Aurelie & Tony Tye and our DJ, Ryan Swift for moving things along as quickly as possible.

We were incredibly fortunate to be working with Jonathan Stout and Paul Cosentino that night. I usually get the impression from most bands that they feel like they’re slumming when they play a swing dance. However, Jonathan and Paul genuinely love playing for dancers, and they were incredibly accommodating for all the delays and changes that happened that evening. They were super generous by giving up playing time so everything could be done in a reasonable time. Read the rest of this entry »

Frankie95 Highlights and Observations Pt. III

Part three of my Frankie Manning’s 95th Birthday Festival recap. In addition to some grammatical edits, I also added a bonus video at the end.   You can see a compilation of videos from the Friday daytime activities and the Friday Night activities here on my site.    This note was originally posted on June 8, 2009.

On Friday we did it all over again because we had to move everything from the Grand Ballroom to the Hammerstein Ballroom downstairs. Unfortunately, that meant that I had to skip out on the memorial service and the dance at Central Park. It was a tough decision especially after David had detailed the line up to me earlier in the week. The speaker and musical guest list was loaded, a testament to Frankie’s influence.

How many memorial services have a warm up band consisting of Count Basie alumni like Benny Powell and Frank Weiss? Major props to Lana Turner for putting that memorial service together along with the funeral just a few weeks previous.

I consider this memorial one of the main pillars of the event. I hope everyone who could was able to attend. For my part, after the near mishaps from the day before, I thought it would be wise for one of us to be on site to trouble shoot problems. Read the rest of this entry »

Flashback with Ramona Staffeld: Dancing with Frankie

This is the second installment of a special feature that I’m doing with Ramona Staffeld. We’re looking at some very old school clips of her past performances and getting her reactions.   The first one was from the 1998 American Lindy Hop Championships.  This one is Ramona dancing with Frankie Manning at Midsummer’s Night Swing at Lincoln Center.  Everything after the video below is written by her with a few hopefully helpful edits from me.   Enjoy!

Read the rest of this entry »

Frankie95 Video Addendum

Thought I’d pass along a few new clips from Frankie Manning’s 95th Birthday Festival.

First up is a couple of awesome looking previews of the DVD from the company that is producing it.

Hellzapoppin’ in 30 Seconds

Full Preview

Read the rest of this entry »

Frankie95 Video Round Up-Introduction

I’ve been obsessive compulsively keeping track of videos posted from the Frankie Manning 95th Birthday Festival. This is mostly because I didn’t get to see a lot of it despite being at all the evening events from before start until after finish.

I was looking at the Silver Shadows’ routine and realized that there were 11 videos of it online.  I wanted to determine which one got the best view.  Then I got even more curious and did the same for the other performance videos, the competitions, etc. until I just compiled a ton of information.

I figured that it would be a shame not to share this stuff, so now everything is compiled into these easy to reference blog posts by day/night.

The official Frankie 95 DVD is being produced as we speak.  You can order a copy by going to the Frankie95 website.

Until then, click on the links below and enjoy!

Frankie95 Video Blog Introduction

I’ve been obsessively compulsively keeping track of videos posted from the Frankie Manning 95th Birthday Festival http://www.frankie95.com/index.php. This is mostly because I didn’t get to see a lot of it despite being at all the evening events from before start until after finish.

I was looking at the Silver Shadows’ routine and realized that there were 11 videos of it online. I wanted to determine which one got the best view, and then I looked at the other performance videos, the competitions, etc. until I just compiled a ton of information.

I figured that it would be a shame not to share this stuff, so now everything is compiled into these easy to reference blog posts by day/night.

The official Frankie 95 DVD is being produced as we speak. You can order a copy by going to the Frankie95 website. http://www.frankie95.com/order_dvd.php

Until then , enjoy!

Thursday https://jsalmonte.wordpress.com/2009/07/10/frankie95-video-round-up-thursday/

Friday day https://jsalmonte.wordpress.com/2009/07/10/frankie95-video-roundup-friday-day/

Friday night https://jsalmonte.wordpress.com/2009/07/10/frankie-95-video-roundup-friday-night/

Saturday https://jsalmonte.wordpress.com/2009/07/10/frankie95-video-roundup-saturday/

Sunday https://jsalmonte.wordpress.com/2009/07/09/frankie95-video-roundup-sunday/

Monday https://jsalmonte.wordpress.com/2009/07/09/frankie95-video-roundup-monday/

Frankie95 Video Round Up: Thursday

This post is a part of a day by day recap of the Frankie Manning 95th Birthday Festival. You can learn more about Frankie Manning at the event’s website or go to his personal website www.FrankieManning.com. You can order DVD’s of this event at www.Frankie95.com.

We started off with an advanced screening of the PBS documentary about Frankie Manning called, “Frankie Manning:  Never Stop Swinging.” And by advanced, I mean by a few hours because it was premiering later that night on channel 13 up in New York.

Here is Elliot Donnelley, one of the Frankie 95 executive committee organizers opening up the Thursday night dance and introducing the New Orleans Jazz Vipers who began with “Exactly Like You.”

The Harlem Hot Shots started the evening performances during the first break.

Read the rest of this entry »

Frankie95 Video Roundup: Friday, Day

This post is a part of a day by day recap of the Frankie Manning 95th Birthday Festival. You can learn more about Frankie Manning at the event’s website or go to his personal website www.FrankieManning.com. You can order DVD’s of this event at www.Frankie95.com.

The day started out with a memorial service for Frankie Manning at the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church.  Harlem resident and friend of Frankie, Lana Turner put together a huge array of friends, family and admirers to remember him.

Here is Manu Smith sharing some fond memories.

But this was no ordinary memorial service.  Frankie wanted us to celebrate, not mourn.  You can guess how dancers would celebrate one of the true greats.

Here’s Dawn Hampton with Manu showing everyone how it’s done

Read the rest of this entry »

Frankie 95 Video Roundup: Friday night

This post is a part of a day by day recap of the Frankie Manning 95th Birthday Festival. You can learn more about Frankie Manning at the event’s website or go to his personal website www.FrankieManning.com. You can order DVD’s of this event at www.Frankie95.com.

The first part of the evening dance consisted mostly of sets traded by The Blue Vipers of Brooklyn and Ron Sunshine & Full Swing.

After each band played one set we had our evening performances.

The Harlem Hot Shots

Read the rest of this entry »

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