THE SPIRIT OF 1976 (1935): In the far-flung future of 1976, work is outlawed and people have numbers instead of names. A group of stodgy old codgers -- nostalgic for the days of 9 to 5 -- stage a revolt. This parody of a socialist utopia stars a pre-stardom Betty Grable and Walter Woolf King (from the Marx Brothers' A Night at the Opera.) Directed by Leigh Jason.
MELODY IN MAY (1936): Frank Coghlan, Jr. becomes the laughing stock of his high school after he tells everyone he's got a date with singing sensation Ruth Etting. His classmates all have egg on their faces when he shows up to the prom with Ruth on his arm! Ruth Etting was famously portrayed by Doris Day in Love Me or Leave Me (1955). Directed by Ben Holmes.
BAD MEDICINE (1936): Gene Austin and his musicians are on the road backing up a traveling medicine man, until they find out he's a charlatan bamboozling everybody with "fire water." Gene Austin was one of the most popular "crooners" of the 1920s, setting the stage for Rudy Vallee and Bing Crosby. Also featuring beloved African-American comedian Willie Best ("Sleep n' Eat"). Directed by Jean Yarbrough (The Abbott and Costello Show).
TRAILING ALONG (1937): Gene Austin's nightclub gigs have dried up, so he buys a trailer and takes his musicians on a tour of trailer camps all over the country. Austin and his band really did embark on such tours in the 1930s and 1940s. Co-starring the sensational jazz guitars of "Candy & Coco". Directed by Jean Yarbrough.
MONEY ON YOUR LIFE (1938): Danny Kaye plays a Russian revolutionary on the run from a pair of bearded assassins. He takes sanctuary in the office of life insurance agent Charles Kemper, who realizes he could make a killing if he can get Kaye as his client. Directed by William Watson.
THE FIRST CHAIR (1938) : Frank Coghlan, Jr. wants to move up to the first chair position in his high school orchestra, but his instructor tells him he's just not good enough. His advice? Go shopping at the C.G. Conn music store and buy all-new instruments! This extremely rare film was made to promote Conn Instruments and features rare footage of their factory floor in 1937. Frank Coghlan, Jr., or "Junior Coghlan", was a popular child star in the silent era. As a young adult he played his most famous role: Billy Batson in the Republic serial Adventures of Captain Marvel (1941). Directed by H.H. Brownell.