Saturday, March 21, 2009

I've Been Bozzed!

Being bozzed means simply that the wonders of the Boswell Sisters, a harmonic jazz vocal trio from the 20s and 30s, have been indelibly etched in my mind, body and soul. The Boswells were the Andrews Sisters ten years before the Andrews Sisters were the Andrews Sisters. Connie, Martha and Vet made music that still sounds fresh today. Check out Heebie Jeebies and try to stop shaking your fanny.

I realized I'd been bozzed when I saw Heebie Jeebies and my emotions started to swell. I have a couple of CD compilations that I had been listening to voraciously but when I watched the girls singing, the depth of what I had previously just heard bubbled to the top. There's a lot of love, a lot of family, and a lot of history behind the smiling faces in the video. For instance, lead vocalist Connee (who also played the cello) lost the use of her legs from a bout of polio when she was three years old but the sisters still went on to become performing legends.

Martha played the piano for the trio, so Connee would be carried out and placed on the piano bench...When the curtain rose the audience would see Martha and Connee seated, and their sister Vet [who played the violin] behind them with her hands on their shoulders. They even took their bows from this position.

The italicized words above the video of Sleepy Time Down South are just some of the history of the Boswell Sisters I found on the wonderfully informative web site, Check out Rock and Roll below (it's very likely they invented the term despite the difference in it's use here) and then head over to to get yourself bozzed!

(Jean Sargent whom I had never heard of, opens the Rock and Roll video.)



    I was raised watching this cartoon. To say I saw it often is an understatement. My Dad was H-U-G-E Fleischer Brothers fanatic so I was well-versed in their work.
    It's a long piece for the time (1933) but, of course, it wasn't for kids, it was to steer those in the movie theaters away from thinking about what was happening outside the theaters.
    Another thing about the cartoon, though, is that I had a very early appreciation of not just Cab Calloway but the song that is sung that has remained one of my favorites of all time!

    So, enjoy! But especially enjoy the imagination and incredible minds of the Fleischers!

    I hope this finds you well!
    All my best-

  2. Excellent, Sam! I loved the Help ME, Help Me - Thank you scene. As I watched I wondered how much Tim Burton took away from watching these Fleischer cartoons. I'm going to check out some more of their work. And the song sounds like the Jefferson Airplane might've covered it on their first album. Thanks.

  3. Oh, Lawd
    oh, Lawd
    When the dark night has fallen
    And the moon starts to roll
    What is this thing that keeps callin'?
    It's the Boz in my soul
    How I long for that music
    It's my home, its my goal
    My heart is safe in its rhythmns
    I got the Boz in my soul.

    You been Bozzed alright. Welcome to the family!