Monday, July 23, 2007

I Only Have Eyes For You

Ruby Keeler. 1934 Vitagraph promotional photo. 20 x 26 cm. Date-stamped au verso March 11, 1935. Negative tag "RK.188." No photographer credit.

Welcome to Shadow Waltz, a blog-slash-fanzine dedicated to the incomparable Ruby Keeler! Ruby has been my favourite movie star since I first saw 42nd Street, the fabulous 1933 "musical comedy with dancing," about twelve years ago.

Now, before we get carried away here, understand that "favourite" shouldn't be confused with "best" or "greatest." Rhetorically, I ask: Is Ruby Keeler screenland's best-ever dancer? No. Singer? Don't think so. Actress? Even Ruby would've guffawed at that!

Having said that, she's my fave.

Why? Not sure, precisely. How does one quantify Rubyphilia? A fetish? Perhaps. I consider myself a fan and devotee. I suppose if obliged to answer the reason(s) why, I'd say it's the sum of all her parts, and probably has something to do with the gilded age of the early Hollywood talkies and musicals she was starring in, her undeniably ebullient charm and innocence, and - let's not beat around the bush here - a pair of the most adorable and magnetic eyes to ever light up the silver screen. Of course, singing and tapping those incredible and timeless songs by Harry Warren & Al Dubin doesn't hurt, either.

As to the intent of the blogzine, I don't purport to be an expert in all things Ruby. But I do have a growing collection of Ruby memorabilia - vintage magazines, newspaper clippings, photographs & other promotional ephemera - that I'll be sharing here to promote interest in her remarkable life and show biz career. At the same time, my cross-purpose here is to discover and learn more about her life and work.

Ruby Keeler was born on August 25, 1909, which means we're just a couple years away from her 100th birthday. Ruby parted this mortal coil some thirteen years ago - sadly, before I was even aware of her - but that centenary is approaching, so I'll be sure to update the blog as regularly as possible with an aim to celebrate that centenary in style.

Last point for the time being, I'd also like to invite all Ruby fans - and for that matter, fans of Dick Powell, Busby Berkeley, Al Jolson, Jimmy Cagney, Joan Blondell, etc. - to submit news, information, photos, trivia, gossip and anecdotes about Ruby to the blogzine. You can send them to me directly, or post them in the comments section below.

Be sure to bookmark, and thanks for dropping by!

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