Workday Wednesday: They just don’t make ’em like this anymore…


Broida Family (Click for Family Tree)

Rereading the obituary of Buster Broida/ Max Broida, it is sad to think that he ended up mostly alone, selling paramutual tickets at the racetrack in between acting jobs, just to pay the bills. There was a brighter side of Hollywood, however, and Max likely saw some of that in the movies as he worked to make them. (Can you imagine being on the set of , “The Wizard of Oz”?) Most of our other ancestors of the 20th century- those who went to the movies- saw this bright side too, and it definitely helped them get through the challenging years of the Depression and World War II. Mary Helbling McMurray talked of going to the movies with her girlfriends after work, and they loved these types of films.

What would these folks think of today’s music? There are now so many musical genres that they couldn’t have even imagined, with our electronic instruments and looser moral code. (Christian gangsta rap???) Much of their music was considered risqué or not appropriate for refined young ladies and gentlemen in their time, too.

We also need to consider the context of their times- it was ‘shocking’ back then to see Shirley Temple dancing with a black servant, though made more okay since she was a little girl and the darling of America. Glad that most of us are past that today. (Can’t believe it had to be ‘most of us’ instead of just the all-inclusive, “we.”)

Here is an earlier version featuring Fred Astaire, not a mix of many films:

I’ll bet Buster Brodie could ‘cut a rug.’ Take a look at how much rhythm he has in “Groovy Movie” as they dance the jitterbug. (Buster is the piano player.)


Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Slate article-
  2. 66 Old Movie Dance Scenes-
  3.  Fred Astaire with “Uptown Funk.”-
  4. “Groovy Movie”:


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