Author: Kimber Rudo
“The Varsity Drag” from the 1930 film “Good News”
In the following video, a group of enthusiastic dancers perform the Charleston to the 1927 song “Varsity Drag”:
The video was provided by youtube user DrBartKeppel. Although Dr.. Keppel does not specify the clip’s origin, I believe it comes from the 1930 film Good News starring Bessie Love, Cliff Edwards, and Penny Singleton. Penny Singleton would later become well known for her portrayals of Blondie Bumstead in the popular films, and for voicing Jane Jetson in The Jetsons animated series. The style of the dancing featured in this video is notably wilder than most modern Charleston reproductions, and certainly a good deal more enthusiastic than the version performed by June Allyson and Peter Lawford in the 1947 remake.
For some more fantastic, historically accurate moves, check out the 1930 film cast performing the title number:
This video was provided by youtube user Duncan Automatic Stop.
The featured image of actress Bessie Love (reproduced below) was provided by the New York Public Library Digital Collections. They ask that it be cited as follows:
Billy Rose Theatre Division, The New York Public Library. “Bessie Love” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47df-19f9-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99