1950s Jazz, R&B, Gospel and Black music and dance performances in Film or TV

by enriquemadera | created - 10 months ago | updated - 2 days ago | Public

includes mainstream movies with scenes that could be easily cut for jim crow

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1. Cavalcade of Bands (1950–1951)

60 min | Family, Music

A live big-band musical series, airing on Tuesday evenings.

Stars: The Mello-Larks, Marsha Van Dyke, Clark Brothers, Ted Steele

3. The Strip (1951)

Passed | 85 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Drummer Stanley Maxton moves to Los Angeles with dreams of opening his own club, but falls in with a gangster and a nightclub dancer and ends up accused of murder.

Director: László Kardos | Stars: Mickey Rooney, Sally Forrest, William Demarest, James Craig

Votes: 568

4. The Frank Sinatra Show (1950–1952)

60 min | Music

The Frank Sinatra Show (also known as Bulova Watch Time) was an American musical variety series hosted by Frank Sinatra from 1950 to 1952.

Stars: Frank Sinatra, June Hutton, Ben Blue, The Whippoorwills

Votes: 29

5. The Milton Berle Show (1948–1956)

60 min | Comedy, Family

The Texaco Star Theatre was one of the most popular shows in the history of television. In the first year, Milton Berle was not the permanent emcee, but once he replaced the rotation, the ... See full summary »

Stars: Milton Berle, Sid Stone, Jimmy Nelson, Arnold Stang

Votes: 101

6. The Jackie Gleason Show (1952–1973)

TV-G | 60 min | Comedy

Live variety show with Jackie Gleason.

Stars: Jack Lescoulie, The June Taylor Dancers, Ray Bloch, Jackie Gleason

Votes: 384

9. Saluti e baci (1953)

92 min | Musical

Carlo Mastelli, the young radio presenter of "New Voices" has run short of ideas and his program is likely to be suspended from the radio schedule if he does not find any new ones. He is ... See full summary »

Directors: Maurice Labro, Giorgio Simonelli | Stars: Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, André Claveau, Georges Guétary

Votes: 13

10. The Colgate Comedy Hour (1950–1955)

60 min | Comedy, Romance

This was a Colgate-sponsored comedy hour that featured many notable comedians and entertainers of the era as guest stars.

Stars: Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, Al Goodman, Eddie Cantor

Votes: 426

11. See It Now (1951–1958)
Episode: Two American Originals (1955)

30 min | Documentary, News

Portraits of "Two American Originals," jazz great Louis Armstrong and painter Anna Mary Robinson (Grandma Moses). Armstrong is interviewed in Paris during his world tour and she is ... See full summary »

Stars: Louis Armstrong, Grandma Moses, Edward R. Murrow

12. Producers' Showcase (1954–1957)
Episode: The Lord Don't Play Favorites (1956)

90 min | Drama, Musical, Comedy

A small-time traveling circus is stranded in a small Kansas town that has been devastated by a drought. The town government has subjected the circus to large fines in order to raise money ... See full summary »

Director: Clark Jones | Stars: Louis Armstrong, Nejla Ates, Dick Beard, Oliver Blake

16. Ford Star Jubilee (1955–1956)
Episode: You're the Top (1956)

84 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

Revue of songs by Cole Porter.

Director: Seymour Berns | Stars: Louis Armstrong, George Chakiris, Don Crichton, Bing Crosby

18. Perry Como's Kraft Music Hall (1948–1967)

60 min | Music

Perry Como was an American Singer, who got his start on NBC Radio. In 1948, Because of his popularity, The cameras were simply brought into the radio studio to televise the radio broadcast ... See full summary »

Stars: Perry Como, Mitchell Ayres Orchestra, The Ray Charles Singers, Mitchell Ayres

Votes: 73

19. Satchmo the Great (1957)

Approved | 63 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

In this 1957 biography film of the jazz-great Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong, he and his band tour the world as American good-will ambassadors bring jazz at its best to the people of the world. ... See full summary »

Stars: Louis Armstrong, Edward R. Murrow, Leonard Bernstein, W.C. Handy

Votes: 7

20. The DuPont Show of the Month (1957–1961)
Episode: Crescendo (1957)

90 min | Comedy, Drama, History

"My Fair Lady" star Rex Harrison portrays a visiting Englishman who takes a dim view of American culture. To overcome his skepticism, he is introduced to a wide variety of American musical ... See full summary »

Director: Bill Colleran | Stars: Rex Harrison, Julie Andrews, Louis Armstrong, Eddy Arnold

21. The Edsel Show (1957 TV Special)

60 min | Music

Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra host a program that's wall-to-wall music.

Director: Seymour Berns | Stars: Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Rosemary Clooney, Louis Armstrong

Votes: 24

22. The Steve Allen Plymouth Show (1951–1960)

60 min | Comedy

The Steve Allen Show was an American variety show hosted by Steve Allen.

Stars: Steve Allen, Gene Rayburn, Louis Nye, Skitch Henderson

Votes: 194

23. The All-Star Christmas Show (1958 TV Special)

Not Rated | 90 min | Comedy

This 1958 Christmas spectacular was produced by the USO for the entertainment of troops stationed overseas. Over 50 top names from stage, screen and television appear in this truly all-star... See full summary »

Directors: Norman Abbott, Alan Handley, Bob Hultgren | Stars: Anna Maria Alberghetti, June Allyson, Louis Armstrong, Jack Benny

Votes: 13

25. Jazz on a Summer's Day (1959)

Not Rated | 85 min | Documentary, Music

The highlights of the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival.

Director: Bert Stern | Stars: Louis Armstrong, Mahalia Jackson, Chuck Berry, Chico Hamilton

Votes: 1,177

26. Rock Around the Clock (1956)

Not Rated | 77 min | Comedy, Music, Romance

Orchestra manager Steve Hollis realizes that big-band music is dead. People want something new, but what? On their way to New York, Steve and his companion Corny, stop at a motel in a small... See full summary »

Director: Fred F. Sears | Stars: Bill Haley and the Comets, Bill Haley, The Platters, Ernie Freeman Combo

Votes: 1,061 | Gross: $4.00M

27. Go, Johnny, Go! (1959)

G | 75 min | Drama, Music, Romance

Rock-n-roll promoter Alan Freed holds a talent search to develop a new rock star, then must find the elusive, mystery contestant (Jimmy Clanton) who doesn't know he has won.

Director: Paul Landres | Stars: Alan Freed, Jimmy Clanton, Sandy Stewart, Chuck Berry

Votes: 351

28. Jamboree! (1957)

Not Rated | 86 min | Musical

Pete Porter and Honey Wynn become overnight sensations as a romantic singing duo. But what will become of their budding love affair when their feuding, back-stabbing managers persuade them ... See full summary »

Director: Roy Lockwood | Stars: Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis, Jimmy Bowen, Buddy Knox

Votes: 199

29. Don't Knock the Rock (1956)

Approved | 84 min | Music

A disc jockey tries to prove to teenagers' parents that rock 'n' roll is harmless and won't turn their kids into juvenile delinquents.

Director: Fred F. Sears | Stars: Bill Haley and the Comets, Alan Dale, Alan Freed, The Treniers

Votes: 313

30. Rock Rock Rock! (1956)

Approved | 85 min | Drama, Music

Dori is trying to get together enough money to buy a strapless gown; Daddy has cut off Dori's allowance, but gee, she's gotta go to the prom.

Director: Will Price | Stars: Alan Freed and his Rock 'n Roll Band, Fran Manfred, Tuesday Weld, Connie Francis

Votes: 546

31. Rock All Night (1957)

62 min | Crime, Drama, Music

Cloud Nine, the local teen hangout, has been taken over by a pair of escaped killers, who hold the local teens hostage. The bartender realizes it's up to him to save the kids.

Director: Roger Corman | Stars: Dick Miller, Russell Johnson, Abby Dalton, Jeanne Cooper

Votes: 291

32. I'm in the Revue (1950)

80 min | Comedy

Good-natured and devout, a French house painter takes the train to Rome, where he has decided to go on a pilgrimage. There he meets a scatterbrained dresser who has been assigned by a music... See full summary »

Director: Mario Soldati | Stars: Nino Taranto, Isa Barzizza, Irasema Dilián, Louis Armstrong

Votes: 34

33. Here Comes the Groom (1951)

Approved | 113 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

Foreign correspondent Pete Garvey has 5 days to win back his former fiancée, or he'll lose the orphans he adopted.

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: Bing Crosby, Jane Wyman, Alexis Smith, Franchot Tone

Votes: 978

34. Glory Alley (1952)

Approved | 79 min | Drama, Music

New Orleans newspaper columnist, about to retire, tells the story of a most unforgettable character, boxer Socks Barbarossa.

Director: Raoul Walsh | Stars: Ralph Meeker, Leslie Caron, Kurt Kasznar, Gilbert Roland

Votes: 436

35. The Glenn Miller Story (1954)

Approved | 115 min | Biography, Drama, Music

Biography of bandleader Glenn Miller from his beginnings to his death over the English Channel in December 1944.

Director: Anthony Mann | Stars: James Stewart, June Allyson, Harry Morgan, Charles Drake

Votes: 8,048

37. High Society (1956)

Not Rated | 111 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

65 Metascore

With socialite Tracy Lord about to remarry, her ex-husband - with the help of a sympathetic reporter - has 48 hours to convince her that she really still loves him.

Director: Charles Walters | Stars: Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Celeste Holm

Votes: 14,271 | Gross: $13.00M

39. The Five Pennies (1959)

Approved | 117 min | Biography, Drama, Music

Danny Kaye cuts loose with his trademark musical clowning. Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong plays his horn and croons in that famed gargling-granite voice. Big Band icons Bob Crosby, Ray Anthony and Shelly Manne join the fun.

Director: Melville Shavelson | Stars: Danny Kaye, Barbara Bel Geddes, Louis Armstrong, Harry Guardino

Votes: 1,728

40. The Beat Generation (1959)

Approved | 95 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

A detective is assigned to track down and capture a crazed serial rapist.

Director: Charles F. Haas | Stars: Steve Cochran, Mamie Van Doren, Ray Danton, Fay Spain

Votes: 299

41. Kærlighedens melodi (1959)

86 min | Musical, Romance

Peter live in the upper class district of Hellerup and has only one interest: jazz.

Director: Bent Christensen | Stars: Nina van Pallandt, Frederik van Pallandt, Preben Mahrt, Clara Østø

Votes: 41

42. Youthful Sinners (1958)

Not Rated | 120 min | Drama

Bob Letellier, a good looking rich kid who studies science, makes the acquaintance of Alain, a cynical and immoral young man. The latter introduces him to the existentialist circles of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Bob is invited to a party and becomes Clo's lover, a rich heiress.

Director: Marcel Carné | Stars: Pascale Petit, Andréa Parisy, Jacques Charrier, Laurent Terzieff

Votes: 544