“…the essence of showmanship.” – The New York Times
This Arkadia DVD, “Billy Daniels: That Old Black Magic” part of the acclaimed Ad Lib TV Series, showcases American singer-showman Billy Daniels (1915-1988), who was a mainstay at Manhattan’s famed 52nd Street clubs and one of the most successful vocalists to come out of the Big Band Era, as well as special guests Blossom Dearie and Eddie Harris. Sharing the stage with legends such as Nat King Cole, Sammy Davis, Jr., Pearl Bailey and Charlie “Bird” Parker, Daniels emerged as one of the biggest cabaret attractions in New York, taking up residence at famed nightclubs such as the Riviera Club and The Copacabana.
When Billy Daniels released “That Old Black Magic”, the song, paired with Daniels’ signature voice and inimitable dance style, became a massive hit, selling more than 12 million copies. Daniels was now a huge celebrity, performing on TV, in Hollywood in films such as “When You’re Smiling” and “Sunny Side of the Street”, and on Broadway starring with Sammy Davis Jr. in the popular musical, “Golden Boy”, and later in the acclaimed, Tony Award winning, all black version of, “Hello Dolly” alongside Pearl Bailey. Advertised as “America’s most exciting singer”, Daniels enjoyed television appearances on the “Ed Sullivan Show”, amongst others, and soon began hosting “The Billy Daniels Show”, one of the first series to star a black performer.
“There are some better-known personalities, but none as infectious and charming as Billy Daniels. Charming crowds comes as easy to Daniels as morning’s sunrise… …phenomenally successful… his success has come from wooing audiences with his smooth voice…” – Ebony Magazine
The Ad Lib Series, now available on DVD for the first time, is a collection of 46 concert TV programs presenting the best Jazz, Pop and Blues artists showcasing their skills with a Jazz flair. Seen on TV internationally, Ad Lib filmed in 1980 was the first musical television series recorded in Stereo. This DVD features 2 episodes of the acclaimed Ad Lib Series.
With record topping albums and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, singer Billy Daniels was the consummate performer. Billy Daniels was a constant target of racism as one of the first African-American showmen to cross into the mainstream, but he also became an important symbol of both social progress in the 20th Century and the American Dream. This Arkadia DVD, “Billy Daniels: That Old Black Magic”, as seen on TV, recaptures the magic of a bygone musical era, and stands as a testament to the greatness of singer Billy Daniels.
2 PROGRAMS OF THE ACCLAIMED AD LIB SERIES ON 1 DVD
- Billy Daniels: When You’re Smiling
- Billy Daniels: Evergreen
- Eddie Harris: In Transit
- Eddie Harris: Chasin’ The Bird
- Billy Daniels: Mack The Knife
- Billy Daniels and Eddie Harris: You’re Nobody Til Somebody Loves You
- Billy Daniels: Them There Eyes
- Billy Daniels: You Needed Me
- Billy Daniels: Sweet Lorraine
- Billy Daniels: I Can’t Give You Anything But Love
- Billy Daniels: For Once In My Life
- Blossom Dearie: Bobby and Me
- Billy Daniels: September Song
- Billy Daniels: That Old Black Magic
Billy Daniels: Vocals
Larry Nash: Piano
John Heard: Bass
Jimmy Smith: Drums
Eddie Harris: Saxophone
Blossom Dearie: Piano and vocals
DVD Bonus Features:
- Billy Daniels Biography
- Blossom Dearie Biography
- Eddie Harris Biography
- Ad Lib Highlights Reel 16 Min.
- Digitally Mastered Audio and Video
- Dolby Stereo Audio
- Instant Access to Songs
- DVD Recommendations
DVD Length: 1 Hour plus, Bonus Features