Tom Gregory's Hollywood Vault radio clips, as featured on Leeza Gibbons' national radio program Hollywood Confidential!
Below is a transcript of the review on the audio file playable above.The Hollywood Canteen wasn’t just a gin mill, nope; it was a cat’s meow of a nightclub, right in the heart of high-hat Hollywood. Bette Davis started the place and all of tinseltown’s elite handed her the dough so she start in hotsy-totsy style.
It was a THE friendly landing location for loads of soldiers on Los Angeles leave. The canteen boasted plenty of movie land’s biggest names to sing like meadowlarks for the soldiers, and scads of pretty girls to keep the Sammys and Tommys on their feet dancing away their wartime woes.
Screen Stars volunteered their nights to tend bar, wait on tables, or share their holidays with the furloughed fellas far from home. Luscious Lana Turner, alluring Ava Gardner, and risqué Rita Hayworth all kicked up their gams from time to time with a hard-boiled soldier hep to the tunes, but short on a soft girl to swing with at the Hollywood Canteen.
Whether it’s Freestyle, Jive, Samba or Rumba, today television’s Dancing with the Stars continues spreading the joy of dance, and the power of music to billions worldwide. So Leeza, first place or not, just remember what Rita Hayworth said when she took the hand of a lonely soldier to offer him a dance partner back in ‘44 “This dance is cause I love life soldier, and music is the rhythm of it all, so watch out, cause tonight I’m really gonna swing.”