Above is a commercial from 1981 promoting the International Ladies Garment Workers Union. The ILGWU created several such spots in the 1970s and 1980s, all featuring the union's famed anthem, "Look For The Union Label." Perhaps some of you recall these commercials.
So what's this have to do with classic Hollywood?, you ask. Well, the key is that final word of the group's name -- union. There's now a "union" for classic film buffs, but there are no dues to pay, no 401(k) that could plummet in value during this recession...and no calls for strikes (or bust-ups from management goons).
This "union," the Classic Film Union, is courtesy of Turner Classic Movies -- which, ironically, was founded in Georgia, a "right-to-work" state, although it may now be headquartered in New York along with other facets of the Turner broadcasting empire.
Here's the CFU's front page:
TCM already had some fine things for classic Hollywood buffs on its Web site, notably a solid database and some fine message boards. Adding this makes it even more praiseworthy of a site.
The CFU was founded this spring, and already has nearly 1,650 members as of this writing. I'm proud to say I'm one of them.
The union also has more than 150 groups -- and guess who has a group of her very own?
Yep, it's Carole. The group was founded two weeks ago and already has 30 members. Lombard currently ranks in a three-way tie for 69th, but many of those groups are dedicated to themes (e.g., Hollywood in the 1930s) rather than people. Among actors of both genders, Carole rates tied for 34th (Cary Grant and James Stewart lead the way); among actresses, Lombard ranks in a tie for 12th with Ginger Rogers and Maureen O'Hara. (The current leaders among actresses are Barbara Stanwyck and Myrna Loy.)
There are many nice things to be said already about the Classic Film Union, and I'm certain things will only get better in ensuing months. If you want to join -- and I wholeheartedly recommend it -- go to http://www.tcm.com/fan/.
Getting back to the song "Look For The Union Label," I'm pretty certain it was derived from the old standard "Look For The Silver Lining" -- and if you've been a TCM fan for at least a few years, you likely know that song, sung by the great West Coast jazzman Chet Baker and used as the intro to the channel's "The Sunny Side Of Life" movies. I couldn't find that clip, but I found the next best thing -- the full-length recording of Baker's vocal version of the song (later in his career he recorded an instrumental version of it). Enjoy...and remember -- in union, there is strength!