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Kentucky Minstrels

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Kentucky Minstrels

Rarely-seen 1930s British musical about two African American travelling minstrels in search of entertainment work.

Musical 1934 66 mins

Director: John Baxter

Overview

African American minstrel double act Mott and Bayley are hugely popular in the UK, but with little warning, the work dries up and the two performing pals are forced to travel the country in search of their next gig. This rarely-seen British musical stars African American music hall performers Harry Scott and Eddie Whaley in the lead roles.

Directed by John Baxter, the film captures the success of Scott and Whaley's massively popular radio show from the 1930s - they were the first black performers to take star billing in a British film. Alas, the film is slightly incomplete and the star turn by singer Nina Mae McKinney is missing. Note too, the fact that Scott and Whaley perform in full blackface make-up during their routines as Cuthbert and Pussyfoot.