NEWS

November 5, 2012

This past summer, we processed refunds for all people who prepaid deposits for DVD sets for whom we have active email addresses. We issued their refunds via paypal, check, and charitable donations as requested. Some customers asked us to donate the funds to the Frankie Manning Foundation.

We were not able to contact all people who had prepaid deposits because we do not have a current email address or PayPal account information for them.

If you made a deposit to reserve a DVD set and have not yet been issued a refund, let us know at swingbudfilms@gmail.com. Please include one of the following:

  • PayPal refunds: your name and an email address
  • A check (U.S. customers only): your mailing address
  • A donation in your name to a charity: the name of the charity
After making the final edits, to complete the DVD project and distribute the sets as originally planned, we will continue to work on clearing the performance rights from the publishers, mechanical rights from the labels, and, as a matter of courtesy and equity, performing right from the musicians.

We would like your help on making final edits and clearing rights. Should you wish to volunteer, please send an email to swingbudfilms@gmail.com.

Buddy Steves, President
SwingBud Films, LLC
SwingBud Productions, LLC
Ph. 713-351-8201
buddysteves@gmail.com

May 17, 2012

Frankie 95 DVD Website Post:

Once again let me apologize for not updating the Frankie 95 website with respect to the DVD project.

The third anniversary of the Frankie’s 95th Birthday Festival is coming up next week and I still cannot provide a definitive commitment as to if, or when, the DVD project will be completed.

Under the circumstances, all deposits collected will be refunded via PayPal, checks, and VISA cards in June. Everyone due a refund will be contacted by email. We will be confirming that the PayPal accounts from which funds were received are still active and/or snail mail addresses are still current, if checks are requested.

We will post an update on the website when the emails have been sent so that anyone not receiving an email can contact us.

The uncertainty and delay around the completion of the project is due to issues of clearing the music rights from publishers and music labels. Should those issues be resolved, there is a second issue regarding the performing rights of the musicians at Frankie95. Most of the musicians are agreeable to the use of their performances in the DVD project, but not all.

However, if we can’t obtain the song/music rights from the publishers and labels, the issue with respect to the performing rights is moot. Roughly 180 songs are included in the nine hours of video and half of these are taken from recordings.

SwingBud Film’s (SBF) cost of videotaping the event and the editing the DVDs fell within the anticipated budget of between $40,000 and $50,000. However, SBF didn’t budget for the performance rights from the publishers, the mechanical rights from the labels or the performing rights from the musicians. SBF did not expect a significant margin on the project. If revenue does exceed expenses, however unlikely that might be under the present circumstances, the positive margin is pledged to the Frankie Manning Foundation (FMF).

This said, SBF is not abandoning the project. We just can’t commit to a time when it will be completed. Let’s hope we can do it by Frankie’s 100th.

We will be circulating a limited number of working copies this winter to assist in finalizing the project after which the project will be held in abeyance until such time as the various rights issues are resolved.

Buddy Steves, President
SwingBud Films, LLC
SwingBud Productions, LLC
Ph. 713-351-8201
buddysteves@gmail.com

January 11, 2011

We had planned to have the DVDs finalized, replicated and packaged by early December 2010. Practically speaking, the DVDs have been completed since September. However, Swing Bud is still addressing the rights issues related to the songs and performances on the DVDs.

The American Federation of Musicians had offered to assist us in addressing the rights issues. Their one request was for us to provide a listing of the songs that appear on the DVDs and to state whether the songs were played live at the Festival or from recordings. We have 67% of the songs identified to date.

Of a total of 182 song tracks on the five DVDs, 59 remain unidentified. Of the songs that have been identified, the artist or band is usually, but not always, listed. The field for "live" or "recorded" is not completed except where the source is obvious based on what was taking place at the Festival. Few publishers have been identified except for the work done on the Memorial Service. We have added a field for the date first recorded. Songs recorded prior to April 22,1954 do not enjoy the same level of protection as songs first recorded after this date.

Here is a summary on the song identification project:

DVD 1: In the Highlights, 15 of 41 songs remain unidentified. In the Performances, 12 of 26 are unidentified.

DVD 2: In the Memorial Service, thanks to Judy Pritchett, fewer than 8 of 22 remain unidentified.

DVD 3: In the Show, thanks to Naomi Uyama, only 4 of 37 remain unidentified (recorded).

DVD 4: In the Bands, thanks to Brian Grady, all 22 songs have been identified (live).

DVD 5: In the Hellzapoppin' contest, 9 of 19 songs are unidentified. In the Jack & Jill contests, all songs have been identified, but my notes don't say who provided the information. In the extras, 11 of 15 songs remain unidentified.

Calle Johansson and I need help in identifying the remaining songs. If you would like to help us, please email Calle at send2calle@gmail.com or me at bsteves@myronsteves.com. The best approach is to break the task into bite-size pieces with one or two subject matter experts taking specific categories so that efforts aren't duplicated and no one is overwhelmed.

It is possible that after we identify the songs, there will still be rights issues to finesse, but without the song list we cannot satisfy the American Federation of Musicians request made last fall or press for an accommodation or waiver.

Please consider lending a hand if you have subject matter expertise.

Buddy Steves, President
Swing Bud Films, LLC
Swing Bud Productions, LLC

October 20, 2010

The DVDs are essentially complete. A final editors cut has been circulated for comments.

A few edits are expected in the text and chapter heading. Liner notes are being added to the package.

The bonus DVD, "The Unforgettable Hampton Family" by documentary filmmaker Julie Cohen, is complete and ready for replication.

However, we will not be able to complete the project and ship the DVDs until the rights issues are resolved. We are working with Local 802 and the American Federation of Musicians (AFM) to address the rights issues.

To move forward, the AFM needs a complete song list and other descriptive information on the music.

We have identified about two-thirds of the songs, but one-third remains unidentified.

Calle Johansson (callej@live.com) is managing the song identification project. Anyone with subject matter expertise is encouraged to contact Calle and offer assistance.

Once we have the songs identified and the rights issues resolved, the DVDs can be replicated and shipped within three weeks.

Thanksgiving is the revised target date assuming we can quickly identify the songs on the DVDs and resolve the rights issues.

Buddy Steves, President
Swing Bud Films

August 26, 2010

We're pleased to present the new video tribute to Frankie Manning, produced by Swing Bud Films, "Frankie Manning: Ambassador of Swing." Whether you are a longtime Swing dancer, or new to the dance floor, we hope you will enjoy and be inspired by this introduction to one of America's great dancer / choreographers.

August 13, 2010

Apologies again for not keeping the site updated regarding the status of the DVDs.

The editing is complete except for the introductory ten-minute Frankie Tribute that should be finalized this week. It will be posted to the Frankie95 website for all to see.

The credits for the Festival and the DVDs are almost completed and are being circulated to a small group of volunteers for final review and edits.

The packaging has been designed and photos are being selected for the cover.

In addition to these items, two other matters are being addressed that impact the release date for the DVDs.

1) Respectfully addressing issues raised by some musicians associated with a few New York based bands.

2) Identifying the songs on the DVDs.

The song identification project is making progress. Anyone with an interest and subject matter expertise is welcome to help (email to buddysteves@gmail.com).

Based on these issues and the time it takes to replicate and package the DVDs, the revised shipping target is early October.

Swing Bud would like to reward your patience with a little lagniappe (something extra) that will be shipped with the event DVD set: Julie Cohen's documentary, "The Unforgettable Hampton Family".

Because of the delays, if anyone would like a refund please email buddysteves@gmail.com with your name and current mailing address.

Again, thanks for your understanding. The DVD set is superb. When it arrives I trust everyone will think it worth the wait.

May 18, 2010

First, apologies to all for not keeping the site updated on progress regarding the event DVDs. Although most of the editing is completed, the project took much longer than expected. In addition, we are adding several features to enhance the value of the DVD, including a segment entitled "Who is Frankie?".

We hope that the 5 DVD set will be ready to ship to those who have pre-paid in early July. The current early bird pricing will remain in place until the pre-ordered DVDs are shipped.

While Frankie's 95th Birthday Festival was an all volunteer effort, the responsibility for capturing the event on video for archival purposes and editing the event DVD is solely that of Swing Bud Films, LLC. The DVD box set will be distributed by Swing Bud Productions, LLC. Swing Bud has advanced 100% of all funds for this project and has the financial resources to finish the project and meet all commitments regardless of the revenue generated from distribution. All revenue in excess of expenses for the event DVDs will be contributed to the Frankie Manning Lindy Hop Legacy Fund.

We would like to acknowledge the many people who volunteered their time and the industry professionals who worked for a substantial discount off their usual fee to produce Frankie's 95th Birthday Festival and the event DVDs.

We will post updates on our progress every two weeks until the DVDs are shipped.

Thank you for your patience.

May 18, 2010

On the one year anniversary of the Frankie 95 event, there will be a dedication of a headstone on Frankie Manning's grave at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx. On Sunday, May 30 at 1 PM. All are welcome. For more information see: www.savoystyle.com/manningwoodlawn.html

January 6, 2010

Frankie Manning 95th Birthday Festival 5 DVD Event Box Set is in the final stages of review. We plan to have the DVDs finalized in early February and sent for replication. We expect the DVDs will be shipped to all pre-orders by early March. The DVD set is still available for purchase at $85 USD + $10 USD shipping and handling.

July 19, 2009

Frankie 95 DVD Box Set Now on Sale! The Frankie's Birthday Festival DVD set is now on sale, with a special early bird rate until August 2. Fill out the online order form to reserve your own set today.

June 23, 2009

Yehoodi Video Talk Show : The Frankie 95 Show!! Watch this video of Spuds and Rik recapping the event of the decade: The Frankie 95 Birthday Festival in New York City. The guys share memories and video from this amazing event where over 2,000 lindy hoppers showed their love for our ambassador for Lindy Hop, Frankie Manning.

Catch the show on Yehoodi or subscribe to the podcast.

June 9, 2009

PBS Documentary about Frankie Manning Online! PBS channel 13 in New York has put online a sweet 30 minute documentary about Frankie Manning called "Never Stop Swinging." Click here to check it out!

June 1, 2009

Global Shim Sham Video Online! Many of you told us that one of your favorite moments at Frankie 95 was the showing of the Global Shim Sham compilation video. Well here is the link to the online version. Produced by Akemi Kinukawa, with assistance by Leslie Lee and Stuart Math, and the participation of nearly 5,000 dancers in 22 countries from around the world. See the 137 submitted videos also in the YouTube group.

May 28, 2009

Important Health Notice: It was brought to our attention today that one of the Frankie 95th Birthday Festival participants has contracted influenza and may have come down with a case of H1N1 influenza, also known as the "Swine Flu." Based upon the information we've received, he appears to be recovering quickly and seems to have exhibited only mild symptoms.

We have been in touch with the New York City Department of Health who have told us that very few cases of H1N1 influenza have been severe, and that the fact that one of our festival participants may have contracted H1N1 should not be cause for great concern. The Department recommended that if anyone who attended the Festival develops flu-like symptoms that they should call their healthcare provider. We wanted all participants to be aware of the situation.

More information on the H1N1 flu can be found at:

Thanks for your attention, and please relay this information to anyone you know who attended the festival but who may not have received this message.

May 26, 2009

Frankie Festival Day Five Video Snippets: Here are some video snippets from the last day of the Festival for your viewing pleasure:

Note that a professionally produced series of DVDs of the Frankie 95 festival is available for pre-sale. Details soon!

May 25, 2009

Final Dance Concert of Frankie 95 Tonight! Tonight from 9pm to 2am is the final dance concert of the Festival. Come dance to the Houston Person Quartet and the Wycliffe Gordon Quartet, plus witness "the Battle of the 'Bones" and special performances. That's all at the Hammerstein Ballroom at the Manhattan Center, 311 West 34th Street. If you don't have tickets, they can be purchased at the door for $50 / $30 after 1am.

Late Night / Early AM Blues Party! For those of you looking to get your blues on, JookJoint Shimmy and Jelly Roll Productions are hosting an after hours event on Monday night / Tue morning after the Monday night dance is over. Kim Nalley will be performing at Dancesport Studios, at 22 W 34th Street, from 2am - 6am. Admission is $10 at the door. See www.jookjointshimmyblues.com for more info.

May 24, 2009

Frankie Tribute Show Tonight at 7pm! The special Frankie Tribute Show will take place tonight in the Grand Ballroom, starting at 7pm. Early weekend pass-holders and VIP pass holders attending the Show should line up outside of the 8th Avenue side of the Manhattan Center. Doors open at 6pm. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis, and it can take up to an hour to get up to the Grand Ballroom. If you arrive after 7pm, you will have to watch the simulcast from the Hammerstein Ballroom.

Didn't get a pass in time to get admission to The Show? Watch the live simulcast from the Hammerstein Ballroom! Admission is $10 for full pass holders and $15 for the public and single-event ticket holders to cover the cost of transmission. Look for the line on the 9th Avenue side of the Manhattan Center.

No photos or video taking of any kind is allowed during the show in either ballroom.

May 24, 2009

Frankie Festival Day Three Video Snippets: Here are a couple of video snippets from Day three of the Festival for your viewing pleasure:

Note that a professionally produced DVD of the Frankie 95 festival is available for pre-sale at the merchandise table at the entrance to the Manhattan Center.

May 23, 2009

Frankie Festival Day Two Video Snippets: Here are some video snippets from Day Two of the Festival for your viewing pleasure:

Note that a professionally produced DVD of the Frankie 95 festival is available for pre-sale at the merchandise table at the entrance to the Manhattan Center.

May 23, 2009

Merchandise at the Festival: With the blessings of Frankie's son Chazz and his longtime partner Judy, we are pleased to be provide a number of items for you to remember the event when you go home. We have multiple t-shirts for sale, as well as posters (of both Frankie and of Whitey's Lindy Hoppers), shoe bags, and a Frankie 95 event dvd (pre-sales). In addition to the official Frankie95 goodies, the SavoyStyle Shop at Frankie 95 features a wonderful assortment of DVDs, vintage style posters and even some hot vintage swim suits!

Frankie Quilt Auction: In late 2008, Frankie Manning donated his collection of lindy hop t-shirts from around the world to be crafted into a quilt. It was his desire that the quilt be auctioned off at the Frankie 95 event to support the lindy community. The Frankie Quilt is on display in the lounge downstairs from the Hammerstein Ballroom over the course of the festival. Bidding may be done in person in the lounge, by phone, fax or email. Phone, fax and email bidding is available from Thursday at 3pm through Monday night at midnight. Updates with the current highest bid will be made as often as possible at the venue, online and on the phone line. Phone & Fax Number: 1-866-857-0417 / Email: frankiequilt@gmail.com.

Frankie Photo Greetings Book: During Frankie Week in March, a number of scenes around the world submitted photo birthday cards for Frankie. A book has been produced, containing all those photos. To preview the first 15 pages, and order your own copy, click here. (Note: if you're overseas, the book can be printed in your area, so the shipping charge is local, and you can pay in pounds/euros.) Orders of more than one book shipped to the same address substantially reduces the per-book shipping cost. Also, orders of more than 10 books (to the same address) get 10% discount on the book cost! Proceeds from the book go toward the Frankie Manning Fund.

May 23, 2009

New York Times Article about Frankie Manning and Festival! There's a lovely article in the New York Times today about the memorial for Frankie Manning and the Festival, including a couple of great pictures of the service and the second line procession to Central Park. Read it all here.

May 22, 2009

Sirius XM Satellite Radio to Broadcast Saturday Night Gala! We are excited to announce that SIRIUS XM Satellite Radio will broadcast the Saturday black tie gala live from the Hammerstein Ballroom on it's 40s decade music channel (channel 4 on SIRIUS and XM radios) also known as the 'Savoy Express'. All three Saturday orchestra sets will air live, and pre-recorded music from Saturday will be highlighted. You can listen free, by signing up for a free three day internet radio trial at http://www.siriusxm.com/freetrial and at http://www.sirius.com/freetrial. The concert will be rebroadcast on Monday at 1pm ET. More information can be found at sirius.com/40s and xmradio.com/40s.

May 22, 2009

Amazing First Day of the Festival! Day 1 highlights:

  • a very moving documentary film about Frankie called "Frankie Manning: Never Stop Swinging."
  • Norma Miller in an intimate Q&A about her life as a dancer and performer
  • the Jazz Vipers of New Orleans and the Gordon Webster band playing in the beautiful Grand Ballroom
  • the Hellzapoppin Wildcard Round dance contest
  • performances by the Cleveland jitterbug kids, the Harlem Hotshots of Sweden, Vicenzo and Isabella of Italy, and The One-2-Swing Jitterbugs from LA
  • A killer jam circle to the Jazz Vipers - check the video here!
An astounding kick-off to the festival!

May 21, 2009

Tonights Dance: Tonight is the first dance of Frankie 95, and it's going to be a great kick-off! In the Grand Ballroom of the Manhattan Center we've got The New Orleans Jazz Vipers and Gordon Webster performing from 9pm to 3am! Get there early to catch a Special screening of the documentary Frankie Manning: Never Stop Swinging at 6:45pm, and a talk by Norma Miller at 7:30pm. Note that if you do not have a ticket at this point, we are totally sold out for the Thursday night dance. Also be advised that it may take up to 30 minutes to get up the elevators to the Grand Ballroom once you arrive at the Manhattan Center.

May 21, 2009

Video recording and photography policy: Still photography and video recording is allowed in general at Frankie 95 Festival, under the following conditions:

  • No large rigs, tripods, fixed lights or other equipment that might impede traffic
  • No filming of any kind at the Sunday Frankie Tribute Show
  • If Festival Staff ask you to not film, you must comply

May 20, 2009

New Late Night Dance Added on Monday! For those of you looking to get your blues on, JookJoint Shimmy and Jelly Roll Productions are hosting an after hours event on Monday night / Tue morning after the Monday night dance is over. Kim Nalley will be performing at Dancesport Studios, at 22 W 34th Street, from 2am - 6am. Admission is $10 at the door. See www.jookjointshimmyblues.com for more info.

May 20, 2009

Frankie Tribute Show on Sunday: The special Frankie Tribute Show will take place on Sunday in the Grand Ballroom. Early weekend pass-holders and VIP pass holders attending the Show should line up outside of the 8th Avenue side of the Manhattan Center. Doors open at 6PM. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis, and it can take up to an hour to get up to the Grand Ballroom, so arrive early!

Didn't get a pass in time to get admission to The Show? Watch the live simulcast from the Hammerstein Ballroom! Admission is $10 for full pass holders and $15 for the public and single-event ticket holders to cover the cost of transmission. Look for the line on the 9th Avenue side of the Manhattan Center.

May 19, 2009

Registration /Check-in Information: Festival registration will take place at the Manhattan Center, 311 West 34th Street, in the Hammerstein Ballroom promenade. Registration will be open Thursday May 21 from 3pm to 2am, Friday May 22 from 4pm-2am, Saturday May 23 from 9AM-2AM, Sunday May 24 from 5PM-2AM, and Monday May 25 from 5PM-1AM. If you have not purchased a Day ticket, you must wait until the night of, to purchase as these are being sold on a space available basis. You must be present to receive your wristband. We will not allow the picking up of wristbands for other people.

Please make sure you register at the Manhattan Center before you attend any workshops. Individuals who haven't registered will not be let into the classes.

May 17, 2009

Competition Updates: There will be two separate Lindy contests during the Festival. You can still sign up for both during registration at the Festival.

There will be a "Jack and Jill" contest open to anyone who wants to participate. This contest will be for fun, where we hope to set a Guinness world's record for the World's Largest Jack and Jill contest! Winners take all with a prize of $500.

Second is the ever popular "Hellzapoppin" contest -- not for the faint of heart! Winners take all with a prize of $1000. The competitors meeting will be at 9pm on Thursday. There will be only one Open Wildcard Preliminary, which will take place Thursday night at approximately 11:30pm. The top 2-3 couples will move on to the Semi-Final round on Friday.

 
     
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