The Pied Piper Of Basin Street

In this swing version of the famous tale, a small town of no distinction is overrun with rats. Stores and homes of every kind and description are infected with a plague of rats. The mayor of the town is in a quandary. His phones are busy with demands to do something about the rats. Finally, he hears a voice say: “Listen. Mister, what you need is a Pied Piper.” Looking up, he sees a young man with a trombone (a caricature of Jimmy Durante) who claims that he can run every rat out of town for a small financial consideration. The mayor makes a deal with him, and the trombone player goes to work leading the rats out of town with his hot music. He gets rid of the rats with the playing of his trombone, and he locks them in a large cage. Returning to the mayor’s office, he’s handed a bag which is full of peanuts. The mayor throws him out. Unable to get the reward promised him, the Pied Piper puts on his “Hank Swoonatra” (Frank Sinatra, of course) suit and tie and croons to the girls. The whole town is hep to his hot music. Soon, all of the children are following him. He leads them and aboard a “swing ship” (showboat) where “100 name bands” (Ozzie Nelson, Harry James, Jack Teagarden…) are playing. The ship toots goodbye and sails away as the trombone player opens the cage full of rats. Now the rats return to town, where only the mayor is left. The rats all swarm into the mayor’s office and really give him a bad time of it for his faithless treatment of the Pied Piper. The mayor imitates Lou Costello.