powered by AFI
DVDs from TCM Shop
Band agent Wally Jones sends telegrams to members of a band he represents, which is presently "between engagements;" leader Earl Gordon is blowing bugle at a race track, singer Linda Farrell is selling tickets at a movie theater, harpist Michelle O'Toole is working as a hat-check girl and other band members are playing golf. They are all instructed to go to Centerville, where Wally has arranged for them to audition for the Titan Tire Company's president, Mr. Gillingwater, who wants new talent for his company's radio show. When the band arrives in Centerville, however, they are told by Wally that Gillingwater has hired Benny Goodman instead. Although they have hotel rooms for the night, they are low on cash and contrive to get a free meal at a "Magonnagle for Governor" political rally. The small crowd pays paying little attention to the candidate until Earl and the band start playing, so Magonnagle hires the band to accompany him on the rest of his campaign tour. Magonnagle is running with the slogan, "A Vote for Magonnagle Is a Vote for the Common Man," but has little hope of beating the political machine that is backing corrupt, incumbent Governor Quilby. Composer Allen Clark shows up at one campaign stop, wanting to sell the band a song he has written. Earl buys the song for Linda, but Allen really wants to join the band as a singer. Wally finally hires him, partly to help carry his girl friend Michelle's harp. At one rally, Magonnagle is too drunk to speak and Allen delivers a brief pitch on his behalf. Mark Dwyer, a member of the corrupt State Campaign Committee decides to drop the ineffectual Magonnagle and instead run Allen as a candidate to avoid accusations of fraudulent election practices. Allen doesn't want to be involved, but Wally convinces him that it would be good exposure for his singing talents. Dwyer then introduces Allen to several political appointees, who are all cronies of his, and dupes him into signing continuing "appointments" for them. Allen does so, as he, too, fully expects Quilby to win. After Allen and Linda fall in love, Gillingwater asks the band to join his radio show, and Wally negotiates a thirty-nine-week contract at $10,000 per week. To Allen's surprise and distress, however, the polls indicate that he could win the election. Despite further inducements from the political machine, Allen wants to quit, but Dwyer threatens to break them all by revealing the phony "appointments." To protect them, Allen dismisses the band. Magonnagle then returns and tells Linda about the political crooks backing Allen, and thinking that Allen has become one of them, she leaves with the band. In his closing campaign speech, prompted by Magonnagle, Allen denounces Dwyer and his political machine. Linda and the band hear Allen's speech on their bus's radio and return to help him escape from Dwyer. With Allen safely on board, the bus is pursued by police. When the police finally catch up with the bus, they inform Allen that Quilby has conceded the election to him. His friends convince Allen that he can be both governor and radio singer.