powered by AFI
Chick Patterson, the bell captain at a luxurious Miami hotel, wishes to marry his fiancée, Connie Thompson, but lacks the money to set up housekeeping. Hoping to find the necessary funds, Chick hits upon a scheme when he learns that record company owner Mr. Adams is sponsoring a contest for band leader Danny Marlowe to find a new vocalist. Chick believes that Bessie Cobb, a hotel kitchen worker, can win the contest and enable him to get married with the proceeds from her new career as a singer. With the help of chefs Popodopolis, Petrovich and Barzumium, Chick makes a recording of Bessie's voice, which he then takes to Danny's apartment. There, Chick overhears gambler Honest Joe Kincaid order Danny to choose his girl friend, "Sugar" Gaston, as the winner of the contest in order to wipe out Danny's gambling debts. Danny is reluctant to agree, but when Chick substitutes Sugar's record with Bessie's, Bessie's beautiful voice persuades Danny that he can award the prize to Sugar, and wipe out his debt with a clear conscience. Chick is now posed with the problem of convincing Danny that Bessie is Sugar, and when the real Sugar arrives in Miami, Popodopolis, Petrovich and Barzumium abduct her and Bessie takes her place. Unknown to the hapless Bessie, Sugar's former boyfriend, a gangster just released from prison, sends two gunmen after her. The two men, Gus and Ernie, also assume Bessie is Sugar and make plans to "rub her out." Gus and Ernie put chloroform on Bessie's microphone just before she sings for Danny, and she falls asleep as she warbles "Sleepytime Gal." The two hit men then spirit Bessie away and lock her in the hotel's walk-in freezer, along with Danny's arranger, Downbeat, with whom Bessie is infatuated. Meanwhile, Sugar has escaped from the three chefs and returns to the hotel, where it looks as if she will win the contest. Chick manages to free Bessie and Downbeat just in time, and Bessie's rambunctious performance wins both Danny's approval and the contest.