Two small-town sisters who’ve come to New York City for very different reasons find themselves competing for the affections of a brash magazine photographer.
Victoria and Constance are the precocious daughters of big-city businessman Tom Peabody, long separated from his girls, who’ve been raised in the country, the widowed Peabody brings them to live with him in New York. Hopelessly out of step with her new “hep” friends, Victoria is introduced to the pleasures of swing music by brash Manhattanite Ricky. Meanwhile, the girls try to expedite the romance between their father and pretty secretary Edie Ives.
Talented youngster Pat Donahue Jr. is working in the Berkshires. He learns of a great part in New York City and auditions. But after winning the role he finds out it was originally intended for his father Patrick. The son is reluctant to do what’s right.
When Jimmie Monahan’s father is absent to aid the war effort, young Jimmie works hard to lift his family’s spirits. Finding he has a dancing and musical talent he organizes a show at the nearby aircraft plant to raise morale.
Reporter Miss Lee is looking for a story and approaches White as he’s assembling the latest edition of his famous revue. As it turns out, she has lots of backstage gossip to choose from; Mona Vale, White’s latest discovery, is making her Broadway debut in the show, and she’s fallen in love with the star, Jimmy Martin. Jimmy, however, only has eyes for Barbara Lorainne, a snooty high society type also in the cast.
Chick Parker and Pete Pendleton are songwriters that are en route from New York to Hollywood to make their fame and fortune; Dorothy, a lunch wagon proprietor, joins them.
Young man just out of college tries to persuade his father, who owns a record company, to start signing up rock ‘n’ roll acts. The musical highlights in The Big Beat are provided by such luminaries as Gogi Grant, Fats Domino (“I’m Walking”), and The Diamonds.
The story deals with the college rivalry of a piccolo player and an All-American halfback on the football team who both love the same co-ed. After graduation they carry their their feud and collegiate ideas over into the department store business.