Thursday, May 04, 2006

Paul Whiteman's King of Jazz 1

Willie Hall
excerpts from "Variations Based on Noises From a Garage" (performed during band appearances) Willie plays the violin while wearing a pair of shoes mounted on long boards, plays "Pop! Goes the Weasel" with the violin in various positions, and plays "Stars and Stripes Forever" on a bicycle pump.

Dancing by Al Norman (performing his rubber-legged, snake-hips dance) and the Russell Markert Dancers

This wouldn't remind you a little bit of John Cleese's "Silly Walk," does it? Just watch the end of his dance.

The King of Jazz is one of those early musicals they rushed to put out after The Jazz Singer. The y weren't yet quite sure how to make the kind of musical MGM was famous for in the golden age, so this film is typical of the stage-style, vaudevillian performances. It's also famous for its two-colour technicolor process. The film is silly, psychedelic, and full of the typically great performances by stellar musicians such as der Bingle (then very young and a part of The Rhythm Boys), Joe Venuti and Eddie Lang.
If anyone knows of real information of the personnel of the film, please let me know. According to the film Bix, Beiderbecke was pulled from the film as he was detoxing at his mom's house from his alcoholism. I don't know who replaced him.

To see almost the absolute rest of this film, visit red Hot Jazz. It has pretty much everything from the movie you'd want to see.

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