King of Jazz
King of Jazz is a 1930 American Pre-Code color film starring Paul Whiteman and his orchestra. The film title was taken from Whiteman's self-conferred appellation. At the time the film was made, "jazz", to the general public, meant the jazz-influenced syncopated dance music, being heard everywhere on phonograph records and through radio broadcasts. In the 1920s Whiteman signed and featured white jazz musicians including Joe Venuti and Eddie Lang, Bix Beiderbecke, Frank Trumbauer and others. There is a possibility that one of the people appearing in the film was the great-uncle of Kurt Cobain. King of Jazz was filmed in the early two-color Technicolor process and was produced by Carl Laemmle Jr. for Universal Pictures. The movie featured several songs sung on camera by the Rhythm Boys, as well as off-camera solo vocals by Crosby during the opening credits and briefly, during a cartoon sequence. King of Jazz still survives in a near-complete color print and is not a lost film, unlike many contemporary musicals that now exist only either in incomplete form or as black-and-white reduction copies.
In 2013, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally or aesthetically significant". King of Jazz is a revue. There is no story, only a series of musical numbers alternating with "blackouts" and other short introductory or linking segments; the musical numbers are diverse in character, taking a "something for everyone" approach to appeal to family audiences by catering to the young, the old and the middle-aged in turn. The slow Bridal Veil number, featuring the largest veil made, exhibits Victorian sentimentality that might best appeal to the elderly; the middle-aged was courted with a tune by John Boles in a lush setting crooning It Happened in Monterey in waltz time, or in a barn with a chorus of red-shirted ranch hands belting out the Song of the Dawn. The "jazzy" Happy Feet number was designed to appeal to younger audiences. One segment early in the film serves to introduce several of the band's virtuoso musicians.
Another provides the audience with a chance to see the Rhythm Boys famous by sound but not sight because of their recordings and radio broadcasts, performing in a home-like setting. There are novelty and comedy numbers ranging from the mildly risqué to the humorously sadomasochistic to the silly. There is a line of chorus girls mandatory in early musicals, but in their featured spot the novelty is that they are seated; the grand finale is the Melting Pot number, in which various immigrant groups in national costume offer brief renditions of characteristic songs from their native lands, after which they are all consigned to the American Melting Pot. Performers from some of the earlier musical numbers reprise their acts while reporting for duty as fuel under the pot. Whiteman stirs the steaming stew; when the cooking is complete, everyone emerges transformed into a jazz-happy American. There are a couple of early examples of the overhead views elaborated and made famous by Busby Berkeley, but this film bears little resemblance to his films and other musicals of the 1930s.
It is much a stage presentation, albeit on a large stage, visual interest is maintained only by changes of viewpoint. The cameras do not move; this is not because the Technicolor cameras were bulky. The cameras used for this early Technicolor process contained a single roll of film and were of nearly ordinary size and weight. King of Jazz was the nineteenth all-talking motion picture filmed in two-color Technicolor rather than including color sequences. At the time, Technicolor's two-color process employed red and green dyes, each with a dash of other colors mixed in, but no blue dye. King of Jazz was to showcase a spectacular presentation of George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, so this presented a problem; the green dye Technicolor used can appear peacock blue under some conditions, but acceptable results in this case would require careful handling. Art director Herman Rosse and production director John Murray Anderson came up with solutions. Tests were made of various fabrics and pigments, by using an all gray-and-silver background the bluish aspect of the dye was set off to best advantage.
Filters were used to inject pale blues into the scene being filmed. The goal was to produce a finished film with pastel shades rather than bright colors; as it appears in an original two-color Technicolor print, the sequence might best be described as a "Rhapsody in Turquoise". Prints made from the original two-component negative, which had survived, make the blues look truer and more saturated than they appeared to audiences in 1930. King of Jazz marked the first film appearance of the popular crooner Bing Crosby, who, at the time, was a member of The Rhythm Boys, the Whiteman Orchestra's vocal trio. Crosby was scheduled to sing "Song of the Dawn" in the movie but a motor accident led to him being jailed for a time and the song was given to John Boles. Composer Ferde Grofé, best known for his Grand Canyon Suite, was in his early years a well known arranger/songwriter for Whiteman, he is documented to have arranged some of the music, may in fact have composed some of the inciden
Vivienne Sonia Segal was an American actress and singer. Segal was born on April 1897, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, she was the elder daughter of Jewish parents, Bernard Segal and Paula Segal, who encouraged Vivienne and her sister, Louise, to seek careers in show business. Her obituary in The Guardian reported that her father "underwrote a local opera company in order to give her the chance to sing." Segal's career began when she was 15 years old and began performing with the Philadelphia Operatic Society. Her Broadway debut came in The Blue Paradise, a production, underwritten by her father. In 1924 and 1925, she was a member of the Ziegfeld Follies, she was a performer on the CBS Radio program Accordiana in 1934. Segal may be best remembered for creating the role of Vera Simpson in Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart's Pal Joey and introduced the song "Bewitched and Bewildered". Pal Joey opened at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre December 25, 1940, with a cast that included Gene Kelly and June Havoc.
She starred as Morgan LeFay in the Rodgers and Hart revival of A Connecticut Yankee in 1942. One of Lorenz Hart's last songs, "To Keep My Love Alive", was written for her in this show. Since the 1940 Pal Joey production went unrecorded, a studio cast was assembled in 1950 to record the musical. In 2003, this recording was reissued on CD by Columbia Broadway Masterworks in a release featuring the full show's numbers plus two bonus tracks: Harold Lang singing "I Could Write a Book" and Segal singing "Bewitched and Bewildered" on the CBS Radio show Stage Struck, interviewed by Mike Wallace recalling Hart's promise to write her a show. In 1952, she played in Pal Joey again. Vivienne Segal retired from acting in 1966 following a guest appearance on Perry Mason as Pauline Thorsen in "The Case of the Tsarina's Tiara." Segal and actor Robert Ames eloped in 1923. In 1950, she married Jr.. Both unions were childless. Segal died in Beverly Hills, California of heart failure on December 29, 1992, aged 95, she was interred in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles.
In 1952, Segal received a Donaldson Award in the Best Performance-Actress category for her performance in the revival of Pal Joey. 1915 The Blue Paradise 1917 My Lady's Glove 1917 Miss 1917 1918 Oh, Lady! Lady!! 1919 The Little Whopper 1921 A Dangerous Maid 1922 The Yankee Princess 1923 Adrienne 1924 Ziegfeld Follies 1925 Ziegfeld Follies 1925 Florida Girl 1926 Castles in the Air 1926 The Desert Song 1928 The Three Musketeers 1931 The Chocolate Soldier 1938 I Married an Angel 1940 Pal Joey 1943 A Connecticut Yankee Broadway revival 1947 Music in My Heart 1950 Great to Be Alive! 1952 Pal Joey Broadway revival Sies, Luther F. Encyclopedia of American Radio: 1920-1960. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland, 2000. ISBN 0-7864-0452-3 Vivienne Segal on IMDb Vivienne Segal at the Internet Broadway Database Vivienne Segal at Find a Grave Vivienne Segal photographs, 1870s-1972, held by the Billy Rose Theatre Division, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
James Van Trees
James Van Trees born James Crawford Van Trees was an American cinematographer in Hollywood whose career spans the silent and sound eras. His father was Franklin S. Van Trees, a society architect, best known for his mansions in the Pacific Heights area of San Francisco, such as the Baron Edward S. Rothschild house on Jackson Street, his mother was silent era scriptwriter Julia Crawford Ivers. Mother and son worked together on a few films more than becoming the first mother and son to direct and photograph productions. Van Trees was the President of the American Society of Cinematographers during 1923-1924, his son James Van Trees, Jr. worked for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer with his father. James Van Trees on IMDb 1961 audio interview for the ASC
Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. referred to as Warner Bros. and abbreviated as WB, is an American entertainment company headquartered in Burbank, California and a subsidiary of AT&T's WarnerMedia. Founded in 1923, it has operations in film and video games and is one of the "Big Five" major American film studios, as well as a member of the Motion Picture Association of America; the company's name originated from the four founding Warner brothers: Harry, Albert and Jack Warner. Harry and Sam emigrated as young children with their parents to Canada from Krasnosielc, Poland. Jack, the youngest brother, was born in Ontario; the three elder brothers began in the movie theater business, having acquired a movie projector with which they showed films in the mining towns of Pennsylvania and Ohio. In the beginning and Albert Warner invested $150 to present Life of an American Fireman and The Great Train Robbery, they opened their first theater, the Cascade, in New Castle, Pennsylvania, in 1903. When the original building was in danger of being demolished, the modern Warner Bros. called the current building owners, arranged to save it.
The owners noted people across the country had asked them to protect it for its historical significance. In 1904, the Warners founded the Pittsburgh-based Duquesne Amusement & Supply Company, to distribute films. In 1912, Harry Warner hired. By the time of World War I they had begun producing films. In 1918 they opened the first Warner Brothers Studio on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. Sam and Jack produced the pictures, while Harry and Albert, along with their auditor and now controller Chase, handled finance and distribution in New York City. During World War I their first nationally syndicated film, My Four Years in Germany, based on a popular book by former ambassador James W. Gerard, was released. On April 4, 1923, with help from money loaned to Harry by his banker Motley Flint, they formally incorporated as Warner Bros. Pictures, Incorporated; the first important deal was the acquisition of the rights to Avery Hopwood's 1919 Broadway play, The Gold Diggers, from theatrical impresario David Belasco.
However, Rin Tin Tin, a dog brought from France after World War I by an American soldier, established their reputation. Rin Tin Tin debuted in the feature; the movie was so successful. Rin Tin Tin became the studio's top star. Jack nicknamed him "The Mortgage Lifter" and the success boosted Darryl F. Zanuck's career. Zanuck became a top producer and between 1928 and 1933 served as Jack's right-hand man and executive producer, with responsibilities including day-to-day film production. More success came. Lubitsch's film The Marriage Circle was the studio's most successful film of 1924, was on The New York Times best list for that year. Despite the success of Rin Tin Tin and Lubitsch, Warner's remained a lesser studio. Sam and Jack decided to offer Broadway actor John Barrymore the lead role in Beau Brummel; the film was so successful. By the end of 1924, Warner Bros. was arguably Hollywood's most successful independent studio, where it competed with "The Big Three" Studios. As a result, Harry Warner—while speaking at a convention of 1,500 independent exhibitors in Milwaukee, Wisconsin—was able to convince the filmmakers to spend $500,000 in newspaper advertising, Harry saw this as an opportunity to establish theaters in cities such as New York and Los Angeles.
As the studio prospered, it gained backing from Wall Street, in 1924 Goldman Sachs arranged a major loan. With this new money, the Warners bought the pioneer Vitagraph Company which had a nationwide distribution system. In 1925, Warners' experimented in radio, establishing a successful radio station, KFWB, in Los Angeles. Warner Bros. was a pioneer of films with synchronized sound. In 1925, at Sam's urging, Warner's agreed to add this feature to their productions. By February 1926, the studio reported a net loss of $333,413. After a long period denying Sam's request for sound, Harry agreed to change, as long as the studio's use of synchronized sound was for background music purposes only; the Warners signed a contract with the sound engineer company Western Electric and established Vitaphone. In 1926, Vitaphone began making films with music and effects tracks, most notably, in the feature Don Juan starring John Barrymore; the film was silent. To hype Don Juan's release, Harry acquired the large Piccadilly Theater in Manhattan, New York City, renamed it Warners' Theatre.
Don Juan premiered at the Warners' Theatre in New York on August 6, 1926. Throughout the early history of film distribution, theater owners hired orchestras to attend film showings, where they provided soundtracks. Through Vitaphone, Warner Bros. produced eight shorts in 1926. Many film production companies questioned the necessity. Don Juan did not recoup its production cost and Lubitsch left for MGM. By April 1927, the Big Five studios had ruined Warner's, Western Electric renewed Warner's Vit
Paul Weigel was a German-American actor. He appeared in 114 films between 1916 and 1945. Paul Weigel on IMDb
Oscar Hammerstein II
Oscar Greeley Clendenning Hammerstein II was an American librettist, theatrical producer, e director of musicals for 40 years. He won 4 Tony Awards and two Academy Awards for Best Original Song. Many of his songs are standard repertoire for vocalists and jazz musicians, he co-wrote 851 songs. Hammerstein was the playwright in his partnerships. Hammerstein collaborated with numerous composers, such as Jerome Kern, with whom he wrote Show Boat, Vincent Youmans, Rudolf Friml, Richard A. Whiting, Sigmund Romberg, but he is best known for his collaborations with Richard Rodgers, as the duo Rodgers and Hammerstein, whose collaborations include Oklahoma!, South Pacific, The King and I, The Sound of Music. Oscar Greeley Clendenning Hammerstein II was born in New York City, the son of Alice Hammerstein and theatrical manager William Hammerstein, his grandfather was the German theatre impresario Oscar Hammerstein I. His father was from a Jewish family, his mother was the daughter of Scottish and English parents.
He attended the Church of the Divine Paternity, now the Fourth Universalist Society in the City of New York. Although Hammerstein's father managed the jorgeotto Theatre for his father and was a producer of vaudeville shows, he was opposed to his son's desire to participate in the arts. Hammerstein attended Columbia University and studied at Columbia Law School until 1917; as a student, he engaged in numerous extracurricular activities. These included playing first base on the baseball team, performing in the Varsity Show and becoming an active member of Pi Lambda Phi, a Jewish fraternity; when he was 19, still a student at Columbia, his father died of Bright's disease, June 10, 1914, symptoms of which doctors attributed to scarlet fever. On the train trip to the funeral with his brother, he read the headlines in the New York Herald: "Hammerstein's Death a Shock to the Theater Circle." The New York Times wrote, "Hammerstein, the Barnum of Vaudeville, Dead at Forty." When he and his brother arrived home, they attended their father's funeral with their grandfather, more than a thousand others, at Temple Israel in Harlem, took part in the ceremonies held in the Jewish tradition.
Two hours "taps was sounded over Broadway," writes biographer Hugh Fordin. After his father's death, he participated in his first play with the Varsity Show, entitled On Your Way. Throughout the rest of his college career, Hammerstein performed in several Varsity Shows. After quitting law school to pursue theatre, Hammerstein began his first professional collaboration, with Herbert Stothart, Otto Harbach and Frank Mandel, he went on to form a 20-year collaboration with Harbach. Out of this collaboration came his first musical, Always You, for which he wrote the book and lyrics, it opened on Broadway in 1920. In 1921 Hammerstein joined The Lambs club. Throughout the next forty years, Hammerstein teamed with many other composers, including Jerome Kern, with whom Hammerstein enjoyed a successful collaboration. In 1927, Kern and Hammerstein had their biggest hit, Show Boat, revived and is still considered one of the masterpieces of the American musical theatre. "Here we come to a new genre — the musical play as distinguished from musical comedy.
Now... the play was the thing, everything else was subservient to that play. Now... came complete integration of song and production numbers into a single and inextricable artistic entity." Many years Hammerstein's wife Dorothy bristled when she heard a remark that Jerome Kern had written "Ol' Man River." "Indeed not," she retorted. "Jerome Kern wrote'dum, dum-dum.' My husband wrote'Ol' Man River'."Other Kern-Hammerstein musicals include Sweet Adeline, Music in the Air, Three Sisters, Very Warm for May. Hammerstein collaborated with Vincent Youmans, Rudolf Friml, Sigmund Romberg. Hammerstein's most successful and sustained collaboration began when he teamed up with Richard Rodgers to write a musical adaptation of the play Green Grow the Lilacs. Rodgers' first partner, Lorenz Hart planned to collaborate with Rodgers on this piece, but his alcoholism had become out of control, he was unable to write. Hart was not certain that the idea had much merit, the two therefore separated; the adaptation became the first Rodgers and Hammerstein collaboration, entitled Oklahoma!, which opened on Broadway in 1943.
It furthered the revolution begun by Show Boat, by integrating all the aspects of musical theatre, with the songs and dances arising out of and further developing the plot and characters. William A. Everett and Paul R. Laird wrote that this was a "show, like'Show Boat', became a milestone, so that historians writing about important moments in twentieth-century theatre would begin to identify eras according to their relationship to'Oklahoma.'" After Oklahoma!, Rodgers and Hammerstein were the most important contributors to the musical-play form – with such masterworks as Carousel, The King and I and South Pacific. The examples they set in creating vital plays rich with social thought, provided the necessary encouragement for other gifted writers to create musical plays of their own"; the partnership went on to produce these and other Broadway musicals such as Allegro, Me and Juliet, Pipe Dream, Flower Drum Song, The Sound of Music, as well as the musical film State Fair, the television musical Cinderella, all featured in the revue A Grand Night for Singing.
Hammerstein wrote the book and
Egbert "Bert" Roach was an American film actor. He appeared in 327 films between 1914 and 1951, he was born in Washington, D. C. and died in Los Angeles, age 79. Bert Roach on IMDb