Another Studebaker-jazz connection (long post)

Another Studebaker-jazz connection (long post)

Rob Rothberg
Rob Rothberg

April 2nd, 2005, 11:43 pm #1

The forum has already discussed the involvement of 1600 Broadway – the old Studebaker building – in jazz history. (When I last checked a few weeks ago, the building was a scaffolding-encrusted shadow of its grand former self.)

But there is another connection between Studebaker and jazz. According to Richard Quinn’s article “Life and Death of a Giant” on the Studebaker Drivers’ Club website (www.studebakerdriversclub.com), Jean Goldkette – while not busy hawking Eskimo Pies and Orange Blossom Honey – led the Studebaker Champions Orchestra. According to Quinn:

“Radio was becoming increasingly popular and Studebaker was quick to recognize the advertising potential of the new medium. On Sunday evening, Feb. 3, 1929 at 10:15 p.m. EST, the Studebaker Champions Orchestra led by Jean Goldkette was introduced to listeners for the first time. The program became quite popular and by 1930, Studebaker ranked third behind only Ford and GM in money spent on radio advertising. In many listener surveys the band itself was ranked at or near the top. The "Champions" name was an obvious reference to the championship performance exhibited by the Studebaker cars on the speedways and roadways of America. To emphasize the connection, the band often posed for publicity photos wearing pit crew type white coveralls. [Rather like Whiteman and crew dressing up in smocks as the Allied Paint Men.] In the early 1930s Richard Himber replaced Goldkette as conductor of the orchestra and he remained in that role for nearly ten years.”

That in itself is interesting, but there’s more. To promote the car, Studebaker had Alf Goulding, who had directed the film "Hells Angels," direct a nine-minute film entitled “Wild Flowers” in which the band cavorted on a giant wooden model of the car. The band played "Lovely Lady," "Blue Skies," and "I Love You Truly" in addition to the film's theme song, "Falling In Love With You."

Evidently the film was well received. Quinn quotes "Exhibitors Daily Review And Motion Pictures Today" as praising it in these terms:

“One of the cleverest, if not the best, advertising reel we have ever seen is one just produced on behalf of the Studebaker automobile. It brings in the Studebaker Champions, so well known to radio audiences, and they use a giant motor car as the stage for their entertainment. The music is excellent, the treatment is novel, and the sum total is far and away superior to nine out of ten of the short subjects now on the market as legitimate show material.”

To judge from this description, the film sounds worth seeing, Unfortunately, Quinn reports that a copy of has never turned up. I checked with a couple of film historians, but they had not heard of it.

Now we come to a question. Quinn states that in the film, "the orchestra was led by Victor Young." Recently, however, I came across a press photo that suggests Goldkette appeared in the film. Look at this photo:



The back of the photo states: “Maybe Jean Goldkette’s Studebaker Champions are featuring Babes in Toyland as they give this concert from the world’s biggest automobile. This popular radio orchestra and this huge Studebaker model were featured in “Wild Flowers,” a recent talking picture filmed at Studebaker’s proving ground, near South Bend, Ind. The car has 15½ times greater capacity than the normal President Eight roadster, in fact, the roadster can easily be hidden under the hood of this giant replica.”

I don’t recognize anyone in the photo. What about you forumites? Further information would we welcomed.
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Steve Zalusky
Steve Zalusky

April 3rd, 2005, 8:42 am #2

Alf Goulding did not direct Hell's Angels. It was directed by Howard Hughes and James Whale.
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

April 3rd, 2005, 12:54 pm #3

IMDB tells us that "Hell's Angels" was directed by Howard Hughes and Edmund Goulding (uncredited). The site further tells us that James Whale was the dialogue director (uncredited).

There were two writers/directors with Goulding as their last name. Alfred Goulding (an Australian, born in 1896, died 1972) and Edmund Goulding (a Britisher, born in 1891, died in 1959). Edmund, not Alfred, is, according to IMDB, the uncredited director of "Hell's Angels." Edmund Goulding also directed (note the connection to Bix) "Reaching for the Moon" where a young Bing Crosby sings "When the Folks High-Up Do the Mean Low-Down."

Speaking of Bing, you had a discussion of "Check and Double Check." The imdb site gives for the film soundtrack
"Three Little Words"
Music by Harry Ruby
Lyrics by Bert Kalmar
Performed by Duke Ellington and His Cotton Club Band
Vocals by Bing Crosby, Harry Barris and Al Rinker

Albert
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Frank Youngwerth
Frank Youngwerth

April 3rd, 2005, 5:25 pm #4

The forum has already discussed the involvement of 1600 Broadway – the old Studebaker building – in jazz history. (When I last checked a few weeks ago, the building was a scaffolding-encrusted shadow of its grand former self.)

But there is another connection between Studebaker and jazz. According to Richard Quinn’s article “Life and Death of a Giant” on the Studebaker Drivers’ Club website (www.studebakerdriversclub.com), Jean Goldkette – while not busy hawking Eskimo Pies and Orange Blossom Honey – led the Studebaker Champions Orchestra. According to Quinn:

“Radio was becoming increasingly popular and Studebaker was quick to recognize the advertising potential of the new medium. On Sunday evening, Feb. 3, 1929 at 10:15 p.m. EST, the Studebaker Champions Orchestra led by Jean Goldkette was introduced to listeners for the first time. The program became quite popular and by 1930, Studebaker ranked third behind only Ford and GM in money spent on radio advertising. In many listener surveys the band itself was ranked at or near the top. The "Champions" name was an obvious reference to the championship performance exhibited by the Studebaker cars on the speedways and roadways of America. To emphasize the connection, the band often posed for publicity photos wearing pit crew type white coveralls. [Rather like Whiteman and crew dressing up in smocks as the Allied Paint Men.] In the early 1930s Richard Himber replaced Goldkette as conductor of the orchestra and he remained in that role for nearly ten years.”

That in itself is interesting, but there’s more. To promote the car, Studebaker had Alf Goulding, who had directed the film "Hells Angels," direct a nine-minute film entitled “Wild Flowers” in which the band cavorted on a giant wooden model of the car. The band played "Lovely Lady," "Blue Skies," and "I Love You Truly" in addition to the film's theme song, "Falling In Love With You."

Evidently the film was well received. Quinn quotes "Exhibitors Daily Review And Motion Pictures Today" as praising it in these terms:

“One of the cleverest, if not the best, advertising reel we have ever seen is one just produced on behalf of the Studebaker automobile. It brings in the Studebaker Champions, so well known to radio audiences, and they use a giant motor car as the stage for their entertainment. The music is excellent, the treatment is novel, and the sum total is far and away superior to nine out of ten of the short subjects now on the market as legitimate show material.”

To judge from this description, the film sounds worth seeing, Unfortunately, Quinn reports that a copy of has never turned up. I checked with a couple of film historians, but they had not heard of it.

Now we come to a question. Quinn states that in the film, "the orchestra was led by Victor Young." Recently, however, I came across a press photo that suggests Goldkette appeared in the film. Look at this photo:



The back of the photo states: “Maybe Jean Goldkette’s Studebaker Champions are featuring Babes in Toyland as they give this concert from the world’s biggest automobile. This popular radio orchestra and this huge Studebaker model were featured in “Wild Flowers,” a recent talking picture filmed at Studebaker’s proving ground, near South Bend, Ind. The car has 15½ times greater capacity than the normal President Eight roadster, in fact, the roadster can easily be hidden under the hood of this giant replica.”

I don’t recognize anyone in the photo. What about you forumites? Further information would we welcomed.
About a year ago I took a tour of the Fine Arts Building on South Michigan Avenue, originally called the Studebaker (built 1885, the oldest surviving large commercial building in Chicago). It first housed showrooms on lower floors, with carriage and wagon assembly done on upper floors. In an early (pre-1900) example of adaptive re-use, it was converted over to large and small theaters and studios. If I'm not mistaken, Chicago Symphony clarinetist Franz Schoepp taught out of this building, at a time when Benny Goodman and Buster Bailey were among his pupils. Benny told Richard Sudhalter, "(Schoepp) had a habiit of keeping the preceding pupil there when you came in and having you play duets. I think that's how I got to know Buster."
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Brad Kay
Brad Kay

April 3rd, 2005, 7:37 pm #5

The forum has already discussed the involvement of 1600 Broadway – the old Studebaker building – in jazz history. (When I last checked a few weeks ago, the building was a scaffolding-encrusted shadow of its grand former self.)

But there is another connection between Studebaker and jazz. According to Richard Quinn’s article “Life and Death of a Giant” on the Studebaker Drivers’ Club website (www.studebakerdriversclub.com), Jean Goldkette – while not busy hawking Eskimo Pies and Orange Blossom Honey – led the Studebaker Champions Orchestra. According to Quinn:

“Radio was becoming increasingly popular and Studebaker was quick to recognize the advertising potential of the new medium. On Sunday evening, Feb. 3, 1929 at 10:15 p.m. EST, the Studebaker Champions Orchestra led by Jean Goldkette was introduced to listeners for the first time. The program became quite popular and by 1930, Studebaker ranked third behind only Ford and GM in money spent on radio advertising. In many listener surveys the band itself was ranked at or near the top. The "Champions" name was an obvious reference to the championship performance exhibited by the Studebaker cars on the speedways and roadways of America. To emphasize the connection, the band often posed for publicity photos wearing pit crew type white coveralls. [Rather like Whiteman and crew dressing up in smocks as the Allied Paint Men.] In the early 1930s Richard Himber replaced Goldkette as conductor of the orchestra and he remained in that role for nearly ten years.”

That in itself is interesting, but there’s more. To promote the car, Studebaker had Alf Goulding, who had directed the film "Hells Angels," direct a nine-minute film entitled “Wild Flowers” in which the band cavorted on a giant wooden model of the car. The band played "Lovely Lady," "Blue Skies," and "I Love You Truly" in addition to the film's theme song, "Falling In Love With You."

Evidently the film was well received. Quinn quotes "Exhibitors Daily Review And Motion Pictures Today" as praising it in these terms:

“One of the cleverest, if not the best, advertising reel we have ever seen is one just produced on behalf of the Studebaker automobile. It brings in the Studebaker Champions, so well known to radio audiences, and they use a giant motor car as the stage for their entertainment. The music is excellent, the treatment is novel, and the sum total is far and away superior to nine out of ten of the short subjects now on the market as legitimate show material.”

To judge from this description, the film sounds worth seeing, Unfortunately, Quinn reports that a copy of has never turned up. I checked with a couple of film historians, but they had not heard of it.

Now we come to a question. Quinn states that in the film, "the orchestra was led by Victor Young." Recently, however, I came across a press photo that suggests Goldkette appeared in the film. Look at this photo:



The back of the photo states: “Maybe Jean Goldkette’s Studebaker Champions are featuring Babes in Toyland as they give this concert from the world’s biggest automobile. This popular radio orchestra and this huge Studebaker model were featured in “Wild Flowers,” a recent talking picture filmed at Studebaker’s proving ground, near South Bend, Ind. The car has 15½ times greater capacity than the normal President Eight roadster, in fact, the roadster can easily be hidden under the hood of this giant replica.”

I don’t recognize anyone in the photo. What about you forumites? Further information would we welcomed.
That is one HELL of a lot of car!! What ever became of this behemoth? Where do I get one? Wouldn't I just love to bump a few Rap-blasting SUVs off the road, pulverizing them with Jean Goldkette records, played on an proportionally scaled stereo system!
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

April 3rd, 2005, 11:04 pm #6

The forum has already discussed the involvement of 1600 Broadway – the old Studebaker building – in jazz history. (When I last checked a few weeks ago, the building was a scaffolding-encrusted shadow of its grand former self.)

But there is another connection between Studebaker and jazz. According to Richard Quinn’s article “Life and Death of a Giant” on the Studebaker Drivers’ Club website (www.studebakerdriversclub.com), Jean Goldkette – while not busy hawking Eskimo Pies and Orange Blossom Honey – led the Studebaker Champions Orchestra. According to Quinn:

“Radio was becoming increasingly popular and Studebaker was quick to recognize the advertising potential of the new medium. On Sunday evening, Feb. 3, 1929 at 10:15 p.m. EST, the Studebaker Champions Orchestra led by Jean Goldkette was introduced to listeners for the first time. The program became quite popular and by 1930, Studebaker ranked third behind only Ford and GM in money spent on radio advertising. In many listener surveys the band itself was ranked at or near the top. The "Champions" name was an obvious reference to the championship performance exhibited by the Studebaker cars on the speedways and roadways of America. To emphasize the connection, the band often posed for publicity photos wearing pit crew type white coveralls. [Rather like Whiteman and crew dressing up in smocks as the Allied Paint Men.] In the early 1930s Richard Himber replaced Goldkette as conductor of the orchestra and he remained in that role for nearly ten years.”

That in itself is interesting, but there’s more. To promote the car, Studebaker had Alf Goulding, who had directed the film "Hells Angels," direct a nine-minute film entitled “Wild Flowers” in which the band cavorted on a giant wooden model of the car. The band played "Lovely Lady," "Blue Skies," and "I Love You Truly" in addition to the film's theme song, "Falling In Love With You."

Evidently the film was well received. Quinn quotes "Exhibitors Daily Review And Motion Pictures Today" as praising it in these terms:

“One of the cleverest, if not the best, advertising reel we have ever seen is one just produced on behalf of the Studebaker automobile. It brings in the Studebaker Champions, so well known to radio audiences, and they use a giant motor car as the stage for their entertainment. The music is excellent, the treatment is novel, and the sum total is far and away superior to nine out of ten of the short subjects now on the market as legitimate show material.”

To judge from this description, the film sounds worth seeing, Unfortunately, Quinn reports that a copy of has never turned up. I checked with a couple of film historians, but they had not heard of it.

Now we come to a question. Quinn states that in the film, "the orchestra was led by Victor Young." Recently, however, I came across a press photo that suggests Goldkette appeared in the film. Look at this photo:



The back of the photo states: “Maybe Jean Goldkette’s Studebaker Champions are featuring Babes in Toyland as they give this concert from the world’s biggest automobile. This popular radio orchestra and this huge Studebaker model were featured in “Wild Flowers,” a recent talking picture filmed at Studebaker’s proving ground, near South Bend, Ind. The car has 15½ times greater capacity than the normal President Eight roadster, in fact, the roadster can easily be hidden under the hood of this giant replica.”

I don’t recognize anyone in the photo. What about you forumites? Further information would we welcomed.
The building at 1600 Broadway –in the heart of Times Square- was built in 1902. When it opened, it housed, in the first floor, a showroom for the horse-driven, luxury carriages of the Studebaker Brothers. In 1924 the first floor was occupied by the Cinderella Ballroom, where Bix appeared with the Wolverine Orchestra. You can read about "Bix At 1600 Broadway" in the March issue of the Mississippi Rag. For the convenience of those who do not subscribe, I uploaded text and photographs of the article in the Bixography website. Go to
http://bixography.com/1600broadway/bix1600broadway.html

Albert

PS The same issue of the Mississippi Rag published my review of the soundtrack CD of the film "Aviator." To read my review, go to http://bixography.com/aviator.html
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Steve Zalusky
Steve Zalusky

April 4th, 2005, 6:32 am #7

IMDB tells us that "Hell's Angels" was directed by Howard Hughes and Edmund Goulding (uncredited). The site further tells us that James Whale was the dialogue director (uncredited).

There were two writers/directors with Goulding as their last name. Alfred Goulding (an Australian, born in 1896, died 1972) and Edmund Goulding (a Britisher, born in 1891, died in 1959). Edmund, not Alfred, is, according to IMDB, the uncredited director of "Hell's Angels." Edmund Goulding also directed (note the connection to Bix) "Reaching for the Moon" where a young Bing Crosby sings "When the Folks High-Up Do the Mean Low-Down."

Speaking of Bing, you had a discussion of "Check and Double Check." The imdb site gives for the film soundtrack
"Three Little Words"
Music by Harry Ruby
Lyrics by Bert Kalmar
Performed by Duke Ellington and His Cotton Club Band
Vocals by Bing Crosby, Harry Barris and Al Rinker

Albert
I had no idea Edmund Goulding was involved with Hell's Angels. That is a highly uncharacteristic film for this "woman's director."
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Rob Rothberg
Rob Rothberg

April 4th, 2005, 7:42 pm #8

That is one HELL of a lot of car!! What ever became of this behemoth? Where do I get one? Wouldn't I just love to bump a few Rap-blasting SUVs off the road, pulverizing them with Jean Goldkette records, played on an proportionally scaled stereo system!
Brad, the Quinn article says that after the completion of "Wild Flowers," the car was disassembled and moved to knoll outside of Studebaker's Indiana proving grounds, where it could be seen by passing motorists. In 1936, after years of wear inflicted by the climate, vandals and souvenir hunters, the car was doused with accelerant and burned.
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Barry I. Grauman
Barry I. Grauman

March 7th, 2013, 2:32 am #9

The forum has already discussed the involvement of 1600 Broadway – the old Studebaker building – in jazz history. (When I last checked a few weeks ago, the building was a scaffolding-encrusted shadow of its grand former self.)

But there is another connection between Studebaker and jazz. According to Richard Quinn’s article “Life and Death of a Giant” on the Studebaker Drivers’ Club website (www.studebakerdriversclub.com), Jean Goldkette – while not busy hawking Eskimo Pies and Orange Blossom Honey – led the Studebaker Champions Orchestra. According to Quinn:

“Radio was becoming increasingly popular and Studebaker was quick to recognize the advertising potential of the new medium. On Sunday evening, Feb. 3, 1929 at 10:15 p.m. EST, the Studebaker Champions Orchestra led by Jean Goldkette was introduced to listeners for the first time. The program became quite popular and by 1930, Studebaker ranked third behind only Ford and GM in money spent on radio advertising. In many listener surveys the band itself was ranked at or near the top. The "Champions" name was an obvious reference to the championship performance exhibited by the Studebaker cars on the speedways and roadways of America. To emphasize the connection, the band often posed for publicity photos wearing pit crew type white coveralls. [Rather like Whiteman and crew dressing up in smocks as the Allied Paint Men.] In the early 1930s Richard Himber replaced Goldkette as conductor of the orchestra and he remained in that role for nearly ten years.”

That in itself is interesting, but there’s more. To promote the car, Studebaker had Alf Goulding, who had directed the film "Hells Angels," direct a nine-minute film entitled “Wild Flowers” in which the band cavorted on a giant wooden model of the car. The band played "Lovely Lady," "Blue Skies," and "I Love You Truly" in addition to the film's theme song, "Falling In Love With You."

Evidently the film was well received. Quinn quotes "Exhibitors Daily Review And Motion Pictures Today" as praising it in these terms:

“One of the cleverest, if not the best, advertising reel we have ever seen is one just produced on behalf of the Studebaker automobile. It brings in the Studebaker Champions, so well known to radio audiences, and they use a giant motor car as the stage for their entertainment. The music is excellent, the treatment is novel, and the sum total is far and away superior to nine out of ten of the short subjects now on the market as legitimate show material.”

To judge from this description, the film sounds worth seeing, Unfortunately, Quinn reports that a copy of has never turned up. I checked with a couple of film historians, but they had not heard of it.

Now we come to a question. Quinn states that in the film, "the orchestra was led by Victor Young." Recently, however, I came across a press photo that suggests Goldkette appeared in the film. Look at this photo:



The back of the photo states: “Maybe Jean Goldkette’s Studebaker Champions are featuring Babes in Toyland as they give this concert from the world’s biggest automobile. This popular radio orchestra and this huge Studebaker model were featured in “Wild Flowers,” a recent talking picture filmed at Studebaker’s proving ground, near South Bend, Ind. The car has 15½ times greater capacity than the normal President Eight roadster, in fact, the roadster can easily be hidden under the hood of this giant replica.”

I don’t recognize anyone in the photo. What about you forumites? Further information would we welcomed.
I am happy to report that a print of the film DOES exist, and is currently posted on YouTube, courtesy of film collector Tim Romano {"Wild Flowers 1930"}.
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