Great Bix-like muted cornet behind Ginger Rogers singing from 1929 film!

Great Bix-like muted cornet behind Ginger Rogers singing from 1929 film!

Linda
Linda

October 11th, 2007, 4:28 am #1

There is a film from 1929 called "A Night In A Dormitory" and an excerpt from the film is on YouTube.
In this exerpt Ginger Rogers sings "Why Can't You Love That Way"
Listen to the cornet at the very beginning of the exerpt when Ginger Rogers is making her entrance. The open horn cornet played during this intro to the number plays some nice Bix like notes and the last note the cornet plays has that mellow sound i have heard Bix use.
Then there is a very good Bix-like muted cornet (the same musician?) playing behind Ginger Rogers vocal starting at 0:39.
The muted cornet plays a very good Bix like phrase at 1:21.
Here is a link to youtube and the film exerpt:

http://tinyurl.com/ytzjom

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Linda
Linda

October 11th, 2007, 4:41 am #2

Also at the beginning of the film exerpt when the M.C. says "and now i want to introduce our little star Miss Ginger Rogers" take a good look at the musician seen in the far right hand side of the screen.
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Linda
Linda

October 11th, 2007, 5:11 am #3

I looked up this film, "A Night In A Dormitory" at the Internet Movie Data Base site.
It was released January 5, 1930.
The bandleader is listed as Eddie Elkins playing himself in the film.
This appears to be the first film appearance of Ginger Rogers.
The company making the film was Pathe Exchange.
The running time listed is odd though-only 22 minutes??
Aren't the Vitaphone shorts usually about 10 minutes in length?
Feature films from that time were 1 hour or more.
This is an unusual running time for a film if it is 22 minutes.
Not the length of a typical short and not the length of a feature.
Ginger Rogers appeared in a Paramount musical short entitled "Office Blues" from 1930 and it is listed as 9 minutes- the usual running time I see for shorts.
Here is a link to information about the film:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0020219/

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Albert Haim
Albert Haim

October 11th, 2007, 1:09 pm #4

Regardless of the identity of the horn player, this is great stuff. Ginger Rogers doing her "Helen Kane" thing! Great finding, Linda.

This is not a Vitaphone film. Vitaphone used a record for the audio synchronized with the film for the video. "A Nigth in the Dormitory" uses the RCA Photophone system, where sound and video are on the same film, with the sound being transmitted optically.


(from http://www.uv201.com/Misc_Pages/rca_photophone.htm)

Some technical aspects of the system were discussed in the forum years ago. See
http://www.network54.com/Forum/27140/me ... 015922380/

There is nothing unusual about a 20 minute short. The short in question is a two-reeler, 10 min per reel. For example, Bing Crosby's "I Surrender Dear" short is 21 minutes long.

Now to the sound of the horn. Very highly Bixian trumpet/cornet player. The horn obbligato behind Ginger's vocal is the longest I have ever heard. Does the guy on the film look like Bix? Perhaps. He has a mustache and his ears protrude. He plays with his horn pointing down.

Could the Bixian horn player be Bix? No way. The film was issued on Jan 5, 1930. When was it actually filmed? Sometime in 1929. Bix was on tour with Whiteman from May 24, 1929 to June 15, 1929 and then he was in in Los Angeles up to the end of August 1929. Bix and the band came back to New York on August 31, 1929. Bix collapsed on Sep 13 and went home on Sep 15. The imdb site tells us that the short was filmed in New York. In fact, Pathe had its studios at Park Avenue and 134th Street in NYC. Therefore, the horn player cannot be Bix.

Who was Eddie Elkins, the band director in the film? A violinist who had a band at the Knickerbocker Grill in New York City. Rust's ADBD lists four pages of recordings between Oct 1921 and Oct 1925 with one more recording in 1935. Most of the musicians in the recordings are not identified. But according to Rust, Hymie Haberman was added for recordings. For an Oct 30, 1925 recording session, Rust lists Manny Klein and Andy Sanella as members of the band. Could the Bixian player in the Ginger Rogers short be Manny Klein? Not the one with the mustache, but the one to the right. You can hear a very nice 1922 recording (with a long cornet solo) by the Elkins band by going to
http://www.archive.org/details/Eddie_El ... -Who_Cares

Also another youtube video of Eddie Elkins in
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iG-IPb-f9I

Albert
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Albert Haim
Albert Haim

October 11th, 2007, 2:08 pm #5

Edward Elkins Is Dead at 87;Dance Band Leader in 1920's

Published: October 11, 1984

Edward G. (Eddie) Elkins, one of the first of the dance band leaders, died Saturday at his home in Manhattan. He was 87 years old.

Born in San Francisco, Mr. Elkins was among the first to develop the use of elaborately arranged dance numbers for orchestras. He was also alert to new talent and under his baton musicians such as Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, Red Nichols, Oscar Levant, Mannie Kline [sic] and others honed their techniques.

From 1922 to 1925 Mr. Elkins and his orchestra, known variously as Eddie Elkins and his Orchestra and The Knickerbocker Orchestra, recorded for the Columbia Record Company.

He and his band were featured in a number of films including ''Night on the Ziegfeld Roof,'' with Eddie Cantor in 1929, and in Ginger Rogers's first pictures at Pathe. By the time he retired in 1932 to go into the stock market, he had appeared on stage with most of the big names in show business including Sophie Tucker, George Gershwin, Fred Allen and Dorothy Lamour, at one time a vocalist with his band.

Mr. Elkins is survived by his wife and two daughters, Suzanne Elkins Rose of Chicago, Ill., and Christine Elkins of Aspen, Colo.
**********************
According to "Tommy Dorsey: Livin' in a Great Big Way: A Biography" by Peter J. Levinson, "Among the other bandleaders Tommy worked for and recorded with were violinists Eddie Elkins and Joe Candullo, as well as pianists Vincent Lopez and Freddie Rich." This is about 1925."

Red Nichols? Steve, can you tell us about this?

I note the following from the page http://nfo.net/usa/e1.html

"As a result of his popularity in New York, the Hollywood studios lured him [Eddie Elkins] back home where he eventually was seen in a total of 7 films - all made between 1929 and 1930, and always playing himself as the orchestra leader."

Could the Pathe films have been made in Hollywood? I doubt it. Ginger Rogers opened on Christmas day 1929 in New York the Broadway show "Top Speed." She must have been in New York for weeks rehearsing for the show. I have not seen in Ginger's biographies that she was in Hollywwod in 1929. She went to Hollywood after the show "Girl Crazy" (1930) closed on Broadway.

Albert
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Anonymous
Anonymous

October 11th, 2007, 2:54 pm #6

Also at the beginning of the film exerpt when the M.C. says "and now i want to introduce our little star Miss Ginger Rogers" take a good look at the musician seen in the far right hand side of the screen.
as is clearly visible later on in the (otherwise very fascinating) clip.
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Steve Zalusky
Steve Zalusky

October 11th, 2007, 5:35 pm #7

Edward Elkins Is Dead at 87;Dance Band Leader in 1920's

Published: October 11, 1984

Edward G. (Eddie) Elkins, one of the first of the dance band leaders, died Saturday at his home in Manhattan. He was 87 years old.

Born in San Francisco, Mr. Elkins was among the first to develop the use of elaborately arranged dance numbers for orchestras. He was also alert to new talent and under his baton musicians such as Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, Red Nichols, Oscar Levant, Mannie Kline [sic] and others honed their techniques.

From 1922 to 1925 Mr. Elkins and his orchestra, known variously as Eddie Elkins and his Orchestra and The Knickerbocker Orchestra, recorded for the Columbia Record Company.

He and his band were featured in a number of films including ''Night on the Ziegfeld Roof,'' with Eddie Cantor in 1929, and in Ginger Rogers's first pictures at Pathe. By the time he retired in 1932 to go into the stock market, he had appeared on stage with most of the big names in show business including Sophie Tucker, George Gershwin, Fred Allen and Dorothy Lamour, at one time a vocalist with his band.

Mr. Elkins is survived by his wife and two daughters, Suzanne Elkins Rose of Chicago, Ill., and Christine Elkins of Aspen, Colo.
**********************
According to "Tommy Dorsey: Livin' in a Great Big Way: A Biography" by Peter J. Levinson, "Among the other bandleaders Tommy worked for and recorded with were violinists Eddie Elkins and Joe Candullo, as well as pianists Vincent Lopez and Freddie Rich." This is about 1925."

Red Nichols? Steve, can you tell us about this?

I note the following from the page http://nfo.net/usa/e1.html

"As a result of his popularity in New York, the Hollywood studios lured him [Eddie Elkins] back home where he eventually was seen in a total of 7 films - all made between 1929 and 1930, and always playing himself as the orchestra leader."

Could the Pathe films have been made in Hollywood? I doubt it. Ginger Rogers opened on Christmas day 1929 in New York the Broadway show "Top Speed." She must have been in New York for weeks rehearsing for the show. I have not seen in Ginger's biographies that she was in Hollywwod in 1929. She went to Hollywood after the show "Girl Crazy" (1930) closed on Broadway.

Albert
Eddie Elkins's band was the one playing in the film "Sixteen Sweeties," released in 1930. While the film was in production at the Pathe studios in New York, the studio building caught fire. The blaze, which occurred on Dec. 10, 1929, resulted in 10 deaths. This, I believe, was the same studio where "A Night in a Dormitory" filmed.
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Albert Haim
Albert Haim

October 11th, 2007, 7:48 pm #8

Ziegfeld Style Nightclub Act from 1929 (Part One)
http://youtube.com/watch?v=1n-jVdaISZ4

Ziegfeld Style nightclub Act (Part Two)
http://youtube.com/watch?v=emW9Ae7XEnw

This is a Ziegfiled "Midnight Frolic." You can see Paul Whiteman's name in lights.

Filmed in New York by Paramount. All Eddie Elkins shorts in 1929 were filmed in New York. As Steve tells us, when the last in the Pathe series, "Sixteen Sweeties," was being filmed in New Yor, a fire borke out. The studio was never rebuilt and the operation of the company was moved to Los Angeles.

Albert





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Enrico Borsetti
Enrico Borsetti

October 11th, 2007, 8:24 pm #9

Nice to hear the opening tune "A Precious Little Thing Called Love", the theme song from the film "The Shopworn Angel" (1928) with Gary Cooper.
Then you can see near the Paul Whiteman sign, one on the left advertising Richard Barthelmess' movie "WEARY RIVER", the one underneath is "Sins of the Fathers" with Emil Jannings.

The New Amsterdam Theatre is still there!
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Frank van Nus
Frank van Nus

October 11th, 2007, 8:26 pm #10

Ziegfeld Style Nightclub Act from 1929 (Part One)
http://youtube.com/watch?v=1n-jVdaISZ4

Ziegfeld Style nightclub Act (Part Two)
http://youtube.com/watch?v=emW9Ae7XEnw

This is a Ziegfiled "Midnight Frolic." You can see Paul Whiteman's name in lights.

Filmed in New York by Paramount. All Eddie Elkins shorts in 1929 were filmed in New York. As Steve tells us, when the last in the Pathe series, "Sixteen Sweeties," was being filmed in New Yor, a fire borke out. The studio was never rebuilt and the operation of the company was moved to Los Angeles.

Albert




The film company must have missed Whiteman by an inch. These clips at least confirm the location of the famous "signed" Whiteman picture. One of the ceiling lamps in the clips can be seen in the photograph. Would this also have been the location of the "revolving stage" incident described by Trumbauer?

Frank

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