ODJB in "The March of Time" from 1937

ODJB in "The March of Time" from 1937

Harold Aherne
Harold Aherne

April 21st, 2012, 11:08 pm #1

Here's a rather interesting "March of Time" entry that
covers the birth of recorded jazz. No mention is made
of Bix, and the film's coverage of the jazz that came
between the ODJB and the mid-30s is reductive to non-
existent. Reaction to the newsreel was mixed; Red
Nichols objected strongly to it in a letter to Down
Beat in May 1937. Nevertheless, it is valuable for its
glimpse at the ODJB in action (the reconstituted version, anyway)
and for its attention to early jazz research.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHZIsfJ-m8U




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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

April 21st, 2012, 11:46 pm #2


An excellent document. Lots of information presented very rapidly. Need to watch the video a couple of times to fully appreciate its value. Do you happen to have Red Nichols' letter to Downbeat? If not, I can go to the university on Monday and copy it from the microfilms stored in the Music Library. Who is the guy at 6 minutes?

Albert
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Harold Aherne
Harold Aherne

April 22nd, 2012, 12:05 am #3

Here's a rather interesting "March of Time" entry that
covers the birth of recorded jazz. No mention is made
of Bix, and the film's coverage of the jazz that came
between the ODJB and the mid-30s is reductive to non-
existent. Reaction to the newsreel was mixed; Red
Nichols objected strongly to it in a letter to Down
Beat in May 1937. Nevertheless, it is valuable for its
glimpse at the ODJB in action (the reconstituted version, anyway)
and for its attention to early jazz research.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHZIsfJ-m8U



Unfortunately, I don't have a copy of the Nichols letter, but I found a reference to it in "Swing changes: Big-Band Jazz in New Deal America" by David W. Stowe (Harvard UP, 1994). In a footnote on pg. 260, Stowe notes that Nichols "countered that Time's editors were 'mixed-up' and that the newsreel was a 'serious blow' to the music industry".
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DAVid Sager
DAVid Sager

April 22nd, 2012, 3:03 am #4

An excellent document. Lots of information presented very rapidly. Need to watch the video a couple of times to fully appreciate its value. Do you happen to have Red Nichols' letter to Downbeat? If not, I can go to the university on Monday and copy it from the microfilms stored in the Music Library. Who is the guy at 6 minutes?

Albert
The guy at 6 minutes is the drummer, Tony Spargo (Sbarbaro), playing his trumpet-shaped kazzoo.
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

April 22nd, 2012, 1:14 pm #5


According to the New York Times obituary for Tony Sbararo

<em>A special instrument, the zobo, a form of cornet, was created for him in Chicago and he played it wherever he went.</em>

To read more than you ever wanted to know about the zobo and to see images of zobos, visit

http://marge.home.xs4all.nl/Zobo.htm

To hear Sbarbaro playing the zobo, listen to <em>Crazy Blues </em>by the ODJB. Recorded in New York, Jan 28, 1921.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3aVmHNx8GuU

Albert

<em></em> 
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Brad Kay
Brad Kay

May 3rd, 2012, 8:12 am #6

Here's a rather interesting "March of Time" entry that
covers the birth of recorded jazz. No mention is made
of Bix, and the film's coverage of the jazz that came
between the ODJB and the mid-30s is reductive to non-
existent. Reaction to the newsreel was mixed; Red
Nichols objected strongly to it in a letter to Down
Beat in May 1937. Nevertheless, it is valuable for its
glimpse at the ODJB in action (the reconstituted version, anyway)
and for its attention to early jazz research.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHZIsfJ-m8U



Besides the invaluable footage of Nick La Rocca and the '37 ODJB, and the revived acoustic recording gear at Victor (they kept it around all those years??) there are many other fascinating details in this film that should attract the attention of observant Forumites:

***
0:14
The names "Original Wolverines" and "Bix Beiderbecke" among the "swing" notables listed in the sign on the wall of the record store; also (0:18): "Frank Trumbauer's Saxophone Studies" among the sheet music in the store.

***
0:47
Fifteen precious seconds of actual live sound footage of Chick Webb and his Orchestra at the Savoy Ballroom, including (later in the piece) a closeup of Chick at the drums. It's the only film of this band in existence that I'm aware of.

***
1:47
A very authentic-looking Western Union telegram, possibly from the scrapbook of Nick La Rocca:

[RECEIVED AT 834 CARONDELET ST.]

NEW YORK NY DEC 7 1916

NICK LA ROCCA
DIXIELAND BAND 2022 MAGAZINE ST NEW ORLEANS LA

VICTOR COMPANY HAS PROPOSITION MAKE RECORDINGS OF YOUR BAND
WILL ADVANCE RAILROAD FARE

MAX HART
10:50AM

***

2:34
"Playing Nightly - Hear Gus Keefe and his Dreamland Syncopators at Lakeside Pavilion" on a spare tire cover. Were they a real band?

***
3:13
Actual live sound footage of Stuff Smith and his Onyx Club Boys, at the Onyx on 52nd street, with Jonah Jones on trumpet. Probably as rare as the Webb footage.

***
The "Jazz Literature" Montage:

3:28
NICE dust jacket on that 1936 first edition of "Swing That Music" by Louis Armstrong.

3:30
Magazine article: "Debunking Swing" by Sam Rowland: "How the public became infected with swing fever, which was at first confined to musicians." Can we read this?

3:31
Theatre program:

New York's first...
Swing Music Concert
The Imperial Theatre
Sunday Evening, May 24th, 1936

(This was the concert where Artie Shaw made his big breakthrough, according to Lost Chords.)

3:32
Fantastic "hot jazz" art by Miguel Covarrubias

3:34
A glimpse of the cover and the N. O. R. K. section of the 1936 first edition of Delaunay's Hot Discography.

***

3:54
Those STACKS and SHELVES of all-pre-1938 records!!

***

Finally, did the "March of Time" announcer lend his voice to the "News on the March" sequence that begins Citizen Kane? If not, it was a pitch-perfect imitation.

-Brad K
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

May 3rd, 2012, 5:47 pm #7


The article "Debunking Swing" was published in Esquire Magazine, August 1936. I am pretty sure the university has a complete set of Esquire. I'll look for the article the next time I go to the university.

Albert
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Brad Kay
Brad Kay

May 3rd, 2012, 6:19 pm #8

Besides the invaluable footage of Nick La Rocca and the '37 ODJB, and the revived acoustic recording gear at Victor (they kept it around all those years??) there are many other fascinating details in this film that should attract the attention of observant Forumites:

***
0:14
The names "Original Wolverines" and "Bix Beiderbecke" among the "swing" notables listed in the sign on the wall of the record store; also (0:18): "Frank Trumbauer's Saxophone Studies" among the sheet music in the store.

***
0:47
Fifteen precious seconds of actual live sound footage of Chick Webb and his Orchestra at the Savoy Ballroom, including (later in the piece) a closeup of Chick at the drums. It's the only film of this band in existence that I'm aware of.

***
1:47
A very authentic-looking Western Union telegram, possibly from the scrapbook of Nick La Rocca:

[RECEIVED AT 834 CARONDELET ST.]

NEW YORK NY DEC 7 1916

NICK LA ROCCA
DIXIELAND BAND 2022 MAGAZINE ST NEW ORLEANS LA

VICTOR COMPANY HAS PROPOSITION MAKE RECORDINGS OF YOUR BAND
WILL ADVANCE RAILROAD FARE

MAX HART
10:50AM

***

2:34
"Playing Nightly - Hear Gus Keefe and his Dreamland Syncopators at Lakeside Pavilion" on a spare tire cover. Were they a real band?

***
3:13
Actual live sound footage of Stuff Smith and his Onyx Club Boys, at the Onyx on 52nd street, with Jonah Jones on trumpet. Probably as rare as the Webb footage.

***
The "Jazz Literature" Montage:

3:28
NICE dust jacket on that 1936 first edition of "Swing That Music" by Louis Armstrong.

3:30
Magazine article: "Debunking Swing" by Sam Rowland: "How the public became infected with swing fever, which was at first confined to musicians." Can we read this?

3:31
Theatre program:

New York's first...
Swing Music Concert
The Imperial Theatre
Sunday Evening, May 24th, 1936

(This was the concert where Artie Shaw made his big breakthrough, according to Lost Chords.)

3:32
Fantastic "hot jazz" art by Miguel Covarrubias

3:34
A glimpse of the cover and the N. O. R. K. section of the 1936 first edition of Delaunay's Hot Discography.

***

3:54
Those STACKS and SHELVES of all-pre-1938 records!!

***

Finally, did the "March of Time" announcer lend his voice to the "News on the March" sequence that begins Citizen Kane? If not, it was a pitch-perfect imitation.

-Brad K
Peter Bogdonovitch: ...And did you use the Time announcer, Westbrook Van Voorhees, for Kane?

Orson Welles: Oh, no - that was William Alland, who imitated him. Great imitation, but he's pretty easy to imitate [doing it]: "This week, as it must to all men - death came to Charles Foster Kane." We used to do that every day, five days a week! And of course, there was a lot of "it must to all men" every week, and I used to play all these people.

Interview, 1970

-BK
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asstiphmzoah
asstiphmzoah

July 27th, 2016, 11:52 am #9

Besides the invaluable footage of Nick La Rocca and the '37 ODJB, and the revived acoustic recording gear at Victor (they kept it around all those years??) there are many other fascinating details in this film that should attract the attention of observant Forumites:

***
0:14
The names "Original Wolverines" and "Bix Beiderbecke" among the "swing" notables listed in the sign on the wall of the record store; also (0:18): "Frank Trumbauer's Saxophone Studies" among the sheet music in the store.

***
0:47
Fifteen precious seconds of actual live sound footage of Chick Webb and his Orchestra at the Savoy Ballroom, including (later in the piece) a closeup of Chick at the drums. It's the only film of this band in existence that I'm aware of.

***
1:47
A very authentic-looking Western Union telegram, possibly from the scrapbook of Nick La Rocca:

[RECEIVED AT 834 CARONDELET ST.]

NEW YORK NY DEC 7 1916

NICK LA ROCCA
DIXIELAND BAND 2022 MAGAZINE ST NEW ORLEANS LA

VICTOR COMPANY HAS PROPOSITION MAKE RECORDINGS OF YOUR BAND
WILL ADVANCE RAILROAD FARE

MAX HART
10:50AM

***

2:34
"Playing Nightly - Hear Gus Keefe and his Dreamland Syncopators at Lakeside Pavilion" on a spare tire cover. Were they a real band?

***
3:13
Actual live sound footage of Stuff Smith and his Onyx Club Boys, at the Onyx on 52nd street, with Jonah Jones on trumpet. Probably as rare as the Webb footage.

***
The "Jazz Literature" Montage:

3:28
NICE dust jacket on that 1936 first edition of "Swing That Music" by Louis Armstrong.

3:30
Magazine article: "Debunking Swing" by Sam Rowland: "How the public became infected with swing fever, which was at first confined to musicians." Can we read this?

3:31
Theatre program:

New York's first...
Swing Music Concert
The Imperial Theatre
Sunday Evening, May 24th, 1936

(This was the concert where Artie Shaw made his big breakthrough, according to Lost Chords.)

3:32
Fantastic "hot jazz" art by Miguel Covarrubias

3:34
A glimpse of the cover and the N. O. R. K. section of the 1936 first edition of Delaunay's Hot Discography.

***

3:54
Those STACKS and SHELVES of all-pre-1938 records!!

***

Finally, did the "March of Time" announcer lend his voice to the "News on the March" sequence that begins Citizen Kane? If not, it was a pitch-perfect imitation.

-Brad K
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