Film of ODJB at Central Park Zoo

Film of ODJB at Central Park Zoo

Simon Jones
Simon Jones

September 6th, 2017, 9:58 am #1

Hi All,

I stumbled upon this clip from the British Pathe website yesterday...it has no useful label or tags on it which is why I think its been missed - its very clearly and definitely the ODJB - how wonderful to see them playing!!!!

Ive certainly never seen it or even heard of its existence before, having only ever seen still photos...(apologies if this HAS been posted before)

Anyway - heres it the link

https://www.britishpathe.com/video/music-hath-charms-1/

its really amazing

Cheers all

Simon
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David Tenner
David Tenner

September 6th, 2017, 3:44 pm #2

It was 1921, not 1931. By 1931, the OBJB had broken up (though it was to be revived in 1936) and of course a film on this theme made in 1931 would be in sound.

The video is also available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RgF_zm7YY0 where one of the commenters writes,

"According to H.O.Brunn's 1960 book, "The Story of the Original Dixieland Jazz Band", the date of this film is April 20, 1921 and the location New York Zoological Gardens. Parisian dancer Mlle Evelyn Valee holds the kid and the elephants Betsy and Jewell "enjoyed the music immensely" (they had been circus elephants). Blue-nose apes did a war path, Joe the Chimp wept but the star was Jim the Polar Bear who hid in his cave for the full ensemble, but at the suggestion of Dr Pike shimmied gracefull at a clarinet and trombone duet by Shields and Edwards. Head keeper James Coyle said he'd never seen a bear act this way before. Willis Holly, secretary of the Park Dept remarked "I don't see how this experiment will determine anything of scientific value until the band begins to play some real music. So far I haven't heard any.""
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Ralph Wondraschek
Ralph Wondraschek

September 11th, 2017, 8:23 pm #3

Frank Farnum went on to open at the Flatbush Theatre in Brooklyn, with the
Original Dixieland Jazz Band as the accompanying group, on April 11, performing there until April 22. In a silent movie, made on April 20, 1921 at NYC’s Central Zoo, one can watch Frank Farnum dance, to the accompaniment of the ODJB:http://www.britishpathe.com/video/music-hath-charms-1
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Andy V.
Andy V.

September 11th, 2017, 9:18 pm #4

The elephants look like they are freaking out. Playing music for the savages, somehow trying to make a connection. Remember this part of Fitzcarraldo? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59C7KZ5i42A
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