Sunday, November 11, 2007


Link suggested by Michael Karp

Violin in hand and "Little Tisch" lean shoes on his feet: Wilbur Hall in the film THE KING OF JAZZ (1930). KING OF JAZZ is a musical, filmed in early Technicolor, that preserves a part of America’s musical heritage that few people today know ever existed. The film has no plot, but consists of a series of extraordinary production numbers all directed by John Murray Anderson with the music supplied by Paul Whiteman, "the King of Jazz," and his orchestra.

Whiteman, unknown now to all but specialists, had a musical career that ran from before World War I into the early sixties. His band was one of the most successful in history – their first hit, "Whispering," sold two million copies in 1920, about one for every record player in the country. It was the first of more than 20 number-one hits that the band would record in the twenties. However, Whiteman made his greatest contribution to American music in 1924, when he commissioned and then premiered George Gershwin’s "Rhapsody in Blue."

For more on the film please click the title of this post.


Anonymous said...

Thanks Pat and Michael Karp for these postings. I enjoyed this fellow very much !!

Cap'n Mike
Seaside Showman
Myrtle Beach, SC

Michael Karp said...

Thank you, Pat...and you're welcome, Cap'n Mike (the name my father gave his first fishing boat! Cool!)...

Remember, too, that John Murray Anderson was the creator/choreographer of the Ringling spec, finale, and bull numbers for some years. His "protoge" was Richard Barstow, who passed the flaming torch to Bill Bradley!