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The setting is a farm. Kate Smith and Sally Blane play sisters; assorted relatives live with the sisters, but everyone at home, and in the whole town, depends on Kate to hold everything together. The power company wants to build a dam which will require flooding many of the farms; Kate is holding out; if Kate sells, everyone else will sell; if Kate refuses, the rest of the town will refuse as well. Randolph Scott meets Kate's beautiful sister, Sally Blane, at a dance. Randolph Scott, as it turns out, is an agent for the power company. Kate thinks he's just using Sally; Sally believes that he truly likes her. Randolph comes to the farm and appears to woo Kate. Kate remains unconvinced about selling out, but falls for Randolph. Written by
Alan Jacobs <email@example.com>
Probably no film studio had a closer relationship with the medium of radio than Paramount. With their Big Broadcast series that featured the radio stars of the day and the fact that one of the biggest of them all, Bing Crosby, was signed and their biggest moneymaking star, Adolph Zukor and those who succeeded him knew the value of that symbiotic relationship as a publicity outlet for their films. With that in mind they signed Kate Smith to appear in Hello Everybody which was her greeting to her radio audience for decades.
The two things that most people know about Kate Smith today was that she sang God Bless America and the fact that the woman was overweight. It was for that reason that she did not pursue a career in the theater even with one of the most beautiful voices ever given a human being. Radio coming along as it did made her career and made her a household name.
The film written for her was a Capra type populist story of a small town farm girl named Kate Smith who becomes an overnight radio sensation and uses her new found celebrity to help the folks back home. A power company is coming through to build a dam that will flood out a lot of people including Kate and her family.
Aiding and abetting Kate is Jimmy Stewart type hero, young Randolph Scott who woos and weds Kate's younger sister Sally Blane. Of course Kate kind of likes Randy too and she's brokenhearted to see his attention paid to Blane. It gives her an opportunity to sing Moon Song, a touching and sentimental torch ballad written for the film by Arthur Johnston and Sam Coslow who also wrote the scores for a few of Bing Crosby's early Paramount films.
They also wrote the god awful Pickaninny's Heaven for the film which is probably the reason it's not shown that often. What were they thinking back in the day? But to make up for it Paramount also interpolated the standard Dinah which they also did for Crosby in his feature film debut in The Big Broadcast a year earlier. Kate sings a souped of version of the song and Lord could that woman move even given her weight. And of course her radio theme When The Moon Comes Over The Mountain was also in the film, fans would have stoned Paramount Pictures if it wasn't.
When The Moon Comes Over The Mountain and God Bless America are the two songs identified with Kate Smith today. But God Bless America was several years in the future in 1933 and the most popular song in terms of record sales for Kate was Rose O'Day or sometimes known as the Fillagadusha song introduced in the early Forties.
Of course Kate did not do another film, casting her was a problem. I think Susan Boyle is finding some of the same career problems Kate Smith had in her day. Kate did do God Bless America for Warner Brothers later on, but her film appearances are few.
So if you want to see a good example of what Kate Smith as artist was all about, I recommend you see Hello Everybody despite its flaws.
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