The first 3 minutes of this Vitaphone Melody Master feature Phil Spitalny's orchestra playing popular music. The band's singer then fantasizes about her experience when she first arrived in... See full summary »
The first 3 minutes of this Vitaphone Melody Master feature Phil Spitalny's orchestra playing popular music. The band's singer then fantasizes about her experience when she first arrived in America, looking for "Uncle Phil." As she wanders through the various ethnic neighborhoods of New York City (the Bowery; Hester Street; Mott Street; Harlem), music associated with each area is heard. She finally hears music from her homeland being played in a restaurant and is united with her relatives. Written by
David Glagovsky <email@example.com>
As sweet music moved into the swing era, Phil Spitalny managed to survive by converting to an all girl orchestra and it is what he is best known for today. The all girl orchestra isn't what you see here. Instead we've got a nice musical fantasy.
Vitagraph shorts such as you see here were produced almost as an afterthought by major studios. Doesn't mean however that no care went into their production. This was a major outlet for people like Spitalny to sell records or if they had radio shows to get folks to tune in.
Without a spoken word and the Spitalny orchestra used as background music, a young girl from the old country arrives in native costume and takes a musical tour of New York City. She's searching for the neighborhood she would fit in and she gets quite away uptown before she finds her people. Everything from The Bowery, O Sole Mio, 42nd Street, and Stormy Weather gets played.
As good as any music video today.
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