Jeff grows up near Basin Street in New Orleans, playing his clarinet with the dock workers. He puts together a band, the Basin Street Hot-Shots, which includes a cornet player, Memphis. ...
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Jed Potter looks back on a love triangle conducted over the course of years and between musical numbers. Dancer Jed loves showgirl Mary, who loves compulsive nightclub-opener Johnny, who ... See full summary »
Popular songwriter Oliver Courtney has been getting by for years using one ghost writer for his music and another for his lyrics. When both writers meet at an inn, they fall in love and ... See full summary »
Crosby plays a Philadelpia Quaker engaged to a Southern belle. He becomes a social outcast when he refuses to fight a duel. Fields then hires him to perform on his riverboat, promoting him ... See full summary »
Cowboy Jeff Larabee returns from the east and meets Doris Halloway, a young girl, that he regards as a vagabond, till he learns that she's the owner of the farm where he works. He tries to ... See full summary »
Youthful Father Chuck O'Malley led a colorful life of sports, song, and romance before joining the Roman Catholic clergy, but his level gaze and twinkling eyes make it clear that he knows ... See full summary »
Of the singing Beebe brothers, young Mike just wants to be a kid; responsible Dave wants to work in his garage and marry Martha; but feckless Joe thinks his only road to success is through ... See full summary »
Jeff grows up near Basin Street in New Orleans, playing his clarinet with the dock workers. He puts together a band, the Basin Street Hot-Shots, which includes a cornet player, Memphis. They struggle to get their jazz music accepted by the cafe society of the city. Betty Lou joins their band as a singer and gets Louie to show her how to do scat singing. Memphis and Jeff both fall in love with Betty Lou. Written by
Lisa Grable <email@example.com>
Loosely based on the story of the Original Dixieland Jazz Band, the New Orleans band that brought jazz and blues to national prominence in 1915-1917. Bing Crosby's character, Jeff Lambert, is based on clarinetist Alcide "Yellow" Nunez, the founder of the band. The cornetist, Memphis (Brian Donlevy), is based on the band's arrogant cornetist, Nick La Rocca. Trombonist Jack Teagarden, who appears in the film, was a member of the band for a time in the 1920's. See more »
Birth of the Blues was an enjoyable Bing Crosby vehicle
I think I saw a clip of this movie when I watched a special on PBS a couple of decades ago called "Remembering Bing", that clip being of Crosby and Mary Martin whistling. Anyway, this was quite entertaining despite the inaccuracies that abounded. In the New Orleans sequence where a bunch of black musicians were playing, it took me awhile to realize that one of them was Mantan Moreland with his familiar bug eyes-who I knew was a native of Monroe, Louisiana. Nice color sequence involving slides being shown. One might be put off by some of the violence shown near the end but it did result in a touching scene involving Eddie "Rochester" Anderson. So on that note, I do recommend Birth of the Blues. P.S. Since It's a Wonderful Life is my favorite movie, I do like citing when players from that are in something else. Here, it's Charles Lane, Sarah Edwards, and Lillian Randolph from there who appear here. Oh, and a few decades after this movie, Bing's daughter Mary played a character on "Dallas" who was revealed to have shot Mary Martin's son, Larry Hagman, as J. R. Ewing there.
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