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Birth of the Blues (1941)

Approved | | Music | 7 November 1941 (USA)
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. ... See full summary »

Writers:

(story), | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Carolyn Lee ...
Aunt Phoebe Cobb
...
Louey (as Rochester)
...
Blackie
...
...
Wolf (as Horace MacMahon)
Ruby Elzy ...
Ruby
Jack Teagarden ...
Pepper
Danny Beck ...
Deek
...
Suds
Perry Botkin Sr. ...
Leo (as Perry Botkin)
...
Henri Lambert
Harry Rosenthal ...
Piano Player
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Storyline

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 <grable@unity.ncsu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

1941's Happiest Blessed Event! See more »

Genres:

Music

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 November 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sinfonia Bárbara  »

Box Office

Budget:

$857,283 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor sequence)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"The Screen Guild Theater" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on September 13, 1943 with Bing Crosby reprising his film role. See more »


Soundtracks

My Melancholy Baby
(uncredited)
Music by Ernie Burnett
Lyrics by George A. Norton
Sung by Bing Crosby
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Bad Beyond Belief
17 May 2003 | by See all my reviews

This film is gawd awful from first second to last second. Its purported story of the birth of the blues (jazz) in New Orleans is the worst re-write of history I've encountered and filled with racist-stereotypes to the hilt. Even Crosby can't save this mess. Yeah, he sings well, but never does he come near his best. Yeah, Mary Martin has a wonderful voice and range, but here she has none of her famed piz-zazz and charisma. Whether this is because her abundant stage charisma didn't work on film or it is the fault of the director is not ascertainable here. Jack Teagarden proves in his playing, why he is a legend, but he can't act at all. Gone is the bon homme of film clips featuring him performing with the great Luis Armstrong, who fortunately wasn't offered this "white" wash of the real origins of jazz.


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