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This one offers up a couple of familiar names, like Morton Downey, not listed as 'Senior' here because his more famous irritating son was only a toddler at the time. And then there was the young singer introduced as Baby Rose Marie, more like eleven or twelve years old, but bearing an uncanny resemblance to the actress who we came to know as Sally Rogers on "The Dick van Dyke Show' TV series. Looking up her stats here on IMDb I see she'll be ninety years old next year with yet another appearance in a film to be released in 2017! God bless her, still going strong!
Other than those two highlights though, there's not a lot to recommend here. These Radio Row programs took the unusual tack of featuring radio performers in a film short venue, and a lot of them didn't translate well. Another singer featured here was Harriet Lee, and a vocabulary challenged announcer named Roy Atwell who's gimmick went a little too long. There was also a guy named Frank Novak Jr, hailed as playing so many instruments that he was keeping 'thousands' of musicians out of work! I don't think so, his repertoire here included a squeezebox, trumpet, trombone and a xylophone with passable results.
So overall, the value here is whether you're interested in old time short subjects with a view of what passed for entertainment in the Thirties. Though most of the folks were talented, they wouldn't really stand out today, except of course for Rose Marie. Glad she made it!
If people know Rose Marie it's from the Dick Van Dyke Show of the early Sixties when she was grownup. But in the Depression years before Shirley Temple she was a child star of considerable note. Look at her and I think you'll see Sally Rogers.
The name Morton Downey is associated with a loudmouth right wing talk show host who smoked like Edward R. Murrow without his class and died of what Murrow died of. But his father was a fine Irish lyric tenor coming up in that same era that Rudy Vallee, Bing Crosby and Russ Columbo did. They tried him as a movie star, but the senior Downey had a bit too much heft and girth to him to be accepted as a leading man musical star. Nothing wrong with his voice as he sings When Irish Eyes Are Smiling.
Not a great film, but an invaluable historical archive.
** (out of 4)
Final film in the RAMBLING 'ROUND RADIO ROW series has Harriet Lee doing a version of "Sittin' on a Log (Pettin' My Dog)" and this is followed by a rather amusing performance of "St. Louis Blues" by Frank Novak, Jr.. We then get Baby Rose Marie doing "You're Gonna Lose Your Gal" and we close with Morton Downey doing "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling". This final entry in the series goes out with a few good numbers and I'm sure most will be tuning in to catch Baby Rose Marie. Once again she comes off extremely charming and it's easy to see why so many people fell for her back in the 30s. Novak also comes off pretty good here with his strange keyboard and horn playing. The Downey song has him on piano and doing the singing but the song itself isn't the greatest.