6.4/10
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13 user 5 critic

Birth of the Blues (1941)

Passed | | History, Music, Romance | 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:

Harry Tugend (story), Harry Tugend | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bing Crosby ... Jeff Lambert
Mary Martin ... Betty Lou Cobb
Brian Donlevy ... Memphis
Carolyn Lee ... Aunt Phoebe Cobb
Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson ... Louey (as Rochester)
J. Carrol Naish ... Blackie
Warren Hymer ... Limpy
Horace McMahon ... Wolf (as Horace MacMahon)
Ruby Elzy Ruby Elzy ... Ruby
Jack Teagarden ... Pepper
Danny Beck Danny Beck ... Deek
Harry Barris ... Suds
Perry Botkin Sr. ... Leo (as Perry Botkin)
Minor Watson ... Henri Lambert
Harry Rosenthal 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:

History | Music | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Though the movie is in black and white, in one scene, when Bing Crosby is singing "By the Light of the Silvery Moon" in a movie theater, a slide show being projected behind him is in full color, though Bing is still in black and white. See more »

Connections

Features The Golden Princess (1925) See more »

Soundtracks

Carnival of Venice
(uncredited)
Music by Niccolò Paganini
Lyrics by Barclay Grey
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User Reviews

 
Birth of the Blues was an enjoyable Bing Crosby vehicle
28 December 2015 | by tavmSee all my reviews

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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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 November 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Birth of the Blues See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$857,283 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor sequence)| Black and White

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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