12/11/2016 2:49 am  #26


Re: The King Of Jazz

I received my copy of the "King Of Jazz" book and have completed reading it. First of all it has so many great photographs. The book is organized into chapters, short bios if you will, about the major players in the making of King Of Jazz, such as Paul Whitman, John Murray Anderson, Carl Laemmle Sr. & Jr. Whitman's bio is also a bio of his orchestra. You also have the story of the original, unrealized, film as a story line. And then you have the story of the revue which was actually produced. There is a chapter of the film broken down scene by scene, with very short bios of some of the other performers featured in the film.
Finally you have chapters on the critics and audiences response to the film, one on foreign versions of the film, one on the rediscovery of the film, and lastly a chapter on the restoration of the film. There are 8 appendices at the end of the book with various statistics on many facts and figures.

The book is printed on very high grade stock and well bound with hard cover. There is also a stunning dust jacket which should be preserved with a protective cover. It would actually make a great presence on a coffee table.

Having been a "King Of Jazz" groupie for a couple of decades at least, this book has filled in many questions I have wondered about over the years. Although I first wanted to see the film because of Bing Crosby's participation in it, I really took to all the performances and performers in this unique film. I ardently hope that Universal will release this restored version on CD soon.

 

12/11/2016 6:28 am  #27


Re: The King Of Jazz

Thanks for that Jim. Sounds like a very useful book. What does it say about Bing's car accident? Do they give a date and any source for the info?

 

12/11/2016 8:17 am  #28


Re: The King Of Jazz

Good news, Jim. I've pre-ordered, so hope to receive my copy soon...

 

13/11/2016 7:23 am  #29


Re: The King Of Jazz

Quoting page 124 from the book.

"Crosby and the Brox Sisters were at the studio on Saturday, November 2, for a rehersal of "A Bench In The Park". Crosby had a drink or two before arriving and triggered a fight with Bobbe Brox, then walked to the Lodge to join a party celebrating the completion of the first week of production. "They had decorated the club building completely a la Halloween, with corn, and pumpkins and straw and scarecrows with lights inside" , Herman Rosse wrote. "Whitman's orchestra played the music with solos by visitors, the 'Rhapsody in Blue' and so on. As far as parties go it was not a bad party but you know how much I care about parties."

Driving a woman home to her hotel after the party, Crosby crashed into another car, and was arrested. The next morning, James Dietrich found Paul Whitman rushing through the hotel lobby ---"Where can I get $500.00? One of our boys is in the can and needs bail" After the trial the following week, Crosby arrived at the court in fashionable golfing attire, gave a snide response to the Judge's questions about his familiarity with the 18th amendment, and was sentenced to sixty days for drinking. The studio managed to get Crosby transferred to a Hollywood jail, and after two weeks of negotiating, he was given a police escort from jail to the studio each day.

The Herman Rosse quote is credited to: Herman Rosse, undated letter to family, translated from Dutch, Herman Rosse collection, Williams College.

The James Dietrich quote is credited to: James Dietrich, interview with Diane and Richard Kozarski, 1976.

 

13/11/2016 12:01 pm  #30


Re: The King Of Jazz

Many thanks, Jim. Much appreciated. Glad that the date agrees with Bing Crosby - Day by Day".

 

13/11/2016 1:12 pm  #31


Re: The King Of Jazz

Malcolm Macfarlane wrote:

Many thanks, Jim. Much appreciated. Glad that the date agrees with Bing Crosby - Day by Day".

That fulfils the first rule (and the second and third) of research - Get confirmation/corroboration!

Just a note to add to the info supplied by Jim. Bobbe Brox, one of the Brox Sisters, outlived the others, dying in 1999, aged 98.

Herman Rosse was the Art Director on King Of Jazz, winning the Academy Award for his work on it.
He was born in Holland, which explains the reference to translation from the Dutch, and died in 1965.

James Dietrich (1894 - 1984) was a music composer credited on IMDB with "additional musical numbers" on the film. He has many credits between 1928 and 1940 and also has an acting credit.

 

     Thread Starter
 

13/11/2016 10:20 pm  #32


Re: The King Of Jazz

As I wrote earlier, I did learn a number of interesting details in reading this book. In a earlier post I made in this thread, just after I had viewed the restored film at MoMA in New York City in late June, I questioned why three of the short comedy skits that I have on my VHS version of "The King of Jazz", were not in the restored version that was aired that evening. The answer is that those three skits were cut from the originally released version of the film, but were added to the 1933 released version, when some of the original footage was cut.

This was something I already knew, and posted on the old Bing Crosby Internet Museum, but since we have revisited it now, this was an earlier question about "The King of Jazz" that bewildered me until I had enough information to figure it out. In the film during the "A Bench in the Park" number, The Rhythm Boys come behind the seated Brox Sisters and scat while the Brox Sisters sing the second half of their verse. Bing is directly behind Bobbe Brox, the only blonde of the three. At the very end of the number, The Brox Sisters get one last line to sing, while sitting in the laps of the Rhythm Boys. The Rhythm Boys are in the same lineup as earlier, Bing, Al, and Harry, from left to right, but Bobbe who was on the left in front of Bing, is now in the center sitting in Al Rinker's lap, a direct result of the run in Bing had with Bobbe at the rehearsal.

I remember reading about Bobbe Brox passing away in 1999. I was surprised that she was still alive and that she was still considered newsworthy enough to be in the obituary page of the Philadelphia Inquirer. The fact the she married Jimmy Van Heusen later in life probably helped her status for such coverage.

 

13/11/2016 11:07 pm  #33


Re: The King Of Jazz

JimKukura wrote:

I remember reading about Bobbe Brox passing away in 1999. I was surprised that she was still alive and that she was still considered newsworthy enough to be in the obituary page of the Philadelphia Inquirer. The fact the she married Jimmy Van Heusen later in life probably helped her status for such coverage.

Jim, she had obituaries in the British national press - for example The Independent here

I wonder what the altercation might have been about.
 

     Thread Starter
 

14/11/2016 5:29 am  #34


Re: The King Of Jazz

Richard, that was a really thorough obit of Bobbe Brox, much more than I had ever seen. I had already bought a DVD of "The Hollywood Revue of 1929" because I knew the Brox Sisters were in it.  A lot of big names in that one and a few scenes in color toward the end. It had some great dance routines, but overall I would not rate it as good as the "King of Jazz".

According to Gary Giddens book, "A Pocketful of Dreams", the altercation between Bobbe and Bing was about his drinking, and it was not the first time they were at odds about that. A couple of pages later in the book, Bobbe states that she could not stay angry with Bing and that they were good friends for a long time.

Bing had what I believe is a singular distinction of making a full feature film with three different singing sister trios and also recorded at least one commercial record with each of them. That would be, of course, the Brox, Boswell and Andrews Sisters. Bing also had the Lennon Sisters on one of his TV shows (I think a Christmas show) and I have a record where he introduces the Lennon Sisters before they sing a song without Bing, but I do not know if he sang any songs with them that were not released, or if they were a quartet or trio at the time. Finally, Bing had the Bell Sisters on a few of his radio shows and sang a number of tunes with them, but they were only two sisters. Still, that a lot of Sisters acts to have performed with.

 

16/11/2016 7:06 pm  #35


Re: The King Of Jazz

I've been reading the news of this new book release for a while now and it is great to see all this excitement.  But what I would really like to see is a new DVD release of the newly restored KING OF JAZZ.  After all what's better reading about a restored movie or actually seeing it.  Seems the most natural thing to do is to release the new film onto DVD.   Maybe this is in the works but if it is I'd like to hear about that.

 

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