Birth of the Blues

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Bing Crosby welcomes in the era of a new kind of music in Birth of the Blues. As a child, Jeff Lambert (Crosby) hangs out in New Orleans' Basin Street, playing hot swing on his clarinet instead of the classics his father prefers. read more

Bing Crosby welcomes in the era of a new kind of music in Birth of the Blues. As a child, Jeff Lambert (Crosby) hangs out in New Orleans' Basin Street, playing hot swing on his clarinet instead of the classics his father prefers. He's inspired by an African-American group there and, some years later, sets out to form a jazz band of his own. With cornetist Memphis (Brian Donlevy), singer Betty Lou Cobb (Mary Martin) and trombonist Jack Teagarden (of the Original Dixieland Jazz Group, after which the story is patterned), he's on his way. A veritable history of jazz follows as a half a century of popular hits is given spectacular treatment showcasing songs such as "By the Light of the Silvery Moon", "St. Louis Blues" and "Wait Till the Sun Shines, Nellie".

Original Release

11/07/1941

US Release

11/07/1941

Cast

Directors

Victor Schertzinger

Writers

Walter DeLeon, Harry Tugend, Erwin Gelsey, Wilkie C. Mahoney

Cast

Bing Crosby Jeff Lambert
Mary Martin Betty Lou Cobb
Brian Donlevy Memphis
Carolyn Lee Aunt Phoebe Cobb
Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson Louey
J. Carrol Naish Blackie
Warren Hymer Limpy
Horace McMahon Wolf
Ruby Elzy Ruby
Jack Teagarden Pepper
Danny Beck Deek
Harry Barris Suds
Perry Botkin Sr. Leo
Minor Watson Henri Lambert
Harry Rosenthal Piano Player
Donald Kerr Skeeter, Barbershop Musician
Barbara Pepper Maizie
Cecil Kellaway Granet
Ronnie Cosby Jeff as a Boy
Ted Lewis Ted Lewis / Himself, Ted Lewis (archive footage)

Producers

Editors

Paul Weatherwax

1942 Oscar Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture Nominated
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