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The Birth of the Blues

  • History
  • Music
  • 1941
  • Victor Schertzinger
  • 82 mins
  • U

Summary

This lively musical is dedicated to the musical pioneers of Memphis and New Orleans, and features such famous tunes as St Louis Blues, Melancholy Baby, Tiger Rag and the title song. Bing Crosby stars as the leader of the first all-white Dixieland jazz band, who becomes romantically involved with Betty Lou (Mary Martin) on his rise to fame and fortune.

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Review

A star rating of 3 out of 5.

Bing Crosby, Brian Donlevy, Mary Martin and real-life trombonist Jack Teagarden head the line-up in this rather flimsy fiction about a pioneering group who progress from being street entertainers to taking New Orleans by storm as the original Dixieland jazz band. Plot and characterisation, however, are secondary to such great numbers as St Louis Blues, Melancholy Baby and DeSylva, Henderson and Brown's title number. A supposed history of the blues, it's a good-natured, well-directed entertainment that will delight fans of the music.

How to watch

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Credits

Cast

rolename
Jeff LambertBing Crosby
Betty Lou CobbMary Martin
MemphisBrian Donlevy
Aunt PhoebeCarolyn Lee
LouieEddie "Rochester" Anderson
PepperJack Teagarden
BlackieJ Carrol Naish
LimpyWarren Hymer

Crew

rolename
DirectorVictor Schertzinger

Details

Theatrical distributor
Paramount Film Service Ltd
Languages
English
Guidance
Available on
DVD
Formats
Black and white
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