The Voice of Vaudeville (1929)

Short, Music

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25 February 2019 | boblipton
| Coming Soon To a Theater Near You
The Warner Brothers started releasing movies with their Vitaphone sound-on-disc system almost at the same time that Fox's sound-on-film movies came out. The initial impulse was to replace the expensive house orchestras that played with movies in the palaces and offer the same sound to smaller houses. Yet they immediately began to be popular for short films, almost always with a single act in a single shot.

This opened up a chance for smaller studios who could rent the recording studios, and here we have an example: the Yaconelli Brothers sing a sentimental ballad, accompanying themselves on guitar and accordion; the Four Harmony Boys sing a couple of songs in barbershop quartet style; Ray West and his orchestra round off the show with a fast, jazzy number. You can tell you're in the 1920s ,because the acts are rounded off by tinted takes of some Black roustabouts playing craps.

It won't win any fans for early talkies, but it certainly shows a side to contemporary film making that's been forgotten!

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