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Having a phonograph without these records is like having pork chops without gravy - Yes indeed - Columbia advertisement for Bessie Smith's Hateful Blues/Frankie Blues

Author Topic: Can you identify the guitar player and Harmonica player in this film?  (Read 2335 times)

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Offline dj

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Re: Can you identify the guitar player and Harmonica player in this film?
« Reply #30 on: December 23, 2011, 02:11:08 AM »
Quote
dj, I have to ask, how on earth did you pull that data together?

When I ripped all my blues CDs to iTunes, I corrected the Year field to year of recording, and in the Comments field I put recording date, place of recording, label, and personnel.  So when a question like this comes up, I just make a smart playlist where Year is 1929 and Comments contains June and either New York City or Long Island City (to pick up QRS recordings).  And I just remembered Leecan and Cooksey, since they weren't on the list and, like Frankie, the harmonica player made me think of Robert Cooksey.

It was a real slog entering all that stuff as I ripped CDs, but it was really worth it.   

Offline Rivers

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Re: Can you identify the guitar player and Harmonica player in this film?
« Reply #31 on: December 23, 2011, 08:16:30 AM »
Wow. Amazing, well done.

Offline banjochris

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Re: Can you identify the guitar player and Harmonica player in this film?
« Reply #32 on: December 23, 2011, 09:18:59 AM »
I agree with Rivers, dj. Kudos on that. When I think of how long it took me just to rip the CDs (and all I did was make a playlist for each album) the memory makes me shudder.

Offline Richard

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Re: Can you identify the guitar player and Harmonica player in this film?
« Reply #33 on: December 24, 2011, 09:48:58 AM »
Henderson was using Clarence Holliday (as in Billies father) around '29 and he played guitar and banjo. With James P around then it could have been Teddy Bunn - all of no real help but interesting|!
(That's enough of that. Ed)

Offline RB

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Re: Can you identify the guitar player and Harmonica player in this film?
« Reply #34 on: December 31, 2011, 07:08:36 AM »
Impressed with dj's archiving abilities.

Offline waxwing

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Been wanting to post to this topic for some time. I've done extensive research into the timing of technology in early talkies and overdubbing was not available to most studios until the end of 1930. This film would have been shot with a single sound track and multiple cameras, with the film latter synchronized to the sound. If you watch and listen closely you can tell when and where the sound was actually edited as there is a clear break. As an example, in the first long shot of the stairs and gambling a second camera is concealed behind the wall to the left of the picture. A sound edit occurs just before Jimmy's entrance, probably to allow one camera to be brought closer. The next edit doesn't occur for some time and it seems there were several cameras as the sound goes cleanly into the start of the bedroom scene, as does the action.

I have also watched this film many, many times and I can see no evidence that the guitar/harmonica player is not doing just that, playing both instruments. You can particularly notice just before the floozie enters that he stops playing, lifts his head to look at her as she passes, and then his mouth goes back to the harmonica and starts playing again. Unfortunately I don't have a clue as to his identity.

The real wonder of this film is the coordination of the cameras and actors in moving from one shot/scene to the next with continuity like a staged play. It even seems that the stairwell scene of the game breaking up was shot in sequence without stopping. This required great directing and much rehearsal, I'm sure.

BTW, Stefan Grossman records his videos at Gramercy Studios. Anyone know if it is actually the same studio. I believe the original was in Long Island City, Queens.

Wax
"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."
George Bernard Shaw

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