The King of Jazz




This film was the second Technicolor feature film, after Warner's "On with the Show" and included the first Technicolor animated cartoon. The 2-color process used only red and green and photographers had to use filters to simulate the missing blue color. Paul Whiteman suggested the innovation of prerecording the musical soundtrack on a separate soundstage, then filming the band faking playing. Bing Crosby was arrested during the filming for drunk driving and was sentenced to 60 days in jail (he served 40 days). Therefore, he not appear in the "Song of the Dawn" film number that was done instead by John Boles. Crosby did perform "Miss Mud" and "Happy Feet" and "A Bench in the Park." The film was completed March 1930 at cost of $2 million but did not make a profit at the box office.


20' - Bing Crosby and Rhythm Boys sing "So the Bluebirds and the Blackbirds Got Together"

44' - Whiteman Band's Rhapsody in Blue musical/dance number, "to the beating of African drums" - Whiteman in short intro explains that he commissioned this song from George Gershwin in 1924 - it became the theme song of the Whiteman Band - George Gershwin plays piano


History Department | Filmnotes | revised 8/11/99 by Schoenherr