John Murray Anderson, “King of Jazz”, 1930, Computer Graphics, Film Gifs
“King of Jazz” is a 1930 American pre-Code color film starring Paul Whiteman and his orchestra. The film title was taken from Whiteman’s self-conferred appellation. At the time the film was made, “jazz”, to the general public, meant the jazz-influenced syncopated dance music which was being heard everywhere on phonograph records and through radio broadcasts. In the 1920s Whiteman signed and featured white jazz musicians including Joe Venuti and Eddie Lang, both are seen and heard in the film, Bix Beiderbecker, who left before the filming began, Frank Trumbauer, and others.
“King of Jazz” was filmed entirely in the early two-color Technicolor process and was produced by Carl Laemmie, Junior for Universal Pictures. The movie featured several songs sung on camera by the Rhythm Boys, which included Bing Crosby, Al Rinker and harry Barris. Bing Crosby performed several off-camera solo vocals during the opening credits and sang very briefly during a cartoon sequence. The film still survives in a near-complete color print and is not a lost film, unlike many contemporary musicals that now exist only either in incomplete form or as black-and-white reduction copies.