No Information About Jimmy Dietrich in Whiteman books

by Albert Haim

A remarkable analysis by Alex Rannie of the music included in a less than three- minute cartoon.

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I have not seen the name of Jimmy Dietrich cited in the two biographies of Paul Whiteman, DeLong's or Rayno's.

Dietrich is cited, together with Ferde Grofe, in the imdb website in "The King of Jazz" page as follows.

James Dietrich ... orchestrator (uncredited)

Ferde Grofe, Sr. ... orchestrator (uncredited)

The imdb site gives the birth name of James "Jimmy" Dietrich as "Claire Lilburn Dietrich." One would guess that Claire Dietrich was a female. However, the 1900 US Census gives Claire L born in Missouri Nov 30, 1894 as "son" of David and Maggie Dietrich. Same in the 1910 US census. By 1920, Claire was no longer lving with his parents. The SSDI gives

JAMES DIETRICH 30 Oct 1894 Nov 1984 91601 (North Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA) (none specified) 546-07-9857 California

My guess is that Dietrich was not an arranger for Paul Whiteman, but made the orchestration for the Walter Lantz cartoon segment in the King of Jazz. The orchestration of the rest of the music in the film was by Ferde Grofe. Acccording the the Jan 12, 1930 issue of the New York Times,

Paul Whiteman's film for Universal, "The King of Jazz," will be scored by Ferde Grofe, he who was responsible for the original orchestration of "George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue."

James Dietrich is given credit for "synchronization and score" in several Oswald (the rabbit) cartoons. See

One of the Oswald cartoons is "My Pal Paul."

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Paul is Paul Whiteman. According to the imdb,

Oswald the Rabbit puts on a concert for a group of barn animals - but when they discover that he's miming to a record of his idol, Paul Whiteman - they boo and shun him. Oswald wanders off in shame to hang himself from the nearest tree and is stopped by none other than Whiteman himself who happens along in his car. The two begin performing music using parts of the car which leads to some highly surrealistic setpieces (dancing tools - a hood ornament that does an Indian dance, etc.) This rare and whimsical cartoon was used to promote THE KING OF JAZZ and makes reference to same.

Some of this was discussed in 2004 in my posting


This message has been edited by ahaim on Aug 23, 2009 4:36 PM

Posted on Aug 23, 2009, 6:01 AM

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