They get the date wrong

by David Tenner

It was 1921, not 1931. By 1931, the OBJB had broken up (though it was to be revived in 1936) and of course a film on this theme made in 1931 would be in sound.

The video is also available at where one of the commenters writes,

"According to H.O.Brunn's 1960 book, "The Story of the Original Dixieland Jazz Band", the date of this film is April 20, 1921 and the location New York Zoological Gardens. Parisian dancer Mlle Evelyn Valee holds the kid and the elephants Betsy and Jewell "enjoyed the music immensely" (they had been circus elephants). Blue-nose apes did a war path, Joe the Chimp wept but the star was Jim the Polar Bear who hid in his cave for the full ensemble, but at the suggestion of Dr Pike shimmied gracefull at a clarinet and trombone duet by Shields and Edwards. Head keeper James Coyle said he'd never seen a bear act this way before. Willis Holly, secretary of the Park Dept remarked "I don't see how this experiment will determine anything of scientific value until the band begins to play some real music. So far I haven't heard any.""

Posted on Sep 6, 2017, 8:44 AM

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