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olemusicalfan

anyone know anything about the Blackburn twins?

11 posts in this topic

Twin men who danced and sang some in a few (very few) musicals for MGM. The most exposure they had seemed to be in the musical "words and music". I posted this in another thread before I realized that anyone knowing anything about them would be die hard musical fans.

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I just viewed TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME and the Blackburn twins were not in the film. So, unless someone knows of any other films they might have been in other than WORDS AND MUSIC and SHE'S WORKING HER WAY THROUGH COLLEGEL,please post. Thanks

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{font:Arial}{color:black}Ramon and Royce Blackburn first made their mark in nightclubs as a specialty act. Later on, they moved over to appearing in various stage shows, sometimes together and other times apart. By the time they arrived in {font}{font:Arial}{color:black}Hollywood{font}{font:Arial}{color:black}, around the early 1940’s, they appeared in musical film shorts. The major studios didn’t seem to have much interest in promoting their “twin brother” act. While they waited to see if they might get a good break in {font}{font:Arial}{color:black}Hollywood{font}{font:Arial}{color:black}, they made various unaccredited appearances in films. There’s been over the years, a confusing point to their career in motion pictures that refers to their having appeared in small independent productions. This was a tricky situation, due to a lack of any documented consistency, as the brothers attempted to have a career in Hollywood. If this be the case, these films have been either lost or discarded from any listings.

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{font:Arial}{color:black}It would finally be the advent of television, beginning in the late 1940’s that allowed the {font}{font:Arial}{color:black}Blackburn{font}{font:Arial}{color:black} brothers wide exposure. This would turn out to be a whole new career move for them that motion pictures never seriously offered. It was during the 1950’s they made appearances in some of the biggest (network) TV musical variety shows of the era. Many of their local television appearances, on programs that promoted their nightclub act or whatever stage show they were appearing in have for the most part not been documented or simply forgotten. Within that time, they did have a nice revival of sorts, when they headlined or starred in some musicals on Broadway and they toured across the country. The brothers faded out of major show business by the 1960’s, only occasionally appearing in small, out of the way productions, usually resulting in "Summer Stock" theater tours of various musicals.

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{font:Arial}{color:black}In those later years, when they faced health problems, brought on by age, they were based in {font}{font:Arial}{color:black}Florida{font}{font:Arial}{color:black}, where they entertained at numerous retirement centers, social clubs and small resorts. The main point to their career in show business was that during their peak period, they were solid headliners in the nightclub circuit and later on the concert halls, even though they never really had anything so exceptional for motion pictures. The Blackburn Twins were for about fifteen years a generally known, highly respected, popular act. Royce Blackburn died in April of 1994. Last I heard, Ramon has stayed on in {font}{font:Arial}{color:black}Florida{font}{font:Arial}{color:black}, rather unnoticed as having once been a major entertainer. I have in my collection, one of their film shorts of the late 1940’s. It’s pretty nice and as usual, they both sing and dance.{font}

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I am Ramon Blackburn Perez's son-in-law and you are missing a lot on information on the Blackburn Twins performances.  The most impressive of those missing is that the Twins (Ramon and Royce -  NOT RAMOND)  highlighted and hosted their own variety show in Rome, Italy for 1960 to 1961 on RAI 1 TV.  They worked with another pair of twins called the Kessler Twins from Germany.  The  program was highly popular and their theme song (DADA UMPA) is still know and performed today. In the last few years it has even been used as a theme for a wedding with the Twins being shown on a screen behind the wedding party as they parodied the theme song. 
Also, the Blackburn Twins performed on MANY TV shows from 1948 to 1953,  Following is a list of their appearances:

 

 

 

BlackburnTV.png

 

post-59221-0-34041700-1468255861_thumb.png

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Also, it is July, 2016 and Ramon Blackburn is still with us at 91.  His mind is still very active and he remembers almost all of the performances and many amusing and entertaining anecdotes that occurred over his many years in the business,  One of the performances he is most proud of was performing in Winged Victory while he and Royce were in the Army Air Corps.  His devotion and love of this country has not faltered in 91 years..
Here is a fairly recent photo of Ramon and his wonderful wife of 63 years, Joyce:

RJ.JPG

Also, please teach the Movie Professor how to use smaller text scripts in his entries.  They are VERY annoying to read.

 

Rick Genovese

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To Condo:

 

The Blackburn Twins WERE in Take Me Out to the Ballgame, however their dance routine was cut due to length.  They were part of the baseball team and you can see them in several teams views usually sitting on stairs or in the dinner scene.

 

Rick Genovese

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