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Rose Marie


hamradio
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We older people probually remember Rose Marie as the witty costar from "The Dick Van Dyke Show". That was one of the few adult sitcoms I watch when I was a kid.

 

When I got "The Jazz Singer" DVD collection, there was included a recently found and restored 8 min short "Baby Rose Marie, Child Wonder". This short was thought to be lost and Rose Marie said she has been looking for it for 60 years. She was surprised how good this 1928 Vitaphone sounded.

 

This was a side of her I never heard of or saw. What a neat past. I done some searching on the internet for any extra material and on You Tube, a couple of her fans found a couple of recordings and a poor quality video. Never said where the video came from. Here are a couple of Rose Marie's songs from the early 1930's when she was around 8 years old.

 

I hope you enjoy them as much as I did. She wasn't called "The Child Wonder" for nothing !

 

"Take a Picture of the Moon"

 

 

"Say That You Were Teasing Me"

 

 

"My Bluebird is Singing the Blues" video

 

 

The comments left on You Tube speaks for itself. One of the songs "Take a Picture of the Moon" has adult lyrics and I said to myself, I didn't know people in the 1930's had children sing such songs, I thought they were old fashion ! You will NEVER hear Shirley Temple singing them LOL !

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A topic dear to my heart. The first link Hamradio has provided, the "bluebird" number, is from one of my favorite films, International House (1933), starring WC Fields. IH is a weird and subversive film that deserves it's own thread. The words to the song, what with their references to "bluebirds" and "blackbirds" getting together, sounds like a racial metaphor. "Bluebirds" also meant stoners back then.

 

Refer to my comment in the thread titled "What genre of movies & what type of music do TCM viewers like?", to see what I do musically with these films. The Baby Rose Marie number from IH has inspired me as a pianist, and so I created an arrangement that mimics the two pianists and lead vocal. Pianistically, it is getting down 1933 style!

 

"Hamradio" is definitely "on air"!

 

Thelma

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Thanks Thelma, I never knew that Bluebird once meant "stoners" back then. Its a figure of speach I never heard of before. Thats the thing about the English language of how words keeps getting redefined all the time.

 

There are 2 other phrases I heard of in 1930's movies that is not used or changed today. "For the love of Mike" is a phrase I have been hearing. A phrase "crib" was used several times but has a different meaning today.

 

We use the word "gay" in a different meaning today but meant happy when the movie "The Gay Divoicee" was made. I hope young people don't get the wrong impression - LOL.

 

Your interpetation of my member name is right, I am a ham radio operator and like mostly to build electronic projects which is my main passion.

 

Baby Rose Marie is something I discovered by accident in the past couple of weeks and never knew she was a child wonder. She was about 5 when she did the Vitaphone short "Rose Marie, Child Wonder" but she sounds a lot older. She is tickled to death over the finding of that short subject. It was made in 1928. Nice to hear she inspired you.

 

I wonder what else undiscovered or completely forgot about. I remember one of the members brought up Sybil Jason last year and that got me to research her and found the information given is very correct as much as surprising! What she could have done with her voice if she was given her own specialize material. Now we will never know. I found "The Captain's Kid" trailor on this TCM movie database and the title song is nice. Too bad it is also an unreleased movie. Guy Kibbee and May Robinson makes a perfect couple ! Are they going to let these movies turn to dust?

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Hello Hamradio,

 

Nice to cover your points. The lively dialect and verbal expression of African Americans lead to a constant evolution and ferment in "jive talk". A hopped up word often had two and even three levels of meaning. In the early 1930's, the word "blue" meant the color, meant feeling sad, and then had a third "hip" level of meaning, implying stoned. Sometimes a band would play "blue" music, or call itself a blue band (Like the Mills Blue Rythm Band), when in fact the music sounded anything but bluesy or sad. The listener was to draw their own conclusions.

 

A good source for the vintage jive talk of that time is jazz clarinetist Mezz Mezzrow's autobiography "Really the Blues". He not only explains it to the rubes, but obliges us with a historically valuable glossary of jive and the end of the book. This sort of thing is a Rosetta Stone for understanding the recorded music lyrics and film references of that time in their original and wicked sense. An even more awesome resource is band leader Cab Calloway's "Hepsters Dictionary", which supposedly went through many editions of revision. A lot of far out references were allowed into mainstream film and music, because "Main Street" was not considered hip enough to understand.

 

I interpret the Baby Rose Marie number from "International House" as an oblique reference to inter-racial socializing and partying.

 

The short you mention, the "Child Wonder" one, is contained in a collection of early Vitaphone Shorts, featured in a 3 disc DVD set commemorating the 1927 release of Jolson's "Jazz Singer". I recommend this DVD to you fans out there. The third disc with the rare soundies from 1928-29 alone is worth the price of admission.

 

I get a sad sense from watching this young girl, already very seasoned and stage savvy at the age of 5, singing material not appropriate for her age. She sings suggestive songs, flirts (very expertly) with the camera and the audience, and gives you the sense of a child possibly headed for trouble later on. She had to have been pushed into this life by her parent(s). She was so advanced that older women could take lessons from this 5 year old in the art of seduction! Where did we all see something like this before? I am always reminded of tragic Jon Bonnet Ramsey when I see "Baby Rose".

 

What all this social and sexual acceleration did for Rose in later life, I can only guess. At the very least, it had to have made her hardboiled and cynical about everybody and everything. I sure get that sense from listening to her hard and gravelly voice in the Dick Van Dyke Show. Even when she smiles and acts nice, she comes across as a tough broad. No wonder.

 

I so appreciate you for starting this thread, about the obscure film past of a well known character from TV.

 

Thelma

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I just acquired a DVD that has the youngest Cab Calloway I have came across - "The Singing Kid".

Cab and Al Jolson did a duet that stuck in my head all day called "I Love to Singa". This is the first time I have ever heard the song or of it. Its a very nice musical/comedy with Lyle Talbot and Edward Everett Horton. I purchased it from a guy in Australia which show how difficult it is to obtain.

 

About the slang language, am I'm correct that the term "man" and "super" was created by the "Beatniks" of the 1950's?

 

About Rose Marie, if you see her on the 2nd DVD collection in a segment called "How Movies Learned to Talk", she did not came across as a person that want to forget or complain but was thrilled to hear of he "Child Wonder" short.

 

I have heard nightmare stories from other former child stars. You might remember Paul Peterson as Jeff Stone from "The Donna Reed Show". He formed a website that deals with the exploitation of children and have talked seriously to former child stars.The links homepage is: http://www.paulpetersen.com/

 

I have heard of nothing bad at all concerning Rose Marie. I just think what they have her to sing was simply "bad taste" of just simply didn't think instead of something exploitive. I don't want to jump to conclusioms. She wrote her autobiography "Hold the Roses" and she is quoted to have a love for the theatre. Her excerpt from her book is here: http://www.rosemaryclooney.com/rosemarie/

 

She has no regrets. There are a few child stars that had a no regretfull life - I did say a FEW.

 

Are you surprised at the little replies from this thread. Every member must be under 40 years old. If so then I am an old timer of 53. LOL.

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These clips have been shown on TCM from time to time. I have a few of them on VHS. All the while I was marveling at them I did not make the connection that she was one and same as the wisecracker on Van Dyke. I don't remember when the realization came or how I learned about it ... but it was a sort of bombshell.

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leffite: As far as wisecrackers go, I think Morey Amsterdam (Buddy) has the market cornered. I love when he rips into Mel about his hair (or the lack of it)!

 

One will have to run into the one reels clips by accident on TCM. You don't know what and when they are shown. They only advertise the features so you can set your recorder.

 

I came across a unique set of clips on TCM a couple of years ago, it was called "Christmas Past".

It featured several one reelers from 1898 - 1918 of Christmas themes. The 1898 clip called "A Christmas Secret" was made by Thomas Edison and is probually is the best shot and preserve film done by Edison of the 19th century. I always hope that TCM would show it agin so I can record it. Edison did such a nice job on it, it left me to wonder did he also invented "directing" and "producing". Talking film is the only thing that defeated him. (you can't win them all).

 

Message was edited by: hamradio -caught my typo, too many i's in Edison

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>it featured several one reelers from 1898 - 1918 of Christmas themes.

 

I have those. I just checked my list. If you're interested I could dig them out and see what shape they're in. I can do tape to tape recordings so let me know. No trouble. I don't do tape to DVD though. I'm behind the times.

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