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WELCOME TCM GUEST PROGRAMMER RON HUTCHINSON DECEMBER 3 & 4.

Past chats with our guests.

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WELCOME TCM GUEST PROGRAMMER RON HUTCHINSON DECEMBER 3 & 4.

Postby Sue Sue Applegate » November 18th, 2016, 1:57 pm

This is the thread where we will post questions for Ron Hutchison! :D

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TCM Host Ben Mankiewicz and The Vitaphone Project's Ron Hutchinson, who will be a TCM Guest Programmer on Monday, December 5. Hutchinson also introduced 7 Vitaphone shorts at the TCM Film Festival 2016 at the Egyptian Theatre on Saturday, April 30.

Ron Hutchinson is a lifelong film buff and record collector who combined those passions into the founding of The Vitaphone Project in 1991. The Project seeks out missing 16-inch shellac soundtracks for 1926-30 disc-recorded talkie shorts and features, then works with archives, studios, and private collectors to get picture and disc re-married and restored. To date, the Vitaphone Project has located over 3500 soundtrack discs in private hands worldwide, and has partnered with Warner Brothers, UCLA, The Library of Congress and private funders to restore nearly 90 early vaudeville, comedy and band shorts and a dozen talkie features. Among the Project’s more exciting discoveries and restorations are the sole surviving (and badly cracked) disc for Al Jolson’s pre-JAZZ SINGER short A Plantation Act (1926) and restoration and the screening after 70 years of Baby Rose Marie, The Child Wonder (1929) with Rose Marie herself present to enjoy and critique her performance as a 7-year-old vaudevillian.

Ron has assisted in the development and production of many documentaries featuring early sound material, including the PBS American Masters documentary VAUDEVILLE, TCM’s ADDED ATTRACTIONS: THE HOLLYWOOD SHORT SUBJECT, and The Women Of Tin Pan Alley. He frequently hosts Vitaphone and vaudeville film programs at New York’s Film Forum and Lincoln Center. Ron has also contributed to more than two dozen film books and written articles on the early sound era for Classic Images, Joslin’s Jazz Journal and Vaudeville Times, among many others. He edits the Project’s bi-annual newsletter, “Vitaphone News.”

Ron lives in Piscataway, NJ with his wife Judy and two children. His real job is Corporate Environmental Health & Safety Officer for a major New York utility.

From the TCM website:

"90TH ANNIVERSARY OF VITAPHONE - 12/5

Vitaphone was a sound-film system developed by Bell Telephone Laboratories and Western Electric, and used by Warner Bros. and its sister studio First National to produce feature films and hundreds of short subjects during the 1920s and '30s. The original Vitaphone sound-on-disc system was retired early in the sound era when sound-on-film replaced the cumbersome discs. However, Warner Bros. kept the name alive through the Vitaphone Corporation, which was used through 1959 for releasing the studio's shorts and cartoons.

TCM celebrates the 90th anniversary of Vitaphone with a 24-hour tribute offering a generous sampling of its output including the silent feature Don Juan (1926), which was introduced on August 6, 1926, with a symphonic musical score and sound effects. Another landmark Vitaphone production was the legendary The Jazz Singer (1927), the first full-length movie with synchronized dialogue.

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George Burns and Gracie Allen in Lamb Chops (1929)

Some 20 of the Vitaphone shorts are new to TCM. These shorts were often employed to capture musical and vaudeville acts, and serve as a training ground for future stars. Among the latter were Bob Hope (Paree, Paree, 1934), James Stewart (Art Trouble, 1934), June Allyson (The All-Girl Revue, 1940) and Red Skelton (Seeing Red, 1939). Shorts featuring "Vitaphone Bands" include Johnny Green and His Orchestra (1935), Harry Reser and His Eskimos (1936) and Cab Calloway and His Orchestra (1937). Vaudeville routines captured on film include Blossom Seeley and Bennie Fields (1927), George Burns and Gracie Allen in Lambchops (1929) and Baby Rose Marie, the Child Wonder (1929)."

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Baby Rose Marie...

The Vitaphone News- Frequently Asked Questions : http://www.picking.com/vitaphone-faq.html

The Vitaphone Project: http://www.vitaphoneproject.com

Why Be Good? Restoration: http://www.picking.com/vitaphone124.html

The Vitaphone Project Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/vitaphoneproject/

The full TCM schedule has Vitaphone shorts scheduled all day on Monday, December 5. Baby Rose Marie, The Child Wonder is the first screening Ron will introduce in the evening: http://www.tcm.com/schedule/index.html? ... 2016-12-05

Welcome, Ron!
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Re: WELCOME TCM GUEST PROGRAMMER RON HUTCHINSON DECEMBER 3 & 4.

Postby Sue Sue Applegate » December 3rd, 2016, 8:57 am

We ae so thrilled to have you visit with us today, Ron. Welcome to The Silver Screen Oasis.

TCM's tribute to the 90th Anniversary of Vitaphone is a significant homage to the creative efforts of so many industry professionals involved in every aspect of the Vitaphone library, but what do you personally believe are some of the most impressive aspects of the 90th anniversary?
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Re: WELCOME TCM GUEST PROGRAMMER RON HUTCHINSON DECEMBER 3 & 4.

Postby Vitaphone » December 3rd, 2016, 9:05 am

Thanks so much for inviting me to the Oasis! Feel free to ask me any questions about Vitaphone, early sound films and performers, The Vitaphone Project, restorations, or anything else bout the coming of sound to movies! Will try my best to answer them!

Ron.

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Re: WELCOME TCM GUEST PROGRAMMER RON HUTCHINSON DECEMBER 3 & 4.

Postby Vitaphone » December 3rd, 2016, 9:08 am

Sue Sue,

Vitaphone's 90th anniversary this year, which we'll be saluting in a 24 hour marathon of Vitaphone shorts and features on TCM this Monday 12/5, is really significant. While there were literally hundreds of failed attempts to synchronize picture and sound in films, it was not until Western Electric and Bell Labs developed the sound-on-disk Vitaphone system in the early twenties that the technical aspects got ironed out. And of course it was the vision of the Warner Bros that started the sound revolution with DON JUAN in 1926! By 1929, Hollywood had gone from totally silent pictures to all sound ones in just 3 years!

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Re: WELCOME TCM GUEST PROGRAMMER RON HUTCHINSON DECEMBER 3 & 4.

Postby Sue Sue Applegate » December 3rd, 2016, 11:06 am

Since I've been reviewing the TCM schedule for Monday, I couldn't help but notice that Roy Mack directed many of these features screening on December 5. Can you tell me a little about Roy Mack and his contributions to Vitaphone?

Thank you, Ron! :D
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Re: WELCOME TCM GUEST PROGRAMMER RON HUTCHINSON DECEMBER 3 & 4.

Postby Mrs. Osborne » December 3rd, 2016, 11:45 am

Happy Saturday Ron!

That is a fabulous picture of you with Ben Mankiewicz by the way.

Did Fox have an early version of Vitaphone? For example with the Fox Movietone News?
I'm confused about that and what, if any, the difference was with their process and Vitaphone.

Many thanks,
Mrs. Osborne

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Re: WELCOME TCM GUEST PROGRAMMER RON HUTCHINSON DECEMBER 3 & 4.

Postby Vitaphone » December 3rd, 2016, 12:15 pm

Director Roy Mack specialized in musical Vitaphone shorts, first in Hollywood in 1929 where he helmed some early Technicolor shorts, then through the thirties at Vitaphone's Brooklyn studios. He previously had worked on Broadway so he had a great background for this.

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Re: WELCOME TCM GUEST PROGRAMMER RON HUTCHINSON DECEMBER 3 & 4.

Postby Vitaphone » December 3rd, 2016, 12:17 pm

Mrs. Osborne wrote:Happy Saturday Ron!

That is a fabulous picture of you with Ben Mankiewicz by the way.

Did Fox have an early version of Vitaphone? For example with the Fox Movietone News?
I'm confused about that and what, if any, the difference was with their process and Vitaphone.

Many thanks,
Mrs. Osborne



Movietone was the sound-on-film process as opposed to the Vitaphone disk process. These two systems co-existed during the twenties. By early 1930, Warner Bros abandoned direct recording onto disk and switched over to the optical/Movietone system used by all the other studios.

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Re: WELCOME TCM GUEST PROGRAMMER RON HUTCHINSON DECEMBER 3 & 4.

Postby Sue Sue Applegate » December 3rd, 2016, 1:48 pm

That is a great photo of you with Ben!

Can you share with us some of your favorite shorts being screened on Monday on TCM?
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Georgie Price in Don't Get Nervous...

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Trixie Friganza will appear in My Bag O' Trix on Monday...

Which ones were particularly meaningful to you consideing the context of their discovery or initial creation?
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Re: WELCOME TCM GUEST PROGRAMMER RON HUTCHINSON DECEMBER 3 & 4.

Postby Vitaphone » December 3rd, 2016, 1:59 pm

We they are ALL favorites! In our intros on TCM on 12/5 I give some background on the discovery, restoration or performers in the shorts. So many of these early Vitaphone shorts are actually filmed captures of the acts of some of the greatest vaudevillians of the period. So my favorites include vaudevillians like Trixie Friganza and her wild act with a bass fiddle, forgotten vaude star Georgie Price who is full of energy and twenties harmonies, and the bizarre and deadpan Shaw & Lee. Until their short was restored in partnership with UCLA, The Library of Congress and our Vitaphone Project, Shaw & Lee were completely forgotten. Since then, it remains an audience favorite. I have connected with the grandsons of both Shaw and Lee!

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Re: WELCOME TCM GUEST PROGRAMMER RON HUTCHINSON DECEMBER 3 & 4.

Postby Mrs. Osborne » December 3rd, 2016, 2:14 pm

Ron-

Tell the story you told me about the reactions you've gotten from older people when they've been able to see the Vitaphone shorts after so many years, including relatives that you've been able to find.

Mrs. Osborne

PS I'm now a huge fan of Shaw and Lee and I am delighted to see that Jimmy Conlin was an incredible piano player!

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Re: WELCOME TCM GUEST PROGRAMMER RON HUTCHINSON DECEMBER 3 & 4.

Postby Sue Sue Applegate » December 3rd, 2016, 2:24 pm

Oh, that's wonderful, Ron!

Trixie Friganza is so funny. Can you share with us what you know about her personally and professionally?
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Re: WELCOME TCM GUEST PROGRAMMER RON HUTCHINSON DECEMBER 3 & 4.

Postby Vitaphone » December 3rd, 2016, 3:44 pm

Mrs. Osborne wrote:Ron-

Tell the story you told me about the reactions you've gotten from older people when they've been able to see the Vitaphone shorts after so many years, including relatives that you've been able to find.

Mrs. Osborne

PS I'm now a huge fan of Shaw and Lee and I am delighted to see that Jimmy Conlin was an incredible piano player!



At our many screenings of restored Vitaphone shorts at NYC's Film Forum, I've been approached afterwards by many older attendees who actually saw some of these performers in vaudeville. But younger attendees (which includes an NYU film class each year) have also enjoyed the freshness and originality of the performances. Over the years we have had sons, daughters and grandkids at screenings, including relatives of Georgie Price, The Original Indiana Five, Bert Lahr (his daughter Jane), both Shaw & Lee's grandsons and Shaw's son shortly before he died, and many others. I sat with "Baby" Rose Marie at UCLA when her restored 1929 short was screened after its restoration. My friend Bill Cappello is gifted in being able to track down relatives of long forgotten performers, and I've been able to share the shorts with many he's located. This included 90+ year old Irving Foy of The Seven Little Foys, whose 1928 Vitaphone was restored and shown to him.

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Re: WELCOME TCM GUEST PROGRAMMER RON HUTCHINSON DECEMBER 3 & 4.

Postby Vitaphone » December 3rd, 2016, 3:46 pm

Sue Sue Applegate wrote:Oh, that's wonderful, Ron!

Trixie Friganza is so funny. Can you share with us what you know about her personally and professionally?



She was a hugely popular performer in musical comedy and vaudeville at the turn of the last century. She was also very active in women's rights, was a vigorous suffragette, and also lobbied for actor's rights and their early unions. She appeared in some silent films, and can be seen in Buster Keaton's first talkie, FREE AND EASY (MGM/'30). The disk for her 1929 Vitaphone short, MY BAG 'O TRIX, was found in Jerry Lewis's collection.

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Re: WELCOME TCM GUEST PROGRAMMER RON HUTCHINSON DECEMBER 3 & 4.

Postby Sue Sue Applegate » December 3rd, 2016, 3:53 pm

That's so interesting. Can you share with us other gems that you might have found in the Lewis collection?

It's so wonderful that you've been able to share your work with the families of so many performers.
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