Jazz Music

Paul Whiteman, Bing Crosby - Make Believe (1928)

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Make Believe
Words by: Oscar Hammerstein II, music by Jerome Kern
From the Broadway Musical "Showboat"
Paul Whiteman Orchestra, Bing Crosby, vocal
Recorded Jan. 27, 1928

Paul Whiteman was an important bandleader starting in 1919 and was a leader in development and popularization of dance music in the 1920s. His title, "King of Jazz," was somewhat misleading, but it was semi-jazz for the general public, though he gave many jazzmen hot solo spots.

Bing Crosby was born May 3, 1903 in Tacoma, Washington, grew up in Spokane and attended Gonzaga University. He teamed up with Al Rinker as a novelty singing dou, and then was hired by Paul Whiteman in late 1926. Harry Barris joined the duo and they formed the trio known as the Rhythm Boys. In 1930 the trio joined Gus Arnheim at Cocoanut Grove in Los Angeles and shortly after, Bing launched his career as a single.

Show Boat opened at the Ziegfeld Theatre on December 27, 1927 with Norma Terris as "Magnolia", Howard Marsh as "Gaylord" and Helen Morgan as "Julie." It ran for 572 performances. It has been revived numerous times--most successfully by Hal Prince in 1994--and spawned several film versions including the 1936 film with Irene Dunne and the 1951 version with Ava Gardner and Howard Keel.

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