I like to fill requests whenever possible. This one is for Austin Casey. It is a worn print, but the performance comes through load and clear.
With the budget always a major concern, Soundies producers came up with a variety of strategies to keep costs reasonably low, while not sacrificing quality. In The Soundies I have dubbed one specific approach the “omnibus session.” Here a group of musicians, both studio orchestras and “name bands,” were called in for an extended session at which up to ten recordings would be made in eight hours. The band might ultimately be featured on screen in two or three Soundies, but the majority of subjects would feature a solo vocalist, “song-story,” comedy routine or novelty/vaudeville performance.
Billed as the “Pagliacci of the Piano,” Joe Reichman led a hotel band that played sweet, danceable music …. music where you could hum the melody as you moved around the dance floor with your date. During the spring of 1942 Reichman’s band was engaged at the Hotel Biltmore in Los Angeles where he would have accompanied the floorshow, as well as play for dancers. On June 25, 1942, Reichman’s orchestra entered a Los Angeles recording studio, probably Radio Recorders or RCA, for an omnibus session. Of the eight Soundies that featured the band on soundtrack, Reichman’s men were seen in two. “If I Didn’t Care” was a huge hit for the Ink Spots in 1942, and in this Soundie four men from the band (including guitarist Morty Corb, later one of the top-call jazz string bassists on the West Coast) do a parody of the Ink Spot’s. The vocal quartet is actually quite funny, and what we see is from the band’s book; this is one number that audiences at the Biltmore would have seen during the summer of 1942.