Carl Laemmle, Jr., the son of the founder of Universal Pictures, Carl Laemmle.
After the contract was signed in the fall of 1928, Universal Pictures assigned Wesley Ruggles as the director for the movie. As the Whiteman band arrived in Los Angeles to begin filming in June 1929, Paul Fejos was the assigned director of the movie. While the band awaited a script, Paul Fejos witnessed a series of failed attempts in developing a script for the motion picture. Once it was decided that the movie would be a revue, the studio wanted Florenz Ziegfeld to direct the film, but he was not available. The studio hired Broadway stage director John Murray Anderson as director of the film, at the suggestion of Paul Whiteman. This was John Murray Anderson's first attempt at directing a motion picture. Paul Fejos, the former director, initially stayed with the film, working as an assistant director under Anderson, but left this position soon afterwards, and was replaced by Robert Ross.
After the contract was signed in the fall of 1928, Universal Pictures assigned Paul Schofield as a writer. During 1928, Schofield travelled with the Whiteman and frequently met with Whiteman. After meetings with Whiteman in January 1929, Schofield returned to Hollywood to complete astory line for the picture. After the band came to Hollywood in late June 1929, Schofield and Edward T. Lowe presented a story line to Whiteman based on his life, which he rejected. Once it was decided that the picture would be a revue, along the lines of a vaudeville or stage production, Harry Ruskin and Charles McArthur were assigned to the picture. Edward T. Lowe was kept as a writer for continuity.
After the contract was signed in the fall of 1928, Universal Pictures assigned the songwriting team of L. Wolfe Gilbert (words) and Mabel Wayne (music) to write the score. After an unsuccessful attempt to obtain the services of Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart for the picture, Universal brought in the team of Milton Ager and Jack Yellen for much of the score. Other contributors included Mabel Wayne, Billy Rose, James Dietrich, Harry DeCosta, Harry Barris, Billy Moll and George Gershwin.
Arrangements for the songs in the movie were done by Ferde Grofe.
Set Designer/Costume Designer
Herman Rosse, John Murray Anderson's set designer on Broadway, joined him.
Ray Rennahan, Hal Mohr and Jerome Ash. Ray Rennahan provided his expertise on color photography and color projection. Hal Mohr was one of Hollywood's top all-around cinematographers. Jerome Ash, one of the best trick-camera technicians in the business, provided camera tricks in the movie to make the movie more entertaining, including the Whiteman band musicians climbing out of a suitcase with Whiteman watching, and a picture singing in the close of "It Happened in Monterey".
C. Roy Hunter was assigned as the sound recording supervisor. Paul Whiteman brought in E. T. White to oversee the pre-recording of the soundtrack, made separately from the picture.
John Murray Anderson brought the Roxy Theater dance director, Russell Markert, and a group of sixteen chorus girls from various Broadway shows.
Bing Crosby sings "Music Hath Charms" with band.
Charles Irwin (MC of movie)
Bing Crosby sings "My Lord Delivered Daniel" with band, Joe Venuti and Eddie Lang play "Music Hath Charms"
Introducing Paul and the band
Charles Irwin, Paul Whiteman
Meet the Boys
Harry "Goldie" Goldfield plays "Hot Lips", Joe Venuti and Eddie Lang play "Wildcat", Roy Maier plays "Piccolo Pete", six band violinists (Kurt Detierle, Matty Malneck, John Bowman, Joe Venuti, Ted Bacon and Otto Landau) play "Caprice Viennois", Roy Bargy and Chester Hazlett play "Nola", Wilbur Hall plays "Nola", Mike Pingitore plays "Linger Awhile".
Meet the Girls
Russell Markert Dancers (sit-down dance number)
My Bridal Veil
Sung by Jeannette Loff and Stanley Smith
The Daily Meows (comedy skit)
Laura LaPlante (editor), Jeanie Lang, Merna Kennedy, Grace Hayes and Kathryn Crawford (reporters)
The Rhythm Boys
Bing Crosby, Al Rinker and Harry Barris sing and patter through "Mississippi Mud" and "So the Bluebirds and the Blackbirds Got Together", with Al Rinker on piano.
(It Happened in) Monterey
Sung by John Boles and Jeannette Loff, with Mexican soloist Nancy Torres. Dancing by the Sisters "G" (Eleanor and Karla Gutchrlein), George Chiles and the Russell Markert Dancers.
In Conference (comedy skit)
Glen Tryon, Merna Kennedy and Laura LaPlante (as stenographer).
|Jack White (the property man)|
Sings "Oh, How I'd Love To Own a Fish Store", and other patter with members of the band, including Bing Crosby, Al Rinker and Harry "Goldie" Goldfield.
A Bench in the Park
Sung by Glenn Tryon and Laura LaPlante, the Brox Sisters (Bobbe, Kathlyn and Lorraine) and the Rhythm Boys. Band arrangement with guitar accompaniment by Eddie Lang and hot violin by Joe Venuti.
Spring Time (blackout)
Slim Summerville, Yola d'Avril and Walter Brennan (as judge)
All Noisy on the Eastern Front (comedy skit)
Yola d'Avril, Paul Whiteman, Slim Summerville, Walter Brennan and others.
Willie Hall, One of the Whiteman Boys
Wilbur Hall performs some of a routine called "Variations Based On Noises From a Garage" that he performed with the band at that time. Willie played the violin while wearing a pair of shoes mounted on long boards. In this way, he could lean way forward while he continued to play the violin. Then, he played "Pop! Goes the Weasel" with the violin in various positions, including behind his back, over his head and between his knees. Then, his finale was to play "Stars and Stripes Forever" on a bicycle pump.
Rhapsody in Blue
Introduction by Paul Whiteman, with dancing by Jacques Cartier. Paul Whiteman conducting the orchestra (atop an immense blue piano), piano solo by Roy Bargy, with ballet dancing by Carla Laemmle. Dancing by the Russell Markert Dancers.
Oh! Forevermore! (comedy skit)
William Kent (as drunk), Walter Brennan (as butler).
|My Ragamuffin Romeo
Sung by Jeanie Lang and George Chiles (on a donkey cart), with dancing by Marion Stattler and Don Rose.
Horse Costume (quickie)
Walter Brennan (a horse's neck), Slim Summerville (a horse's .... well, you know ....).
|Two parents not married (quickie)
Richard Cromwell, Joan Marsh, William Kent (as baby).
Sung by Bing Crosby, Al Rinker and Harry Barris, with Al Rinker and Harry Barris on piano. Singing (in both English and German) and dancing by the Sisters "G" (Eleanor and Karla Gutchrlein). Dancing by the Russell Markert Dancers, Al Norman (rubber-legged, snake-hips dancer) and Paul Small (imitating Paul Whiteman).
A Meeting With Father (skit)
Slim Summerville, Otis Harlan (as father).
I Like to Do Things For You
Sung by Jeanie Lang (to Paul Whiteman), Grace Hayes and William Kent, and Nell O'Day, with dancing by Nell O'Day and the Tommy Atkins Sextet.
Has Anybody Seen Our Nellie? (comic quartet)
Sung by Churchill Ross, John Arledge, Frank Leslie and Walter Brennan (with his wriggling ear).
The Song of the Dawn
Sung by John Boles and male chorus.
The Melting Pot of Music
Introduced by Charles Irwin, many members of the cast (some as noted) and many extras.
1) Songs and dances representing England, Scotland, Ireland, Spain and Russia. Songs included "A-Hunting We Will Go", "Rule Brittania", "John Peel", "Santa Lucia", "Funiculi-Funicula", "Comin' Through the Rye", "Wiener Blut", "Killarney", "The Irish Washerwoman", "Ay-yi, ay-yi-yi", "Song of the Volga Boatman", and "Otchichornia".
2) Final movie medley includes "Song of the Dawn", "Bench in the Park", "It Happened in Monterey", ((unknown song)), "Song of the Dawn" (reprise), "Stars and Stripes Forever", "Happy Feet", "Song of the Dawn" (reprise with chorus).
3) Last few seconds of "Rhapsody in Blue", while picture spins and moves in toward Paul Whiteman, then Paul Whiteman ends the music and bows. FINIS.