The First Charleston In a Sound Movie? 1926

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From the phonofilm: A NIGHT IN DIXIE 1926
This is from one of Lee De Forest’s “Phonofilms” filmed either in late 1925 or early 1926. It features “The Club Alabam Revue” with Billy Fowler’s band and at about the :55 mark a girl named Jean Starr in the black outfit comes out and does what may be the first solo Charleston in any commercially released sound film. Lee De Forest actually showed his sound on film “Phonofilm” shorts up and down the east coast as early as 1922 and this was a far more advanced sound system than the Vitaphone sound on disk system that came later and was used in “The Jazz Singer” in 1927. Also the guy in blackface at about the 2:55 mark doing a minstrel routine is Johnny Hudgins who was a versatile and well traveled African- American entertainer for many years.

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Comment (11)

  1. Great – although it's not really a Charleston tune, with the "Charles – Ton" stops etc. and the girl's dance consists of only one Charleston move while the others do not belong to the original Charleston dance.


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