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Volume 12 Number 1
Fall/Winter 2012

Buy Vitaphone Varieties Volume 2 here! Buy Vitaphone Comedy Collection Volume 1 here!


Warner Archive has just released two more DVD sets that every Vitaphone fan will want. VITAPHONE VARIETIES, VOLUME TWO, includes 35 more restored 1927-31 Vitaphone short subjects. With this set, virtually all of the early Vitaphone shorts have now been released on DVD. The two DVD set includes performances by Joe E. Brown, the Yacht Club Boys, Waring's Pennsylvanians, Chaz Chase and Helen Morgan. The Vitaphone Project has worked with George Feltenstein at Warner Archive and has written program notes for each short. Read the notes for this set here:

THE VITAPHONE COMEDY COLLECTION VOLUME 1, 1932-34, offers all six of Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle's 'comeback' Vitaphone shorts. These marked the comedian's first appearances in front of the camera since his 1921 scandal removed him from the screen. Also in this set are over a dozen Vitaphone shorts in which Shemp Howard appears, several with Arbuckle. Shemp was a comedy staple at the Brooklyn studio, sometimes starring and other times providing support. He had elected to remain east when his brother Moe and Larry Fine followed Ted Healy to Hollywood. He remained at Vitaphone through 1936 before finally heading west. Warner Archive plans to continue this series with more of the Vitaphone "Big V" comedies in future sets.

Here are the links to order each of these sets:




  1. Hawaiian Nights, #422, (1927)
  2. Waring's Pennsylvanians 'The Famous Collegiate Orchestra', #428, (1927)
  3. Joe E. Brown in 'Twinkle, Twinkle', #505, (1927)
  4. The Yacht Club Boys, #1049, (1929)
  5. The Happiness Boys, Billy Jones and Ernest Hare, #537, (1927)
  6. Phil Ohman and Victor Arden 'The Piano Duetists', #553, (1927)
  7. Harry Wayman & His Debutantes, #2261, (1928)
  8. Earl Burtnett and His Biltmore Hotel Orchestra, #2294, (1928)
  9. Abe Lyman Orchestra 'The Maestro of Syncopated Symphony', #2338, (1928)
  10. Eddie Peabody in 'Banjoland', #2560, (1928)
  11. Joseph E. Howard 'America's Popular Composer', #2596, (1928)
  12. Chaz Chase 'The Unique Comedian', #2696, (1928)
  13. Roy Fox and His Montmartre Orchestra, #2819, (1928)
  14. Guido Deiro 'The World's Foremost Piano-Accordionist', #2968, (1928)
  15. Norman Thomas Quinette in 'Harlem Mania', #827, (1929)
  16. Blanche Sweet in 'Always Faithful', #3334, (1929)
  17. Gregory Ratoff in 'For Sale', #3335, (1929)


  1. Ann Butler and Jay Brennan in 'You Don't Know the Half of It', #833, (1929)
  2. Georgie Price in 'Don't Get Nervous', #841, (1929)
  3. Kraft & LaMont in 'Rarin' To Go', #847, (1929)
  4. Grace Johnston and the Indiana Five, #869, (1929)
  5. Fred Allen's 'Prize Playlets', #903, (1929)
  6. Bert Lahr in 'Faint Heart', #904, (1929)
  7. Edgar Bergen and Christina Graver in 'The Operation', #947, (1929)
  8. Jack Osterman in 'Talking It Over', #950, (1929)
  9. Lou Holtz in 'Idle Chatter', #954, (1929)
  10. Scott Sanders in 'Scotch Taffy', #956, (1930)
  11. The Poor Fish, #1010, (1930)
  12. Shaw and Lee in 'Going Places', #1027, (1930)
  13. Trixie Friganza in 'Strong and Willing', #1030, (1930)
  14. Josephine Harmon in 'Harmonizing Songs', #1044, (1930)
  15. Pat O'Brien in 'Crimes Square', #1146, (1931)
  16. Edgar Bergen in 'The Office Scandal', #1147, (1931)
  17. Helen Morgan in 'The Gigolo Racket', #1255/1256, (1931)
  18. Jack Haley in 'Success', #1257/1258, (1931)


The first six shorts represent Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle's entire Vitaphone output. Several titles are remastered and all look great. Sadly, just after signing a contract with Jack Warner to make features, he died in his sleep. His 1933 Vitaphone contract gave him $3000 per week, right up there with top feature comics like Stan Laurel and Buster Keaton.

In this set, many of Shemp Howard's appearances are in support of such other comedians as Gus Shy, George Givot, Block and Sully and Jack Haley. The studio soon let him star or co-star, sometimes with Daphne Pollard. He closed out his Vitaphone career as Knobby Walsh in the studio's "Joe Palooka series in 1936.

  1. HEY, POP! (1932)
  2. BUZZIN' AROUND (1932)
  3. HOW'VE YOU BEAN? (1933)
  4. TOMALIO (1933)
  6. IN THE DOUGH (1933)
  7. PAUL REVERE JR. (1933)
  8. SALT WATER DAFFY (1933)
  9. HOWD' YA LIKE THAT (1933)
  10. I SCREAM (1934)
  11. The WRONG, WRONG, TRAIL (1934)
  12. HERE COMES FLOSSIE! (1933)
  13. PUGS AND KISSES (1934)
  14. MUSHROOMS (1934)
  15. PURE FEUD (1934)
  16. CORN ON THE COP (1934)
  18. VERY CLOSE VEINS (1934)
  19. ART TROUBLE (1934)


1926 premiere of Don Juan in NYC. Esther Ralston using a Vitaphone disc recording on the Paramount lot. Ever wonder how Warner Brothers and First National got hitched? Here is a story from Oct. 10, 1928. From the Kingston (NY) Daily Freeman, May 7, 1928 A bevy of Indian babes from the 1934 Vitaphone Technicolor short, WHAT, NO MEN? El Brendel, ALWAYS the ladies man, from the Vitaphone short THE LUCKY SWEDE Shirley Mason & Viola Dana from The Show of Shows (1929) Here we have Armand Wright, Joan Blondell, & William Powell from 1932's Lawyer Man.

We hope you'll "friend" The Vitaphone Project on it's Facebook page. Above are some of the photos people have posted there. Always interesting stuff and a nice way to bridge the time between issues of VITAPHONE NEWS. Go to this link to join us on Facebook:


A number of important soundtrack disks have been located since our last issue.


Work continues on the next batch of over 50 1927-30 Vitaphone short subjects restorations. You'll recall that this massive effort is a joint partnership between Ned Price at Warner Brothers, The Library of Congress, UCLA, and The Vitaphone Project. It is expected that work will continue all through 2013 and hopefully some of the finished product can be shown publically early in 2014. Most of the mute prints come from The Library of Congress. Concurrently, The Project arranged for sound engineer Seth Winner to professionally transfer 25 disks held by Ron Hutchinson for use in the restorations. Other disks, along with technical expertise, come from UCLA under the direction of Eddie Richmond. Most of the sound transfers have now been completed. So the next phase will be securing the picture elements and beginning the process to synchronize picture and sound to produce new 35 mm prints. Previous issues of VITAPHONE NEWS have listed most of the titles in the restoration pipeline. They cover a wide variety of shorts, including bands, operatic, vaudeville, playlets, and comedy.


Sound engineer Seth Winner was selected by The Vitaphone Project and Warner Brothers to perform the professional transfers of twenty-five soundtrack disks to be used as part of the upcoming 50+ early Vitaphone shorts restorations. You can now see what the transfer process entails. Here are two YouTube videos which show both the cleaning and transfer process:



Seth's studio is on Long Island. He has been involved with many transfers of 78's and other early recordings over the years. He has state of the art audio equipment to bring out the best sound hidden in the grooves of vintage records. and he can be contacted at


Bruce Goldstein, Repertory Director for Film Forum' in NYC, will be presenting another Vitaphone short subjects program on Monday, February 25th. The Project's Ron Hutchinson will introduce the two screenings (2:40 PM & 6:10 PM), and this time the shows will be rare 35mm presentations of 1933 shorts. There will not be any new Vitaphone restorations available for screening until late in 2013, so this is an excellent way to fill the gap.

Titles to be show in glorious 35mm include:

Film Forum is located at 209 West Houston Street in New York City. For more information, go to


We were recently contacted by Cass Warner Sperling. She is the grand daughter of WB Studios founder Harry Warner. In addition to producing a documentary, "The Brothers Warner" , Cass is working with the studio to develop an exhibit that will be part of the studio tour. She wants it to reflect the vision and daring that the Brothers had, and which led to the studio's success. She recognizes the huge role that talking pictures had in that success. We're proud to be working with Cass and sharing ideas on what the exhibit could include. It's our thought that a theme of "The Warner Brothers: Vision --- With Sound", makes sense. Cass is also working with Leith Adams, who has run the Warner Museum on the lot for many years, and who has access to much material that could be incorporated into the exhibit. For more information on Cass and The Warner Sisters, go to:


Watching Vitaphone shorts, you frequently see the title card credit of "Photographed by Ed. DuPar". He was at Vitaphone from the beginning, as cameraman on most of the earliest sound shorts shot at the New York Opera House in the summer of 1926. It was Ed who was behind the camera filming Will Hays' congratulations of the Warner Brothers. He subsequently photographed early features like THE BETTER 'OLE ('26) which had Vitaphone accompaniment. He finished the twenties out as cameraman on many one reel shorts and the first all talking feature film, THE LIGHTS OF NEW YORK ('28). Moving back east to the newly soundproofed and wired Brooklyn Vitaphone studios, DuPar photographed several hundred(!) shorts before the studio closed in 1939.

Back in Hollywood, he resumed his career, photographing many features (he's uncredited on two James Dean films), some Joe McDoakes shorts, and finally for Warner Brothers television series for westerns, HAWAIIAN EYE, 77 SUNSET STRIP and (appropriately) THE ROARING TWENTIES.

Vince Giordano and Ron Hutchinson enjoy lunch with the DuPar’s, September 2012.
The Project's Vince Giordano and Ron Hutchinson had the pleasure of having lunch with Ed's daughter, Judy DuPar Haven and her husband this September. Judy regaled us with stories of living in Hollywood, frequently seeing stars at her home, living next door to early Vitaphone star Jack Haley ("We played cowboys and tied Jack, Jr. to a tree!" she recalled), and Jack Warner's loyalty to her father over five decades.


Criterion has issued two long sought early Universal talkies on DVD. Both LONESOME and BROADWAY were directed by Paul Fejos. LONESOME was completed in 1928 as a silent, but when the sound revolution began, additional talkie sequences were shot and inserted into the film. While that effect can be jarring, it takes nothing away from the beauty of one of the best silent ever made.
The DVD set features:
  • Audio commentary featuring film historian Richard Koszarski
  • The Last Performance, director Paul Fejos's 1929 silent starring Conrad Veidt
  • Reconstructed sound version of Broadway, Fejos's 1929 musical
  • Fejos Memorial, a 1963 visual essay produced by Paul Falkenberg
  • Audio excerpts about Broadway from an interview with cinematographer Hal Mohr
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring essays by critic Phillip Lopate

DVD on the left, Blu-Ray on the right

Cinefest Flyer

One of the biggest, most enjoyable and most widely attended vintage film events each year is Cinefest in Syracuse, NY. Rare silent and sound shorts and features are shown almost around the clock, both in the hotel's transformed ballroom in 16mm and digitally, as well as at the Saturday morning excursion to the local historic Palace Theater for 35mm screenings, with silents receiving accompaniment by some of the top photo-players in the world, including Dr. Jon Mirsalis, Dr. Andrew Simpson and Jeff Rapsis. This year's Cinefest will be held March 14th through 17th, and promises to be the best yet!

The program is still being assembled at press time.

To register, and to keep up with Cinefest's schedule of screenings, go to or Also, visit their Facebook site at


Your generous donations help to keep our Project going. Escalating printing and mailing costs make your support even more important than ever. While not tax-deductible, your donation allows us to continue spreading the word and seeking out disks and film elements for future restorations. Large donations for actual restorations go directly to UCLA Film and Television Archive (where support is tax deductible).

NEW!     NEW!    NEW!    NEW!    NEW!   NEW!

With this issue, we’re adding the following thank-you CD:

2012 VITAPHONE ACQUISITIONS – has the newly found audience entrance, exit and intermission music for HOLLYWOOD REVUE OF 1929, MAL HALLETT AND HIS ENTERTAINING ORCHESTRA (Vitaphone, 1929), Vitaphone #427 FRED WARING AND HIS PENNSYLVANIANS (1927) and the Overture disk for WARMING UP (Par/’28) (with Billy Murray).

We've also added a new thank-you gift for a donation of $50. It's a set of twelve 3x5 note cards and envelopes, each with a terrific vintage Vitaphone short still. Twelve different cards include pictures of bands, vaudevillians, the Vitaphone camera booth guys, and more. A unique way to send your friends a note the old fashioned way. Just specify you'd like the note cards when contributing. If you've sent in a donation lately, thanks! If you are receiving Vitaphone News and have not made contribution lately --- or ever -- please consider doing so now. In addition to thank-you audio CDs listed below, we are adding a few new items:

Selected from the 70+ Vitaphone disks acquired earlier last year are two new CDs:

2011 DISK-OVERIES VOL. 1 -includes soundtracks for 1929 shorts by Molly Picon and Dave Apollon, Ruth Etting with Arden & Ohman, Phil Baker and more.

2011 DISK-OVERIES VOL. 2 includes tracks from REDSKIN, a Vitaphone 1929 theatre holiday promo, Charles King in the lost 1929 MGM Colortone CLIMBING THE GOLDEN STAIRS and Al Trahan, plus more.

The above 2 CDs are individually for a $50 contribution, both for $75.

Also new...
For a $50 donation receive our DVD of twenty band, singing and vaudeville excerpts from 1930-39 British Pathetone shorts. Includes the bands of Billy Cotton, Harry Roy and Jack Hylton (recording at HMV in 1932!), plus Sophie Tucker, two clips with Al Bowlly, and many fun music hall and vaude acts. Just request our PATHETONE DVD when contributing!

For donations of $50, you can choose from one of the listed CDs, or you can receive a great Shaw and Lee caricature T-shirt.

And the following audio CDs are still available as thank-you gifts. These are unique, non-professional (but highly listenable) recordings of rare early talkie material. No fancy notes or packaging, but we are sure you'll enjoy them. Just let us know your choice (number of CDs is in parentheses)

  • KRAZY KAT CARTOON '29-'30 SOUNDTRACK (total of 10 tracks) (1)
  • '29-'30 COLUMBIA VICTOR GEMS SOUNDTRACKS (Vol 1 & 2) (1 CD each)
  • "TALES FROM THE ATTIC" - VITAPHONE ON WDVR (11/09) with Vitaphone Project's Ron Hutchinson. Nearly 3 hours (2) Ron Hutchinson on the air!
  • BABY ROSE MARIE, THE CHILD WONDER ('29) - all known 1929-38 78's by this popular child star, plus tracks from her 3 Vitaphone shorts, features and even her 1938 radio show. (1)
  • WHY BE GOOD? Soundtrack - the complete jazzy Vitaphone discs for this soon to be restored 1929 silent starring Colleen Moore. Believed to feature Jimmy Dorsey, Phil Napoleon and Eddie Lang among others. (1)
  • MY MAN ('28) - all available discs from the lost Fanny Brice feature, plus trailer disc and contemporary 78's of film tunes. (2)
  • GOLD DIGGERS OF BROADWAY ('29) Vitaphone discs - 99% of the sound from this still substantially lost early Vitaphone feature. (1)
  • VITAPHONE SOUNDTRACKS - Vol 1-4 Selections from soundtrack discs from vaudeville, band and feature films. (4)
  • WHEELER & WOOLSEY TUNES (2 CD's) - includes virtually every one of the songs from their 1929-37 features. For real fans! (2)
  • Click on the button below to donate to The Vitaphone Project securely with any major credit card through PayPal!

    If you wish to send a check (not tax deductible) please make it payable to RON HUTCHINSON (NOT The Vitaphone Project) and send it to:

    Ron Hutchinson
    5 Meade Court
    Piscataway, NJ 08854


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    UK: Malcolm Billingsley
    SCANDANAVIA: Jonas Nordin


    Eddie Duchin and Orchestra Patsy Kelly in The Grand Dame Chester Conklin in The Master Sweeper Jack Dempsey in World's Champ Ex-President Calvin Coolidge watches with keen interest the progress of making the Vitaphone operetta, Viennese Nights at Warner Brothers movie set.  On the set with them are J.L. Warner, Will H. Hayes, and Mrs. C Young, wife of the Governor of California.  7/24/1930. Robert Ripley in Believe It Or Not Lita Grey Chaplin in Seasoned Greetings Red Donohue & U-No in A Traffic Muddle.  Print exists for this film but no sound. Half Sheet for Say It With Songs Ad for General Crack Book Vitaphone To 42nd Street Sheet Music for Roy Smeck One Sheet for I Won't Play

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    Corresponding Secretary & Editor Ron Hutchinson 5 Meade Court
    Piscataway, NJ 08854
    (732) 463-8521
    FAX: (732) 463-8521
    Database: Patrick Picking
    Co-Founders: John Newton
    Sherwin Dunner
    Vince Giordano
    Vitaphone Project Web Page Designer Patrick Picking
    Vitaphone Project Web Page
    Jeff Cohen's "Vitaphone Varieties" Site
    Leonard Maltin's Site
    Talkie King
    "The Vitaphone Project"
    UK: Malcolm Billingsley
    SCANDANAVIA: Jonas Nordin

    Sound insulated camera booth, to keep the noise of the camera from being picked up by the microphones

    This web site is maintained by Patrick Picking:
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