Friday, January 25, 2013

Ozzie Nelson Orchestra with Harriet Hilliard (excerpt from "Honeymoon Lodge" movie)

Long before "Ozzie & Harriet" on radio and TV was the Ozzie Nelson Orchestra featuring Harriet Hilliard. 

According to Wikipedia: "From 1930 through the 1940s, Nelson's band recorded prolifically—first on Brunswick (1930–1933), then Vocalion (1933–1934), then back to Brunswick (1934–1936), Bluebird (1937–1941), Victor (1941) and finally back to Bluebird (1941-through the 1940s). 

Nelson's records were consistently popular and in 1934 Nelson enjoyed success with his hit song, "Over Somebody Else's Shoulder" which he introduced. Nelson was their primary vocalist and (from August 1932) featured in duets with his other star vocalist, Harriet Hilliard. Nelson's calm, easy vocal style was popular on records and radio and Harriet's perky vocals added to the band's popularity.

Ozzie Nelson appeared with his band in several feature films and short subjects of the1940s, and often played speaking parts, displaying a tongue-in-cheek sense of humor. He shrewdly promoted the band by agreeing to appear in soundies, three-minute musical movies shown in "film jukeboxes" of the 1940s.

In the 1940's Ozzie began to look for a way to spend more time with his family, especially his growing sons. Besides band appearances, he and Harriet had been regulars on Red Skelton’s radio show. He developed and produced his own radio series, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. The show went on the air in 1944, with the sons played by actors until 1949, and in 1952 it moved over to television.

While not a "great" orchestra, he featured some fine musicians and did well in the popularityy polls of the late 30s and early 40s. 

Here' is another musical scene from this film - "I'm Through with Love" featuring Bob Eberly.

 And here's "Why Don't You Fall in Love with Me? an Ozzie & Harriet duet. 

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