Best Music Movies of 1926
A Plantation Act
Al Jolson's first sound film. Dressed in overalls and wearing black-face makeup, he sings three of his hit songs: "When the Red, Red, Robin Comes Bob, Bob, Bobbin' Along ", "April Showers", and "Rock-a-Bye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody ".
Anna Case sings a song while the Cansino family dances in the background.
Behind the Lines
Elsie Janis entertains the troops from the back of a truck. She calls a French soldier up to sing with her, then dances to an American song while everyone sings, and finally shares the stage with an English soldier.
Violinist Mischa Elman performs a set of two of the most recognizable popular classic violin pieces: "Humoresque" composed by Antonín Dvorák, and "Gavotte" by François-Joseph Gossec. He is accompanied off screen by pianist Josef Bonime, although Bonime's instrument can be seen in the background behind Elman on screen. In one continuous single shot, the stationary camera focuses in squarely on Elman as he performs the two pieces.
Vesti la giubba
Metropolitan Opera star Giovanni Martinelli sings the aria "Vesti la giubba" from the opera "I Pagliacci".
Billy Merson Singing "Desdemona"
Comedian Billy Merson sings the song "Desdemona," a farcical ballad about the unrequited love of a poor musician for a fair Greek maiden.
Efrem Zimbalist & Harold Bauer Playing Theme and Variations from 'The Kreutzer Sonata' by Beethoven
Eminent musicians Efrem Zimbalist Sr. (violin) and Harold Bauer (piano) perform the title work.
Tramp, Tramp, Tramp the Boys Are Marching
“Tramp, Tramp, Tramp the Boys Are Marching” features a song that dates back to the Civil War, one which was still familiar to audiences of the 1920s. The cartoon begins as Koko the Clown emerges from an inkwell-- an iconic image for animation buffs --and then steps over to a chalkboard to draw an orchestra. The band, “Koko's Glee Club,” marches to a nearby cinema (accompanied by a dog who beats cymbals with his tail) where they lead the audience in the title song. (IMDb)
Has Anybody Here Seen Kelly?
The Fleischer Studio's ever popular Follow-the-Bouncing-Ball series began in the early 1920s when studio boss Max Fleischer was approached by songwriter Charles K. Harris (best known for "After the Ball") who wondered whether audiences could be inspired to sing along with an animated cartoon.
A short, hand-tinted promotional film made by the D'Oyly Carte Opera company to show off the new wardrobe and set dressing for the 1926 production of The Mikado. About six scenes from The Mikado are shown, then designer Charles Rickets steps onto the stage with a final look at the costumes and the film ends. The players in the production are legendary Savoyards, well-known from recordings of the period, but this is the only time a movie camera caught them in their roles, though sadly minus the singing. About four nitrate prints of this film are known to exist; two of which are at the BFI in London.