So Long Oolong Classic Banjo and vocals by Frank Crumit

Comment by thereallyniceman on June 5, 2015 at 19:00

When I took over the Classic Banjo website from Carl, all those years ago, he left a box of rare VHS tapes, that he told me were recorded just before World War 1, of his great Grandpappy playing Classic Banjo.


I had another root through and came across an even more rare spool of 1920 nitrocellulose movie film of Frank Crumit, popular crooner of the time, singing with MY Granddad on banjo...what are the chances of that???


Anyway I have always loved this “cheesy tune” about a poor little gullible Japanese Girl whose boyfriend cleared off promising to come back to her....


Of course he never did, and it appears that he opened a Sushi and Grill in San Francisco.... the swine!!


I thought it would be a bit of fun and transcribed the score, by ear, from Frank Crumit’s and the Fred Van Eps Quartet recording, both of 1920.


It is a delight to hear the song sung by a superb crooner and with a terrific banjo player on his brand new Weaver... He is much better than I will ever be, if a little wobbly on his timing in the solo, but he was very, very old. ;-)


I certainly inherited Granddad’s nose and double chin, if not his talent.


Comment by Jackie Cook on June 5, 2015 at 23:10
What a great treasure from the past. Nice job on the video, Ian!
Comment by Trapdoor2 on June 5, 2015 at 23:53

Ha! One of my favorite recording artists. I have a couple of CDs worth of Frank...great voice!

Very cool thing to do, Ian. Your grandpa couldn't have picked a better person to play for.

Comment by carrie horgan on June 6, 2015 at 7:01

Brilliant, Ian.  That sweet song really suits banjo accompaniment.  

(brace yourself for lots of YouTube posts debating whether the video is 'real' :)

Comment by Shawn McSweeny on June 6, 2015 at 22:25

Nice job digitizing the ancient movie film Ian. Granddad was very musical indeed and fairly dripping with talent that you, and many others, must envy.

Besides his looks, it appears you also inherited his dinner jacket. Lucky you!

Comment by Eric STEFANELLI on June 7, 2015 at 11:11

Hello Ian !

Nice song, and what a good idea, the rendition is superb, banjo acc. is perfect, played in and with the real spirit, bravo, je suis enchanté d'entendre cela !

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