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Joseph C. Smith Orchestra - Poor Butterfly (1917)

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Uploaded on Oct 17, 2010

"Poor Butterfly"
Lyrics by John L. Golden
Music by Raymond Hubbell
Joseph C. Smith's Orchestra
Recorded February 19, 1917
Victor 18246

The Hippodrome Theatre stood in New York City from 1905 to 1939. It was located on Sixth Avenue between 43rd and 44th streets. The auditorium seated 5,300 people, and it was equipped with what was then the state of the art in theatrical technology. Its stage was 12 times larger than any Broadway theater and capable of holding as many as 1,000 performers at a time, or a full-sized circus. It also had an 8,000-gallon clear glass water tank that could be raised from below the stage by hydraulic pistons for swimming-and-diving shows. The Hippodrome featured lavish spectacles complete with circus animals, elephants, diving horses, opulent sets, and 500-member choruses. Until the end of World War I, the Hippodrome housed all sorts of spectacles then switched to musical extravaganzas produced by Charles Dillingham, the producer of the spectacle THE BIG SHOW which had 425 performances from August 1916 to May 1917 for which "Poor Butterfly" was composed. Inspired by Puccini's opera Madame Butterfly, the music was written by Raymond Hubbell (1879-1954), the lyrics by John Golden (1874-1955). The song was sung in the show by Sophie Bernard, and became an instant hit and an enduring standard.

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