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Published on Jun 21, 2012
Phil OHMAN and Victor ARDEN with Their Orchestra -- Hallelujah, Fox Trot with Vocal Chorus from "Hit the Deck" (Robin, Grey, Youmans) Brunswick 1927 (USA)
NOTE: Hit the Deck! (1927), a musical comedy by Herbert Fields (book), Vincent Youmans (music), Leo Robin, Clifford Grey (lyrics). The title refers to a nautical slang term that means to prepare for action (general) or to drop to a prone position on the ground (as a defensive response to hostile fire). The show was staged at the Belasco Theatre on Broadway on April 25. Loulou (Louise Groody) runs a coffee house on the docks at Newport but is prepared to give it all up to follow a sailor, "Bilge" Smith (Charles King). When Bilge ships out, Loulou follows him around the world. She finally persuades him to marry her, only to have him change his mind when he learns she is an heiress. But Bilge changes his mind again after Loulou agrees to assign her inheritance to their children. Notable songs: Hallelujah; Sometimes I'm Happy; Why, Oh Why? Based on Hubert Osborne's 1922 play, Shore Leave, the musical had the longest Broadway run of any original Youmans show (352 perf.) It was welcomed by Percy Hammond of the Herald Tribune as "a clean, pretty, bright and happy show."
Three years later (1930) the musical film "Hit the Deck" based on the musical, was made as one of the most expensive RKO productions. It was directed by Luther Reed, with Polly Walker and Jack Oakie in the leading roles, and it featured Technicolor sequences. This version faithfully reproduced the stage version. Unfortunately, the last known copy of it was destroyed in an RKO fire in the 1950s and today, the film is considered a lost film. In 1955, one more version of "Hit the Deck" was filmed, featuring Jane Powell, Tony Martin and Debbie Reynolds, but that light comedy about people who are involved with putting on a production of Hit The Deck, is significantly different from the original. ------------------------------------------
Victor Arden & Phil Ohman Orchestra was a dance band founded in 1925 by two talented pianists being very active in recording popular dance hits thru the decade of 1930s. In the beginning of their banleading career, Ohman and his partner Victor Arden held forth in the "pits" of many long-running Broadway hits, cutting a repertoire of mostly show tunes in a discography that was often available on the cheap, on ten-cent discs sold under the catchy identification as dimestore dance records. Before 1925, Ohman was a pianist in Paul Whiteman orchestra while Arden, called "King of the Piano Roll", was a major artist from the earliest days of recordings who behun his New York career as the creator of both piano rolls and piano transcriptions. In 1923, these two formed a piano duo gigging in many of the 52nd street clubs. Their first recording session under their combined names resulted in complex, showy piano performances such as "Dance of the Demon," "Raga Muffin," and "Canadian Capers". In 1924 they were hired for a new Broadway musical entitled Lady Be Good, destined to be a grand hit. Other shows such as Tip Toes and Spring Is Here followed. It was radio broadcasts that created national fame for the Arden-Ohman Orchestra.