Saturday, January 11, 2014

Dance the Cuckoo for Ollies Birthday Laurel and Hardy Week

Laurel and Hardy dancing all week photo
Ready to shake your tail feathers?? It's a great week to dance with Laurel and Hardy.

Norvell Oliver "Ollie" Hardy was born January 18, 1892 in Harlem, Georgia.

He started out as a projectionist and made his first movie in 1914.

In 1929, he appeared in a feature with new partner, Stan Laurel.

They were in one of the revue sequences of Hollywood Revue of 1929.

Cuckoo Dancing Week is traditionally celebrated January 11-17.

There are people who like to cram all their kookiness into one day and celebrate on January 13th only. Sometimes this time of year, people get a little blue. We need a pick me up. What better than a Laurel and Hardy Cuckoo dance to do the trick?!

This week is all in tribute to Laurel and Hardy.

The duo's famous signature tune, known variously as The Cuckoo Song, Ku-Ku or The Dance of the Cuckoos. The song was composed by Roach musical director Marvin Hatley.

The tune was composed by Hal Roach musical director Marvin Hatley as the on-the-hour chime for the Roach studio radio station. It was first heard on the opening credits for Blotto (1930, released by MGM) and the Spanish version of Night Owls (1930).

When you look at the music cue sheet for the Laurel and Hardy Talkie Short, Blotto, you do in fact see the song listed.

Some of the songs included...
Metro-Goldwyn Fanfare by Dr. William Axt
Ku-Ku by Marvin Hatley
Cuckoo Watlz by Nathaniel Shilkret
Other songs such as Yoo Hoo, Hot and Dry, Doin' the New Low Down, Frolic and Too Much Mustard.
Laurel and Hardy 8x10 Movie Still Photo #6 - Mint Condition

I read that Stan Laurel believed the song's melody represented Hardy's on-screen character (pompous and dramatic), while the harmony represented Laurel's own character (somewhat out of key, and only able to register two notes: "coo-coo").

A compilation of songs from their films, Trail of the Lonesome Pine, was released in 1975. The title track was released as a single in the UK and reached #2 in the charts.It's available in CD or MP3 formats.

The Flying Deuces 1939. Ollie sings Harvest Moon. 
We get to see some of their toe-tapping and terpsichore.

In Harlem, Georgia early October each year you can visit the Oliver Hardy Festival. They have different activities including an Oliver Hardy Lookalike Contest.

Stan Laurel was born June 16, 1890 in Ulverston the South Lakeland district of Cumbria  (then called Lancashire) in North West England. There's a plaque on the home where he was born. The house in Georgia where Oliver Hardy was born is no longer standing but there is a plaque on the spot where the house once stood.

The annual Laurel and Hardy Sons of the Desert convention is scheduled this year (2014) to be held in Hollywood in July. Thanks to a couple of fans who sent in that information. I believe there's also a European convention.

The book, Moving Pictures and Classic Images: Memories of Forty Years in the Vintage Film Hobby ... by Samuel K. Rubin gives some background on film festivals and fan conventions including this one.

Related Pages of Interest:

Laurel and Hardy Put the pants on Philip

Step Into Character Mary Poppins Dick Van Dyke

In honor of Ray Charles and Paul Henreid!
Keep Shaking Your Tail Feathers, cats and chicks
from The Blues Brothers

Laurel and Hardy stan t-shirt by anna-marie bush
Laurel and Hardy Stan t-shirt by anna-marie bush Choose your style, size, etc by ambushdesignsuk
Create photo t-shirts from

Thanks to Laurel and, Wikipedia

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