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Movie Musicals—Gold Diggers on Broadway

At the Knott House, most of the sheet music is classical, but as luck would have it, the sheet music for the popular song “Painting the Clouds with Sunshine” matches one of the records in the collection. Give it a listen:…/78_painting-the-clouds-with-sunshine_…

This is the second example of a record with matching sheet music that has turned up at the Knott house. The song on the other side, Tiptoe through the Tulips is more familiar today:…/78_tip-toe-thru-the-tulips-with-me_ni…

Both tunes are from the 1929 color talking picture Gold Diggers of Broadway. In 1929, sound and color in film were both advanced technologies. The color process only used two colors and produced murky images; as a result, the film was incapable of carrying a soundtrack. The sound was provided by synchronizing recordings with the film, a technology marketed as Vitaphone.

Nick Lucas sings and plays the guitar on the record and in the movie. Most of the film has been lost but the “Tiptoe through the Tulips” scene has survived and can still be enjoyed online:

The recording and the sheet music of “Painting the Clouds with Sunshine” date from the same time period as the movie. This must have been popular around the house, being played both on the Victrola and piano.