Mel B. Kaufman Music - Vitaphone, Cue Sheets, Film Usage etc

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Andrew Greene

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Mel B. Kaufman Music - Vitaphone, Cue Sheets, Film Usage etc

PostThu Feb 14, 2013 8:04 am

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Richard Finegan

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Re: Mel Kaufman Music - Vitaphone, Cue Sheets, Film Usage et

PostFri Feb 15, 2013 7:32 am

Andrew,
I had been intending to get back to you about my Mel Kaufman research. Sorry to take so long.
I've been a fan of Mel Kaufman's music for a long time and have been collecting records, sheet music, and anything else on him for many years.
Way back in the 1970's when I started noticing the tunes "Me-ow" and "Taxi" turning up in different films such as Warner Bros. cartoons and Hal Roach films I decided to try to find out who this guy was who wrote those songs and what else did he write. And also starting way back then I began compiling lists of every film I heard his music in. My list now consists of about 230 different films in which Mel Kaufman's music is used.
Here's a breakdown by song title:
Beat It - 2 films.
Bing Bing - 1 film.
Cheer Up - 13 films.
Corn Huskers - 5 films.
Gang Way - 3 films.
Happy Go Lucky - 6 films.
Heads Up - 2 films.
Here We Go - 8 films.
Hop To It - 3 films.
Introduce Me - 1 film.
Listen To This - 5 films.
Lucky Dog - 5 films.
Maria - 10 films.
Me-ow - 45 films.
More Candy - 4 films.
On The Dot - 1 film.
Ouch! - 13 films.
Pack Me Up In Your Heart - 1 film.
Pins And Needles - 11 films.
Play Ball - 13 films.
Reel News - 8 films.
Saucy - 3 films.
Shoot - 8 films.
Step On It - 13 films.
Step With Pep - 5 films.
Stick In The Mud - 4 films.
Stop It! - 13 films.
Strawberries - 6 films.
Taxi - 14 films.
Warming Up - 7 films.

No known film usage:
Come Across
C.O.D. Come On Dance.
Frisky.
Good Scout.
I'm A Sentimental Dreamer.
It's A Bird.
Magnolia Bloom.
Muslin Rag.
Persian Moon.
Pick A Chicken.
Squidulum.
Umbrellas To Mend.
Yah-De Dah.
This is literally decades of research, adding titles one at a time as learned, but I'll be glad to share it with you.

I also do have a lot of info on the Victor Pict-Ur Records of Kaufman's compositions, and recordings of many of them.

That's great that you're in touch with members of Kaufman's family. I've always wondered who is left and if they're interested in Mel's work, and if they'd like to know that there are fans and collectors of his music.

Some Mel Kaufman trivia for you to ponder:
What film contains the most Mel Kaufman compositions (ten different in one film! with some repeated for a grand total of 16)?
I found another film that contains six different Kaufman selections. Do you know what that one is?
Last edited by Richard Finegan on Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Andrew Greene

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Re: Mel B. Kaufman Music - Vitaphone, Cue Sheets, Film Usage

PostFri Feb 15, 2013 8:17 am

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Re: Mel Kaufman Music - Vitaphone, Cue Sheets, Film Usage et

PostFri Feb 15, 2013 9:53 am

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Richard Finegan

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Re: Mel Kaufman Music - Vitaphone, Cue Sheets, Film Usage et

PostTue Feb 19, 2013 1:01 am

Andrew Greene wrote:
Richard Finegan wrote:Some Mel Kaufman trivia for you to ponder:
What film contains the most Mel Kaufman compositions (ten different in one film! with some repeated for a grand total of 16)?
I found another film that contains six different Kaufman selections. Do you know what that one is?


I know the first one, but not all the songs.

Spite Marriage (1929) starring Buster Keaton. The songs are:
Step With Pep (1916)
Ouch! (1924)
Happy Go Lucky (1924)
Here We Go (1929)
Step on It (1927)
Pins And Needles (1927)
Lucky Dog: Bow Wow One Step (1928)
Shoot! One Step (1928)

I heard two others that sounded Kaufman-esque, but I didn't find them in the sheet music I have. A rough guess would be either Reel News (1928), Cheer Up (1928), or Gangway (1926) for the others.

The second one has me thinking, but I can't think of it off the top of my head.


Yes, SPITE MARRIAGE has ten different Mel Kaufman tunes:
Here we Go
Step with Pep
Cheer Up
Ouch!
Happy Go Lucky (used 3 times)
Lucky Dog (used 2 times)
Step On It
Pins and Needles (used 3 times)
Maria (used 2 times)
Shoot.

Second behind that one, for number of Kaufman tunes with six, is HIS LUCKY DAY (1929) - Universal feature.
It contains:
Me-ow
Saucy
Heads Up (used 2 times)
Whoop-ee
Here we Go
Stick in the Mud.

More Mel trivia:
What is ironic about him passing away in 1932?
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Re: Mel Kaufman Music - Vitaphone, Cue Sheets, Film Usage et

PostTue Feb 19, 2013 7:37 am

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Richard Finegan

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Re: Mel B. Kaufman

PostWed Feb 20, 2013 5:07 am

What was ironic about Mel Kaufman passing away in early 1932 was that after all those hundreds of random films in which his music was used, he died just in time to miss one of his tunes being chosen to be the theme music for a comedy shorts series: The Taxi Boys series (Hal Roach, 1932-1933). And the tume: "Taxi" of course. The first of the shorts to use the tune was filmed in late June to early July 1932 and released August 13, 1932. (One short was filmed earlier but released later).
Turns out they ended up using his music for just the first three shorts in the series, but I've wondered if he knew it was being planned.
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Re: Mel B. Kaufman

PostWed Feb 20, 2013 12:59 pm

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Re: Mel B. Kaufman Music

PostThu Feb 21, 2013 12:24 am

Here's one of my favorites from my Mel Kaufman 78 collection:
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Step With Pep (1917) - Emerson Military Band (Melville Kaufman) medium.jpg
Step With Pep (1917) - Emerson Military Band (Melville Kaufman) medium.jpg (149.6 KiB) Viewed 1609 times
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Richard Finegan

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Re: Mel B. Kaufman Music

PostFri Feb 22, 2013 7:08 am

Another unusual Mel Kaufman 78:
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Little Wonder 1037 - Mel Kaufman - Stick in the Mud (1918).jpg
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Andrew Greene

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Re: Mel B. Kaufman Music

PostFri Feb 22, 2013 8:48 am

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Re: Mel B. Kaufman Music - Vitaphone, Cue Sheets, Film Usage

PostMon Feb 25, 2013 8:22 am

Coming late to this party... about the only recorded score we've used Mel Kaufman in is the recent Kino Sherlock Jr., with "Taxi" being the least familiar in a montage of intentionally familiar music in the film-in-film sequence. "Taxi," of course, when he suddenly finds himself in a busy street (for about sixteen bars of music). Our collection also includes a few other Kaufmans:

Shoot
Umbrellas to Mend
Listen to This!
Taxi! (I also have this as piano sheet music, with quite an arresting cover illustration).
Stop it!

The National Library of Australia shows 48 hits under Mel Kaufman, some may be doubles but I'll let you look through. They've been very helpful about sending PDF scans of scores for a reasonable fee.

The University of North Texas lists 35 hits..

Drake University has a few, including Beat it By Me, Play Ball, Shoot, Happy Go Lucky, Strawberries, Ouch!, and Reel News.
Rodney Sauer
The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra
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"Let the Music do the Talking!"
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Re: Mel B. Kaufman Music - Vitaphone, Cue Sheets, Film Usage

PostThu Feb 28, 2013 10:45 am

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