[Dixielandjazz] Comedian Harmonists

Anton Crouch a.crouch@unsw.edu.au
Sat, 07 Sep 2002 20:48:07 +1000

Hello all

I agree with Henry S in his enthusiasm for the movie "Comedian Harmonists",
directed by Joseph Vilsmaier,1997. The group was formed a good 10 years
earlier than Henry suggests however - in late 1927 - early 1928, in Berlin.

The a capella sextet was based on the American quartet The Revellers and,
indeed, was initially called The German Revellers. They made their first
records in May 1928 and were an enormous success for many years, even
during the early stages of the Nazi regime. The 3 Jewish members left in
1935 and the group continued, with racially acceptable replacements, as the
Master Sextet. The new group was not as well received as the old and I've
sometimes wondered if any members of the "master race" appreciated the
irony of the name change.

The Comedian Harmonists were not as hot as the Mills Brothers but their
vocal imitation of instruments was equally accomplished.

All the best