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Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?

Sleepless Dad 04 Aug 03 - 10:39 PM
DonMeixner 04 Aug 03 - 10:49 PM
Cluin 04 Aug 03 - 11:05 PM
Kaleea 05 Aug 03 - 01:07 AM
musicmick 05 Aug 03 - 02:02 AM
alanabit 05 Aug 03 - 02:54 AM
Leadfingers 05 Aug 03 - 03:00 AM
Murray MacLeod 05 Aug 03 - 03:37 AM
Margret RoadKnight 05 Aug 03 - 04:03 AM
Steve-o 05 Aug 03 - 02:40 PM
GUEST,pdq 05 Aug 03 - 03:09 PM
fat B****rd 05 Aug 03 - 03:25 PM
GUEST,mg 05 Aug 03 - 03:39 PM
GUEST,mg 05 Aug 03 - 03:40 PM
Murray MacLeod 05 Aug 03 - 04:21 PM
Wesley S 05 Aug 03 - 05:09 PM
Murray MacLeod 05 Aug 03 - 05:21 PM
PoppaGator 05 Aug 03 - 05:37 PM
musicmick 05 Aug 03 - 05:40 PM
Wesley S 05 Aug 03 - 05:44 PM
Don Firth 05 Aug 03 - 05:48 PM
Jim Dixon 05 Aug 03 - 06:39 PM
DonMeixner 05 Aug 03 - 06:55 PM
Murray MacLeod 05 Aug 03 - 07:10 PM
Jim Dixon 05 Aug 03 - 07:25 PM
GUEST 05 Aug 03 - 08:55 PM
Deckman 05 Aug 03 - 09:05 PM
Margret RoadKnight 05 Aug 03 - 09:36 PM
Steve Parkes 06 Aug 03 - 05:20 AM
Steve Parkes 06 Aug 03 - 05:23 AM
GUEST 06 Aug 03 - 10:08 AM
Dave Swan 06 Aug 03 - 11:24 AM
greg stephens 06 Aug 03 - 11:33 AM
curmudgeon 06 Aug 03 - 12:23 PM
Bert 06 Aug 03 - 12:38 PM
musicmick 06 Aug 03 - 05:23 PM
Gene 06 Aug 03 - 09:47 PM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 07 Aug 03 - 04:14 PM
Steve Parkes 08 Aug 03 - 03:44 AM
GUEST 08 Aug 03 - 04:02 AM
Steve Parkes 08 Aug 03 - 05:12 AM
Peter T. 08 Aug 03 - 04:40 PM
Amos 08 Aug 03 - 05:04 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 08 Aug 03 - 05:37 PM
Jim Dixon 08 Aug 03 - 06:29 PM
CraigS 08 Aug 03 - 06:35 PM
X 08 Aug 03 - 09:21 PM
RangerSteve 09 Aug 03 - 06:27 AM
X 09 Aug 03 - 01:14 PM
GUEST,pdq 09 Aug 03 - 03:20 PM
Jim Dixon 11 Aug 03 - 06:42 PM
GUEST,Hali'a 24 Jul 08 - 02:41 AM
PoppaGator 24 Jul 08 - 12:20 PM
PoppaGator 24 Jul 08 - 12:25 PM
GUEST,Neil D 24 Jul 08 - 12:33 PM
SINSULL 24 Jul 08 - 12:34 PM
frogprince 24 Jul 08 - 12:37 PM
PoppaGator 24 Jul 08 - 03:17 PM
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Stringsinger 29 Jul 08 - 12:29 PM
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Subject: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: Sleepless Dad
Date: 04 Aug 03 - 10:39 PM

There was a short retrospective about Jimmy Cagney on TV last night. While they were showing a bunch of still photos there was a very clear shot of Cagney making a classic bar F chord on a Martin. I'm guessing it was a 000 from the shape of it. It was sunburst with the 45 style of Martin logo printed down the center of the head. Has anyone heard the Cagney was a guitar player ?

I guess that I'm always suprised to see a movie star holding an instrument that looks like they know what they're doing. Kurt Douglas and Audrie Hepburn also come to mind.


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: DonMeixner
Date: 04 Aug 03 - 10:49 PM

Grouch Marx was a fine guitarist. Dennis Quade is pretty good. Steve Martin is a world class banjo player and Sen. Robert Byrd does pretty OK on the fiddle. Talent abounds out there. But I must admit I get a little torqued when someone obviously fakes it when there are talented musician / actors about.

Don


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: Cluin
Date: 04 Aug 03 - 11:05 PM

Alan Arkin


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: Kaleea
Date: 05 Aug 03 - 01:07 AM

I recall reading an autobiography by an oldtime Hollywood actor--can't remember exactly which one--who told of a time when he & some of the boys (actors) from the studio, James Cagney included, the girls would be provided, were at so & so the big hollywood leading man's house, & James Stuart & can't remember who else seated playing the Piano, Jimmy Cagney brought his guitar, & assorted starlets (up & coming actress) & actors singing. I knew that Jimmy Stuart played piano from the Johnny Carson "Tonight Show" but had not known about Cagney. I suppose that since I play both piano & guitar, it stuck in my mind. Either that or I had never thought of Cagney as a guitarist--why? Could it be that I'd never seen him with a musical instrument 'cept for his feet & singing.
Other rarely know musicians include :
Phyllis Diller was a terrific classical pianist. Charro (yes, the coohchiecoohchie girl) was raised in a nunnery in Brazil & is a good guitarist--plays quite good "classical" style Spanish music! Cindi Lauper plays the Mountain Dulcimer. Funny how we seem to put entertainers into a category & are shocked when we find they have fine talents we knew nothing of.


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: musicmick
Date: 05 Aug 03 - 02:02 AM

Steve Martin plays decent three finger banjo. Much more impressive was Dudley Moore. He may well have been the best Jazz pianist I have ever heard.(He worked with John Dankworth and Cleo Laine). Jack Lemon was a professional pianist and Fred MacMurry put himself through college playing the saxophone. Groucho Marx played classical guitar and took lessons from Segovia.
Did Kirk Douglas really play the guitar in "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea"? I loved that song he sang, "Whale of a Tale". Alan Arkin was in a folk group with Lee Hayes. Mickey Rooney was a dynamite drummer.
My favorite celebrity-musician sighting was on the old TONIGHT SHOW, when Maurie Wills, he played shorstop for the Dodgers, did a few fast numbers on tenor banjo. Hey, he was better than George Segal.


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: alanabit
Date: 05 Aug 03 - 02:54 AM

To my surprise, I stumbled across a recording of Robert Mitchum singing and playing jazz piano - and it wasn't bad at all. I don't know about Cagney though. I am sure if we keep this thread up for a day or two that someone will enlighten us.


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 05 Aug 03 - 03:00 AM

And David Kossoff of one man show chat fame was a brilliant Jazz pianist.


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 05 Aug 03 - 03:37 AM

Groucho took lessons from Segovia ? I would like to see further confirmation of that.

I remember clearly from Groucho's autobiography, he recounted how he invited Segovia round to his house and handed him his prized Gibson f-hole steel-strung to play. Segovia strummed a couple of chords and handed it back saying it hurt his fingertips.

Groucho sold the Gibson the following day, as I recollect, and bought a top of the range classical guitar.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: Margret RoadKnight
Date: 05 Aug 03 - 04:03 AM

Robin Williams plays good harp (saw him uncharacteristically restrained when sitting in with, of all people, Kinky Freidman at NY's Lone Star Cafe in the '80s).
Theodore Bikel was an Academy Award nominee.
Yul Brynner played guitar.


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: Steve-o
Date: 05 Aug 03 - 02:40 PM

Martin Mull is a fine "jazz-style" guitarist. All the guys in the famous Carradine acting family are good guitarists (I believe David is currently out touring with his rock band). Of course, all the actors in "A Mighty Wind" did pretty serviceable jobs on their instruments, too. I would have loved to see and hear Cagney play guitar- especially if he also sang along!!


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: GUEST,pdq
Date: 05 Aug 03 - 03:09 PM

The Three Stooges made a nice little string band with Moe on guitar, Larry on fiddle and Curly on bass. Larry was considered a good musician.

Even stranger is the thought of cowboy/actor Gary Cooper playing Hawaiian slide guitar, which he did in the late 1920's.


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: fat B****rd
Date: 05 Aug 03 - 03:25 PM

Good thread, Peter Sellers was a most proficient drummer.


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 05 Aug 03 - 03:39 PM

Al Gore is a beautiful singer. I heard him sing a bit of a Christmas carol on TV..mg


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 05 Aug 03 - 03:40 PM

Plus I keep hearing Teddy Kennedy is great for the old Irish-American songs..never heard him sing though. mg


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 05 Aug 03 - 04:21 PM

George Bush does a phenomenal version of "All Along the Watchtower", playing the Stratocaster with his teeth just like Jimi, and when you hear Janet Reno sing "Me and Bobbie McGee" you would swear Janice had been reincarnated.

Don't even get me started on Tony Blair's rendition of "Whole Lotta Love". ...

Murray


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: Wesley S
Date: 05 Aug 03 - 05:09 PM

Getting back to reality Murray - I have seen Kurt Douglas in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea playing some kind of Hollywood style uke made out of a turtle. It was obvious that he was playing some kind of actual chords - I think they were uke chords but I don't play one so I'm just gussing.


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 05 Aug 03 - 05:21 PM

In all seriousness, Wesley, this thread is worth keeping alive so that such instances can be noted and recorded. I am racking my brains to try and think of some more examples, but I can't.

I do remember that in "From Here to Eternity" one of the soldiers in Frank's platoon was an excellent guitar picker . Sounded just like Merle Travis ....

Murray


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 05 Aug 03 - 05:37 PM

Did Sinatra do his own singing in FHTE? heh heh.

Johnny Carson was/is a decent drummer who idolized Buddy Rich (which is why Buddy as such a frequent guest).

Don't get me started on Bruce Willis...or Dan Ackroyd, John Goodman, etc.


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: musicmick
Date: 05 Aug 03 - 05:40 PM

Speaking of non-playing musicians, do you remember when Walter Brennan pretended to play back up harmonica for Dean Martin and Ricky Nelson in "Rio Bravo"?
Another decent classical guitarist was Hugh Downs.


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: Wesley S
Date: 05 Aug 03 - 05:44 PM

Ah but the image of Audry Hepburn playing a guitar in a dark room ....

Beat me,whip me, make me write hot checks.


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: Don Firth
Date: 05 Aug 03 - 05:48 PM

During the Seattle World's Fair in 1962 I had occasion to meet and talk with Hugh Downs' son (sixteen years old at the time). He told me that his father was a pretty good classic guitarist, and owned a Manual Velazques guitar (same kind that Richard Dyer-Bennet played). That's a very seriously good classic guitar.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 05 Aug 03 - 06:39 PM

Arnold Schwarzenegger plays the fiddle, and did so in an early movie, "Stay Hungry."


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: DonMeixner
Date: 05 Aug 03 - 06:55 PM

Murray,

You are kidding? Aren't you?

Don


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 05 Aug 03 - 07:10 PM

I'm kidding, Don.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 05 Aug 03 - 07:25 PM

Alistair Cooke, former host of PBS' "Masterpiece Theatre", and American correspondent for the BBC, played blues/jazz piano and sang. I believe my local PBS station has played a recording of him singing and playing "Basin Street Blues".

Here's a quote:
    Yes, I cannot imagine life without music. I just had a feel for it as a boy. We had a piano. My brother learned to play it and learned music - which I thought was magical. I immediately started to pick out stuff for myself.

    I had a feel for harmony and at some point when I had made the recording, 'This Evening at the Piano,' - which I did about 40 years ago - I decided to take lessons. My teacher was rather famous and terribly attractive. I was hopeless.

    To this day a musical notation is really a bunch of houseflies on telegraph poles. I have no idea what they mean.

    I am deeply stupid about converting them into chords. However, I learnt entirely by ear and picked up classical music by composers such as pieces by Beethoven.

    Then, of course, I got interested in jazz while I was in Cambridge.


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Aug 03 - 08:55 PM

Hal Linden and Peter Graves both played clarinet and Fred MacMurray played sax, all in well-known Big Bands. Clint Eastwood tried to be professional jazz piano player at one time but wised-up. Burl Ives and Alan Arkin, on the other hand, were folkies and they really could act. One or both were nominated for the Oscar. And then there is Lou Gossett, Jr., etc....


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: Deckman
Date: 05 Aug 03 - 09:05 PM

About 1959 I bought a little ten inch LP record titled "Folk Songs, Once Over Lightly." It was the first time I'd ever heard of Alan Arkin. Very Good. I still have it and play it occasionally! CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: Margret RoadKnight
Date: 05 Aug 03 - 09:36 PM

Hoyt Axton straddled both fields mightily


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 06 Aug 03 - 05:20 AM

Chico Marx played the piano and harpo played the harp. What -- you knew that?

Bob Hope didn't play the concertina! Charles Chaplin played the piano and violin (and probably a few other things), and Ol' Stoneface (what's his name?) played the piano too.

Up until the 1960s many homes had a piano, and an awful lot of people had lessons. It's not surprising that many would-be entertainers could play, whether well or otherwise, and that some of themrealy did become stars.

Steve

PS Bill Clinton plays the saxophone and Tony Bair plays electric guitar. I suppose you all knew that too! Cherie Blair can't sing(and she'll be breaking the law if she tries it back home!)


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 06 Aug 03 - 05:23 AM

More glaringly obvious info:
The joanna is a good instrument for faking in a movie: if the actor can play, you'll see their whole body as they do so; otherwise, you won't see the hands on the keys and the face talking at the same time.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Aug 03 - 10:08 AM

Jimmy Durante played piano in the Memphis Five without leaving New Joisey!


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: Dave Swan
Date: 06 Aug 03 - 11:24 AM

Peter Sellars played uke. Dub Taylor (character actor often confused with Strother Martin) would, as he put it, "tear off a little piece" on the xylophone.


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: greg stephens
Date: 06 Aug 03 - 11:33 AM

I have a tape of the poet Robert Graves doing a bit of folk singing.


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: curmudgeon
Date: 06 Aug 03 - 12:23 PM

Gen. Norman Schwartzkopf plays the autoharp. And if I recall correctly, Allan Arkin did some backup for Ed McCurdy on the "Dalliance" series.


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: Bert
Date: 06 Aug 03 - 12:38 PM

I THINK Michael J Fox was playing the guitar in one of those Back to the future movies.

John Cassavetes had a whole TV series about a Jazz musician in "Johnny Staccato"


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: musicmick
Date: 06 Aug 03 - 05:23 PM

It was the first "Back To The Future". He was doing the whole Chuck Berry routine. It sure looked like he was playing. Maybe, I got fooled by the duck walk.


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: Gene
Date: 06 Aug 03 - 09:47 PM

Audie Murphy was musically talented - and was quite successful as a songwriter.

Often teaming up with other talented artists and composers such as Guy Mitchell, Jimmy Bryant, Scott Turner, Coy Ziegler, or Terri Eddleman.

Dozens of Audie Murphy's songs were recorded and released by such great performers as Dean Martin, Eddy Arnold, Charley Pride, Jimmy Bryant, Porter Waggoner, Jerry Wallace, Roy Clark, Harry Nilsson and many, many others.

His two biggest hits were Shutters and Boards and When the Wind Blows in Chicago.

Eddy Arnold recorded When the Wind Blows in Chicago for his 1993 album Last of the Love Song Singers.

======================================

RE: Martin Mull in an previous post---

Martin Mull wrote a sequel to 'A BOY NAMED SUE'

Titled: 'A Girl Named Johnny Cash' - recorded by Jane Morgan.

'


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 07 Aug 03 - 04:14 PM

(Herself is logged on,I'm too lazy to change my cookie). Dudley Moore was an organ scholar at University and a musician first until brought into Comedy via the Footlights and then Beyond the Fringe. Continued to play Bach and jazz throughout his career.

RtS


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 08 Aug 03 - 03:44 AM

Peter Sellers played drums Spike Milligan played a mean trumpet and a generous guitar. They both played in bands during their War Service, and played together (with one or two others) after the war, before they became professional comics.

Dear old Roy Castle went the other way: he could play anything (literally!) and made his way into stage and film acting.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Aug 03 - 04:02 AM

Woody Allen leads a jazz band on clarinet, Harry H.Corbett (Harold Steptoe)sang sea shanties on early 60's HMV folk LP's (anyone remember him in a club?). Ronnie Scott once said- "Marilyn Monroe came in the club the other night, she didn't play anything but then she didn't have to"


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 08 Aug 03 - 05:12 AM

And who can forget the late great Bob Arnold's (Tom Forest in The Archers) many recordings of tradiotonal songs?


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: Peter T.
Date: 08 Aug 03 - 04:40 PM

Julia Roberts knits. yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: Amos
Date: 08 Aug 03 - 05:04 PM

Steve Martin was an organ scholar, too, I believe....


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 08 Aug 03 - 05:37 PM

Martin Mull worked the southern California music club circuit in the early 70's with sort of a hybrid standup comedy/music act. His presence in that scene is mentioned in Peter Rowan's song "Lonesome L.A. Cowboy".


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 08 Aug 03 - 06:29 PM

I think Jerry Van Dyke, brother of Dick Van Dyke, who is also a comic actor (he was the sidekick in the TV series "Coach"), plays guitar and sings and had a couple of hit novelty records back in the 60s.

Charlie Chaplin composed music to accompany his silent movies, and you can buy albums of his music – called by the slight misnomer "soundtrack albums".

Steve Allen played piano and composed lots of music.

Robert Duvall did his own singing in, and some songwriting for, "Tender Mercies."

Slightly off-topic: Dwight Yoakam is a decent actor and did a good job in "Sling Blade." (I see he has made several other movies, but I haven't seen them.) Willie Nelson was credible, though not very exciting, in "Honeysuckle Rose" and "Barbarosa." Paul Simon was quite good, I think, in "One Trick Pony." (Though the soundtrack album was a dud.) Courtney Love was excellent in "The People vs. Larry Flynt."

Neither here nor there: Harry Blackmun played a Supreme Court Justice in Amistad, and was suitably dignified. The wonder, of course, is that he did it at all.


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: CraigS
Date: 08 Aug 03 - 06:35 PM

Nobody's mentioned the Jordan F1 team band, with Eddie Jordan on drums and Damon Hill on guitar. Or those forgettable occasions when John MacEnroe got his Les Paul out for charitable purposes. Or Ron Atkinson, the soccer manager, doing his Sinatra impersonations (which would be quite good if there was an ounce of originality in them).Or those famous astronomers with composing and musical talents, William Herschel and Patrick Moore (plays a mean xylophone). Or those times that Dennis Healey played piano for the YTV Christmas pantomime (sorry, Tim, it had to come out). Or the best jazz guitarist that ever lived, Julian Bream. Or the famous Scottish fiddler, Charles Kennedy...


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: X
Date: 08 Aug 03 - 09:21 PM

Jerry Van Dyke played the tenor banjo and the gentleman who played the French POW on the TV show, "Hogans Heros," is 5-String picker. Sorry, I can't remember the actors name.


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: RangerSteve
Date: 09 Aug 03 - 06:27 AM

A friend of a friend gave Mia Farrow ukelele lessons for "Purple Rose of Cairo", so I guess she's really playing in that film.

Andrew Jackson played the banjo. I don't suppose we'll ever know if he was any good.

Al Capone and "Machine Gun" Kelly played in a jazz combo while they were at Alcatraz. Kelly played drums and Al played tenor banjo. The banjo was reportedly studded with diamonds.


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: X
Date: 09 Aug 03 - 01:14 PM

If we're talking historical figures, Gen. U.S. Grant played a Martin guitar.


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: GUEST,pdq
Date: 09 Aug 03 - 03:20 PM

Andy Griffith, on his weekly T.V. show and home-spun morality play Mayberry R.F.D., hosted the bluegrass band The Dillards many times. They were called The Darlings on the show. Griffith has pulled out a guitar or ukelele on many T.V. shows and movies over the years, and can really play. He has a college degree in music and has taught theory at (at least) the highschool level.


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 11 Aug 03 - 06:42 PM

If you can, see the 1957 film "A Face in the Crowd." Andy Griffith not only shows his musical talent, but he shows a lot more acting talent than he is generally given credit for. He plays an obnoxious SOB, totally unlike Andy of Mayberry.


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: GUEST,Hali'a
Date: 24 Jul 08 - 02:41 AM

No one may still be reading this thread, but in case they do,
yes, James Cagney (who didn't like being called "Jimmy" - a diminutive used against his wishes by Warner Bros for marketing - he much
preferred plain "Jim")was an accomplished guitarist, and there are a number of surviving photos of him playing guitar (and at least one playing ukulele!)...at home, on various sets,
even off-set in Hawai'i. I believe his Gibson guitar was sold
at auction (Doyle) after his death. His training was classical. The real
Cagney was very unlike his screen gangster persona...a talented amateur painter, cook, horseman, poet, and definitely much more than an
amateur musician. (A lot of piano-playing photos survive as well. Heard he played the drums, too.)


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 24 Jul 08 - 12:20 PM

Robert Mitchum is mentioned above ss a piano player, just once and briefly. I know that he wrote the theme song for one of his films, "Thunder Road." The movie is about hot-rodding moonshiners in the South, and the song has a sort of Southern Appalachian flavor, so I had always assumed that Mitchum had written it on guitar. Maybe not, unless he "doubled" on guitar and piano..

Another actor/songwriter mentioned above is Charley Chaplin, but no one made mention of his most famous song, the wonderful "Smile (Though Your Heart is Breaking)."

I was interested to read the stories about Groucho Marx as a guitar player, especially the one where he met Segovia. Is it necessary to mention the intrumental talents of his two brothers? Probably not ~ their playing is featured in almost every Marx Brothers film: Harpo's very lyrical and classical-sytle work on the harp, and Chico's humorous and eccentric approach to the piano.

A couple of folks made note of Audrey Hepburn playing guitar in one of her movies. Which one, please? I missed that one...


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 24 Jul 08 - 12:25 PM

Oh yeah, one more thing:

I read or heard somewhere that the guitar player singing on the staircase during the "Animal House" toga party ~ upon whose head Beluschi busts his guitar ~ was none other than Chicago folk icon Steve Goodman.

I'm familiar with some of Steve's songs and know him by name and reputation, but never saw him in person and am not really able to recognize his face. Can anyone verify (or disprove) that he indeed played this tiny but very memorable cameo part?


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: GUEST,Neil D
Date: 24 Jul 08 - 12:33 PM

Peter Sellers is mentioned as both a ukelele player and drummer.
I've seen a picture of a ten year old Andy Irvine, who was a child actor, holding a guitar that Peter Sellers gave him when they were in a play together.


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: SINSULL
Date: 24 Jul 08 - 12:34 PM

No Poppa. It is another Steve:
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0084196/


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: frogprince
Date: 24 Jul 08 - 12:37 PM

Harpo Marx played the harp? Really?

We happened to catch "A Night at the Opera" on TV a few nights ago. It was the first time in years I had watched one of their movies, and heard him play. There's something about watching him do all that demented physical slapstick, and then sit down and play like some kind of angel.


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 24 Jul 08 - 03:17 PM

Absolutely right about Harpo ~ I couldn't have phrased it any better myself. (I know, because I tried!)

I saw "Night at the Opera" recently, too. We were probably watching TCM at the same time. I believe they showed it that night because the interview aired earlier that same evening featured Bill Murray talking about, among other things, his favorite moments in movie comedy ~ including that film's famous stateroom scene (where so many people are jammed into a tiny space).


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 25 Jul 08 - 03:25 AM

I remember seeing British actor Tom Conti play flamenco guitar on a number of chat shows years ago.


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: GUEST,alinact
Date: 26 Jul 08 - 11:02 PM

Jack Benny could actually play the violin, I believe!

Allan


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 27 Jul 08 - 04:10 PM

I've always been disappointed that Bing Crosby wasn't interviewed about the guitar. He played, of course, but, over the years, he had a stream of great guitarists backing him e.g Eddie Lang and Les Paul, to name but two. I believe Bing once made a trip to Paris to try to get Django to record with him, but, so the story goes, he couldn't find the elusive guitarist.


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 27 Jul 08 - 09:08 PM

Lee Harvey Oswald played keyboards in a rock combo. I know that because I saw a picture of it on the Internet.

Does anyone have a link?

Art


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: Greg B
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 03:32 PM

Peter Sellers is featured on uke on the 'Steeleye Span' version of
'New York Girls.' Uke and chatter, in fact.


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: goatfell
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 03:36 PM

who is this KURT DOUGLAS, I've heard of KIRK DOUGLAS though maybe that's his brother


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: GUEST,Fred
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 09:25 PM

I saw Marilyn Monroe,no less, in an oft-repeated rather gutsy film on British TV In which she,a kid and someone like Bob Mitchum end up on a raft(presumably having been sold down the river)with an inevitably wet blouse.
Anyway,she does a song with a spanish guitar and this time round I noticed she appeared to be fingering the,admittedly simple,chords properly.
Next time they show Some Like It Hot I'll see how she handles that uke rather than what normally catches the eye.
Fred


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: GUEST,Henri de tete-Vide
Date: 29 Jul 08 - 11:15 AM

Ronald Reagan played the American people for long enough.


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 29 Jul 08 - 12:11 PM

Marilyn Monroe was driven not only to be successful, to also to be a skilled and respected performer; consider her decision to leave Hollywood for New York for a while to study at the Actors Studio, which was widely ridiculed at the time.

I wouldn't be surprised if she learned those guitar chords specifically for that part, and learned them well. I've always assumed she was really playing the uke in "Some Like It Hot"; I'll try to watch more closely next time and make sure. One thing is very clear: she does her own singing in most if not all of her films, employing an unconventional but highly expressive and endearing vocal style.


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 29 Jul 08 - 12:29 PM

David Soul of "Starsky and Hutch", William Schallert of "Father Knows Best", the actress Bonnie Bedelia, "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" Arlene Golonka (from the Second City),
and I'll think of some more.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: GUEST,PeterL
Date: 29 Jul 08 - 01:00 PM

I seem to remember hearing Cagney was interested in the Uilleann Pipes, owned a full set (one of the US pipers has the set now I am told) and probably played them too.


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 29 Jul 08 - 01:39 PM

Audrey Hepburn played guitar (apparently) in "Breakfast at Tiffany's."
A name some older folk may recall is Cliff Edwards, a former vaudevillian and western movie sidekick of the forties. Once billed as Ukelele Ike, he was the voice of Jiminy Cricket in "Pinocchio" and sang the timeless "When You Wish Upon A Star." He and Judy Garland had somewhat parallel careers in that both were extraordinarily talented, very well liked in the movie community, but both were badly used and both undone by alcohol and/or drugs.


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: Dave Illingworth
Date: 29 Jul 08 - 02:10 PM

Ah, Cliff "Ukelele Ike" Edwards. Made some fine records - check out his 1928 "Stack O'Lee" - a very underrated singer. He sang
"Singin' in the rain" in the film HOLLYWOOD REVUE OF 1929, long before the later (but also good) Gene Kelly version.
He also recorded some risque (at the time) "party records", with such titles as "I'm a bear in a ladies boudoir", "I'm gonna give it to Mary with love" and "If you can't land her on the veranda".
He was upset that the record label of his biggest hit "When you wish
upon a star" bore the name Jiminy Cricket, and not his own.
Died penniless and forgotten in in a nursing home (1971) age 76.
But he had a colourful life, and the specialist record labels keep his great music available.


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: Wesley S
Date: 29 Jul 08 - 02:32 PM

I've seen photos of Martin Milner playing jazz guitar. I've heard he released a couple of records and considered a recording career before his acting took off.


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 29 Jul 08 - 03:00 PM

Audrey Hepburn had her singing dubbed in at least some of her her films, if not all of them, so I think it's likely that her instrumental musicianship may have been faked as well.

Well, I'm only absolutley sure that her singing was dubbed in My Fair Lady ~ I am not so sure about Breakfast at Tiffany's.

TMC aired a feature last night about Marnie Nixon, the dubbed-in offscreen voice of many Hollywood actresses in the 50s/60s/70s. She definitely sang for Natalie Wood in West Side Story and Hepburn in My Fair Lady, as well as several others I can't remember at the moment. (I only saw part of the TV feature, not all of it.) I'm fairly sure she sang for a number of animated characters in addition to providing her singing voice to subsuitutute for live actresses.

In some cases, the women for whom she substituted were decent singers, even in some cases having sung the roles onstage, and they were seriously miffed. Ms Nixon did not receive credit onscreen, but her conributions were not kept strictly secret, just downplayed and not widely publicized.


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: Greg B
Date: 29 Jul 08 - 03:19 PM

James Cagney Jr., the actor's adopted son, recorded with
Cliff Haslam et. al. on Folkways "Colonial and Revolutionary
Sea Songs."

Howzzat?

Some trivia is more trivial than others.


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 29 Jul 08 - 03:27 PM

Poppa Gator, I can attest that Marnie Nixon played guitar. I taught her years ago.
I also taught Carol Lawrence, the lead singer in "West Side Story" on Broadway.

Cliff Edwards was an established entertainer in his day. He was probably the first
person to introduce "scat singing" to the recording world prior to Louis Armstrong.
He introduced George and Ira Gershwin's famous song "Fascinatin' Rhythm".

Giselle MacKenzie was a great instrumentalist as well as a fine popular singer of her day.
She played violin extremely well (catch her YouTube with Jack Benny) and so there is
reason to believe she could play guitar as well. She played everything else.

Charo with Xavier Cugat was a fine flamenco player. But since we're talking about
actors or actresses per se we must include:

Sean Penn who played the Django wannabee although Howard Aldin did the soundtrack.

Of course Roy Rogers (Nee: Leonard Sly). Patti Andrews played uke in a movie but she might have been faking it. David Carradine must have learned some guitar to play
in "Bound For Glory".

Maybe we can come up with some more later.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 29 Jul 08 - 03:35 PM

Someone already mentioned that all the Carradine brothers can play. I believe that whichever one was in Altman's Nashville not only performed his featured song ("I'm Easy"), but wrote it as well.

Congrats on teaching Ms Nixon, Frank. Her work generally involved stand-up vocalizing accompanied by full orchestras, so she probably didn't use the guitar professionally very often if at all, but I'm sure she enjoyed it, and her obvious musical talent must have served her well as your student.


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: pdq
Date: 29 Jul 08 - 04:19 PM

"Lonesome George" Gobel is often thought of as a professional guest on shows like Johnny Carson, but he was star of his own The George Gobel Show from 1954-60. It was nationally rated Top 10 and had writers like Norman Lear and was directed by Freddie De Cordova, Carson's director. Gobel also gets feature and starring credit in about two dozen movies, but his early years were spent as a working musician at WLS (Chicago) show National Barn Dance. He was a good enough guitar player to have Gibson offer his special version of the Gibson L-5 jazz guitar (archtop) for public sale.


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: GUEST,Norman
Date: 29 Jul 08 - 09:20 PM

I recall seeing an old western on late night TV some years ago called 'Johnny Guitar' which starred Stirling Hayden and Joan Crawford. Hayden played a guitar, or did he?


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 30 Jul 08 - 09:49 AM

There is a version of the guitarists favourite Hesitation Blues in Jimmy's 1930 breakthrough movie Public Enemy.

Its being played by a piano player called Putty Nose. Then Jimmy shoots him during the performance.

Dirty rat....!


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: Big Mick
Date: 30 Jul 08 - 10:16 AM

I'm surprised no one has mentioned the actor Jeff Daniels. He is a great songwriter and folk style performer. When I was doing the two fundraisers for Utah Phillips, Jeff really wanted to be there but had prior committments. But he sent a major contribution and his best wishes. Actually he didn't want folks to know that he did this, but I feel it is important for folks to know that he put his money out to honor and help a fellow musician.

Great man, and very good musician,

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 30 Jul 08 - 11:36 AM

I knew that Jeff Daniels preferred living in Michigan to Hollywood, and that he maintains some kind of local community theater near his Michigan home, so I'm not too surprised that he has crossed paths with Big Mick. Didn't know about his musical background, though...


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 31 Jul 08 - 11:04 AM

Sterling Hayden, who was a maverick in many ways and a professional pain in the ass to Hollywood producers, was an accomplished musician, sailor and explorer. He was much happier doing almost anything else BUT acting, but the gigs paid for his other interests.


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 31 Jul 08 - 11:22 AM

Just watched The Gene Krupa Story last night, starring Sal Mineo. It sure looked to me like Sal was doing his own drumming ~ that would be hard to fake, after all ~ but in the big on-stage performace near the end of the film, it looked like it might have been faked; audio and video didn't seem to synch as perfectly as in the eaalier sequences.

Maybe Sal was a good enough drummer to actually play all but the most demanding parts ~ ??


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Subject: RE: Jimmy Cagney - guitar player ?
From: Ernest
Date: 31 Jul 08 - 01:52 PM

Sam Shepard played drums with the Holy Modal Rounders.

On songs/tunes that ... well ... came from the folk repertoire (Indian War Whoop, Soldiers Joy).

Best
Ernest


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