Charlie Poole (1892-1931)

Open, general discussion of music during the era of classic/nitrate movies
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Charlie Poole (1892-1931)

PostFri Sep 29, 2017 9:40 am

With the realization that this might be quite the obscure question...

I have read more than once that a cause of this musician's death was a drinking spree brought on by receipt of a letter from a film studio late winter/early spring 1931 that he (or he and what presumably was his working band) was invited to Hollywood to provide music for a western. This was apparently quite welcome as Poole hadn't recorded since the preceding September.

I have watched a fair number of westerns from 1931, and, assuming that his death in May caused another group to be substituted for Poole's Ramblers, I really have no idea what studio could have contacted him. There is singing in Maynard's 1929-30 Universal westerns, and in several of Bob Steele's 1930 Tiffany efforts, but by 1931, there was less instrumental music in B-westerns, aside from Tom Tyler's West of Cheyenne, but that was released in March 1931, and thus pre-dates the letter.

I did recently watch two Bob Custer films, Headin' For Trouble and Quick Trigger Lee, which were released in the late summer/early fall of 1931, and are possibilities, as there are musical numbers in each by a group (including someone playing a cello in the latter film!) but would rinky-dink Big 4 have made an offer to a known recording artist such as Charlie Poole to provide a few musical numbers for Bob Custer westerns? That doesn't quite sound right.

In any case, if anyone has an interest in/knowledge of Charlie Poole, I thought I'd ask. Supposedly, his spree lasted ten weeks(!), so that means receipt of the letter in late winter. I guess the studio wasn't in any rush for him to show up if he had that much time to drink so much and so often.

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