The Golden Age of Hollywood points to a period in the history of American music that had never happened before and will never happen again. Songwriters from Tin Pan Alley and Broadway flocked to Hollywood to write tunes for the movies and studios had purchased the holdings of two major publishing houses. Music filled the air and sheet music was everywhere - but audiences demanded variety; not every film could be a musical. What better way to realistically add songs to a movie than by including a nightclub scene?
In celebration of the twentieth anniversary of the Dorothy Starr Sheet Music Collection at the SFPL, Janet Roitz and Sean Martinfield present Ladies of the Nightclubs, a talk exploring songs from night club scenes in classic Hollywood films. This presentation will highlight nightclub scenes and songs from four films set in San Francisco: Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967), Nora Prentiss (1947), Wharf Angel (1934) and San Francisco (1936). Roitz and Martinfield will preview their research documenting nightclub scenes as the iconic device for integrating songs into non-musical films during Hollywood’s golden age.
The Dorothy Starr Collection has been and invaluable resource for Roitz
and Martinfie;d in their research. As Roitz says, “If Dorothy doesn’t
have the sheet music, I’m going to have to really do some excavating!”
Ladis of the Nightclubs will be presented at 6 PM, Tuesday night, May 10, 2016 in the Koret Auditorium at the Main Library. The Art, Music and Recreation Center on the Main Library's Fourth Floor is also presenting a display of sheet music covers, Dorothy Starr by Decade, through June 30, 2016.
All Library programs are free and open to the public.
Sean Martinfield is a native San Franciscan. As a professional singer, he juggled his day job as the Cantor at the Holy Name of Jesus Church in the outer sunset with his duties at as the MC at the famed North Beach nightclub, Finocchios. Sean has been a vocal coach to Bay Area singers and actors since 1983. As a writer, Sean has been covering the San Francisco cultural scene since 2005. He currently contributes to the HuffingtonPost – interviewing the singers, musicians, choreographers and conductors associated with the San Francisco Symphony, Opera and Ballet. For FabulousFilmSongs, Sean contributes articles and commentary about the singers and songs of classic Hollywood.
Janet Roitz is the creator of the website FabulousFilmSongs. She is a singer and actor and also serves as a teacher, choreographer and Program Administrator for Rhythm and Motion dance program in San Francisco. Janet is one half of the recording duo, Tumble & Ruff whose versions of pop tunes from the sixties and seventies can be found on the YouTube channel, Pop Song of the Month Club.