Citizen Kane: Who sings "In a Mizz"?

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Posted (edited)

Kane puts on a beach party and the scene opens with a Black man singing a song that haunted me for years. I didn't know what it was and neither did any of the film scholars I asked. Then I bought The Chronogical Duke Ellington 1939 vol 2 and the first cut was Ivie Anderson singing that very song: In a Mizz. So now I'm trying to figure out who sings it in the film. IMDB lists what seems like a 100 small parts from Kane (did you know that Nat Cole is the off screen piano player in one scene?) but doesn't list the name of the singer of In a Mizz (or perhaps identifies him in a way so I couldn't tell).

Anyone recognize him?

Edited by medjuck

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Posted

I don't have access to the film at the moment, but the following information from an on-line version of Meeker's "Jazz on the Screen" might shed some light:

>>>

Songs note

"It can't be love" by Charlie Barnet, performed by beach party group; also cues by Max Steiner from "King Kong" and cues by Nathaniel Shilkret, Roy Webb and Alfred Newman from previous RKO movies.

Personnel on camera note

In the beach party sequence members of Cee Pee Johnson's Band, including Raymond Tate, trumpet; unidentified trombone; Buddy Collette, alto sax; Buddy Banks, tenor sax; Cee Pee Johnson, drums; Alton Redd, vocal.

Note(s)

Feature film (over 60 minutes).

Unconfirmed reports suggest that Orson Welles used a piano track by Nat King Cole during the club sequence in which the second Mrs. Kane is interviewed. Bernard Herrmann denied any knowledge of it to this writer: he also denied any involvement with the musicians in the beach party scene who were hired by Welles himself. Welles' liking for jazz is a matter of record and shortly after KANE was completed he commissioned Duke Ellington to compose a score for a future project, "The story of jazz". A few pages of this unused music still exist.

>>>

Based on your description, the vocalist is likely Alton Redd. By the way, ASCAP (as well as DESOR) list Charlie Barnet as one of the composers of "In a Mizz" so there seems to be a connection. Perhaps Meeker confused "In a Mizz" with "It Can't Be Love." Or perhaps it's an alternate title. Or perhaps both tunes are performed in the film. In any case, see if Alton Redd fits.

Kane puts on a beach party and the scene opens with a Black man singing a song that haunted me for years. I didn't know what it was and neither did any of the film scholars I asked. Then I bought The Chronogical Duke Ellington 1939 vol 2 and the first cut was Ivie Anderson singing that very song: In a Mizz. So now I'm trying to figure out who sings it in the film. IMDB lists what seems like a 100 small parts from Kane (did you know that Nat Cole is the off screen piano player in one scene?) but doesn't list the name of the singer of In a Mizz (or perhaps identifies him in a way so I couldn't tell).

Anyone recognize him?

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Posted

OK. Never mind. Looks like jostber found the same information.

I don't have access to the film at the moment, but the following information from an on-line version of Meeker's "Jazz on the Screen" might shed some light:

>>>

Songs note

"It can't be love" by Charlie Barnet, performed by beach party group; also cues by Max Steiner from "King Kong" and cues by Nathaniel Shilkret, Roy Webb and Alfred Newman from previous RKO movies.

Personnel on camera note

In the beach party sequence members of Cee Pee Johnson's Band, including Raymond Tate, trumpet; unidentified trombone; Buddy Collette, alto sax; Buddy Banks, tenor sax; Cee Pee Johnson, drums; Alton Redd, vocal.

Note(s)

Feature film (over 60 minutes).

Unconfirmed reports suggest that Orson Welles used a piano track by Nat King Cole during the club sequence in which the second Mrs. Kane is interviewed. Bernard Herrmann denied any knowledge of it to this writer: he also denied any involvement with the musicians in the beach party scene who were hired by Welles himself. Welles' liking for jazz is a matter of record and shortly after KANE was completed he commissioned Duke Ellington to compose a score for a future project, "The story of jazz". A few pages of this unused music still exist.

>>>

Based on your description, the vocalist is likely Alton Redd. By the way, ASCAP (as well as DESOR) list Charlie Barnet as one of the composers of "In a Mizz" so there seems to be a connection. Perhaps Meeker confused "In a Mizz" with "It Can't Be Love." Or perhaps it's an alternate title. Or perhaps both tunes are performed in the film. In any case, see if Alton Redd fits.

Kane puts on a beach party and the scene opens with a Black man singing a song that haunted me for years. I didn't know what it was and neither did any of the film scholars I asked. Then I bought The Chronogical Duke Ellington 1939 vol 2 and the first cut was Ivie Anderson singing that very song: In a Mizz. So now I'm trying to figure out who sings it in the film. IMDB lists what seems like a 100 small parts from Kane (did you know that Nat Cole is the off screen piano player in one scene?) but doesn't list the name of the singer of In a Mizz (or perhaps identifies him in a way so I couldn't tell).

Anyone recognize him?

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Posted

Great! Thanks. In a Mizz and It Can't be Love are the same song. I think the official title is in a Mizz, but "It can't be love..." is the opening line of the song.

This citation is not in Meeker's book. I met him once and he told me he was sending all of his information to the Library of Congress even though he was about to retire from the British Film Institute. I think he didn't trust the BFI to do the job. But I've never known how to access the data base before. I guess I should have just googled his name. Thanks again.

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This is so weird, Medjuck. I just watched KANE last night for the first time in years and had the very same question...thanks much for posting it, and thanks to those who tracked down all of that info.

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The Everglades party is a great scene and this is cool info to have. There are very few black characters in KANE and none with speaking parts.

Here's a bit I always wonder about: During that scene, the film cuts to Kane and Susan in their tent having an argument. "Sure, I'm Charles Foster Kane. I'll give ya anything you want, but you gotta love me!" Anyway, right after Susan says that line and Kane slaps her, a woman is heard off screen. At first she seems to be laughing, then screaming (but in a playful way). As Kane and Susan stare at each other ("I'm not sorry.") the screams sound like screams of terror. What do you think is going on in this scene?

KANE is my all time favorite film, btw. I've seen it literally hundreds of times, including at least twice on the big screen (I've also taught it in a film class). I've owned it on VHS and DVD. I never, EVER get tired of watching it!

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Posted

Bernard Herrmann's first film score was "Citizen Kane." His last was "Taxi Driver." How awesome is that?

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Charlie Barnet recorded In A Mizz three months before Duke Ellington. It's on one of the Classics volumes. By the way, Ellington takes the vocal on the Barnet version. Judy Ellington that is.

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