The Cats & The Fiddle

"The Cats & The Fiddle" follows the string band concept opened by the "Spirits of Rythm" (and in an other way by the Reihnardt Hot Club string Quintet ) adding vocal harmonisation in a more "Mills Brothers " way...(They started in Chicago colleges during the harmonisation craze at the end of the 20's )

Here, showing their boucing skills, Tiple strumms by Jimmy Henderson and pre-Hendrix "behind the head" Tenor guitar playing by Ernie Price (taking the Tiple in 1940 as Tiny Grimes, the future Bop guitarist, takes the tenor guitar ....)
The movie is "The Duke Is Tops" (aka "The Bronze Venus")1938 , They sing "Killin' Jive." with weed smoking related lyrics in front of a "Medecine Show" set...

Unfortunetly the copy of this apearence is very bad in terms of image...
but the Jimmy Henderson Tiple seems to be here ....well heard in this country western "race film" "Two-Gun Man From Harlem," starring Herb Jeffries, also in 1938.

Another "The Cats & the Fiddle" contribution to the Hollywood buisness in 1938 :
"Snow Gets In Your Eyes," dressed in Tyrolean costumes they sing "The Harlem yoddle" with the Dandridge Sisters and a couple of comedy scatmen .
Great choregraphy with an interesting musical bridge introduçing Tiple and tenor guitar isolated notes. Close ups shows clearly the Tiple and the thumbpick righthand techniques used in those specifics swing strumms .

The following stills shows the 1940/41 formation introducing Tiny Grimes playing Tenor Guitar and Ernie Price taking the Tiple : Notice the remarquable white instruments customisation, with strass decorative segments on the Tiple table...probably a Martin instrument.
Those great documents and all informations cames from this very complete Biography of the group By Marv Goldberg :

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