Born on this date in 1890, Julius Henry Marx, soon to be known as Groucho Marx.
Today we go way back to celebrate Groucho and his brothers with some of the earliest advertisements I could find that feature The Marx Brothers.
The January 1906 advertisement above may look like a waste of space, but well worth posting for the small print under the headline 'The Musical Goolmans.'
The Four Nightingales were Groucho, Harpo and Gummo with Lou Levy. Minnie Marx is their mother. Well, not Lou's, but you know what I mean. Here they are:
That may be the lousiest image I've ever posted to the site, but at least the caption was clear. A much sharper version of the same photo can be found at the top of this Four Nightingales page at the Marxology site.
"The Four Nightingales are splendid singers and deserve their name. The four members of this quartet are but mere boys, apparently, yet they have well-developed voices that are pleasing" (Atlanta Constitution).
"During the heyday of Bushman and Bayne, King Baggot, Broncho Billy, Alice Joyce and Bunny," writes Groucho Marx from Chicago, where 'The Cocoanuts' is taking the town by storm, "I was an ardent movie fan. The pictures that I saw then were a little sappy and very, very crude, and they flickered and shook so that one usually left the theater bleary-eyed and with dull shooting pains in all the nerves that connected with the brain, but they were full of action and gore, and they entertained, amused and interested me, and all for a dime." Groucho Marx to Quinn Martin, 1926.
On Home Again, 1915:
"The plot concerns the home-coming of Henry Schneider (Julius Marx) and his family and friends from an ocean voyage, and the reunion party at Schneider's country home a few days later. Of course, the party contains several pretty girls. Milton Marx is the 'straight' man, Leonard Marx has an Italian character, and the other brother, Arthur, has an unusual role, which, for lack of a better name, is called a 'nondescript.'" (Salt Lake Tribune).
For those in need of a scorecard, Julius is Groucho, Milton is Gummo, Leonard is Chico, and Arthur of the unusual 'nondescript' role, Harpo, of course.
Maybe next year I'll get them into the 1920s and beyond. Love these old ads for now though.
- "At the Orpheum." Atlanta Constitution 16 Feb 1909: 4. NewspaperArchive. Web. 2 Oct 2012.
- "Four Marx Brothers Will Be Seen at the Orpheum the Coming Week." Salt Lake Tribune 28 Oct 1915: 11. NewspaperArchive. Web. 2 Oct 2012.
- Martin, Quinn. "On the Screen." Oakland Tribune 24 Oct 1926: 44. NewspaperArchive. Web. 2 Oct 2012.
- “Obituaries: Rita La Roy, Actress, Model Agency Owner." Los Angeles Times 23 Feb 1993. Los Angeles Times. Web. 2 Oct 2012.
- "Stirring Melodrama at the Academy." Washington Post 14 Aug 1906: 17. NewspaperArchive. Web. 2 Oct 2012.