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Compiled by Steven Lomazow, M.D.

West Orange, New Jersey


2010
Little can be added to the filmography of the Marx Brothers. There are dozens of
websites and books devoted to their legacy as icons of American humor.

For over thirty years I have been collecting Marx memorabilia, in particular sheet
music, little of which has been documented from the standpoint of completeness
and collectability. All values listed are guesstimates based on 2010 value.

This work is a significant addition to the literature. I do not profess it to be


complete or without inaccuracy but can state with little doubt that it is, up to
now, by far the most comprehensive and graphic depiction of its type.

Steven Lomazow, M.D.


West Orange, New Jersey
2010
With today’s ability to digitally carry thousands of songs around in a pocket, Vaudeville,Tin Pan
Alley, and the hey-day of printed sheet music seem quite remote. Published sheet music
provides the best documentation of a bygone era in the days prior to the widespread use of
phonographs and talking pictures. Much of the cornucopia of musical and lyrical creativity, as is
the case for the celluloid of the silent film era and even the kinescopes of early television, would
otherwise be lost.

It is a sincere pleasure to be the first to put in one place virtually every piece of music published
in conjunction with the career of one of the most celebrated musical comedy teams in the
history of entertainment.

Enjoy the show!


Mother Minnie Palmer was the driving force in the theatrical career of her sons. She
had a brief entertainment career of her own and was the sister of Al Shean, of the
comedic duo Gallagher and Shean (who were allegedly the model for Neil Simon’s
The Sunshine Boys). Here is an early newsboy photo ($200), the oldest piece in the
collection, and a piece of sheet music from the Broadway production of Minnie’s Boy’s
($10), the newest.
This sheet is the earliest known to contain
an image of Julius (Groucho) Marx, and the
only one in this work not personally owned.

The first copy to be sold on eBay went for


an astronomical $5700, surely a record for a
single piece of sheet music.

There are a few other copies known.


Three early sheets from Groucho’s solo vaudeville career. Farewell Killarney ($100) is not
uncommon, both Cobb & Edwards titles are rare ($500).
Another exquisitely rare and early sheet,
worth on the order of $1500.

Only a few copies known.


A 1911 sheet of a song written by Chico
(by the way pronounced “chick-o” after his well
known success with and fondness for females as a
“chicken-chaser”) and a back cover from a
1915 issue of Variety documenting the
participation of mother Minnie and
Uncle Al.
The earliest sheets to depict the brothers. Groucho has been joined by his older brothers Chico (Leonard)
and Arthur (Harpo) and the younger Gummo (Milton). All are scarce ($300)

The two other songs mentioned did not portray the brothers. One shown at left, the other located in the collection of the University of Louisville
The easiest to obtain of all the
pre-movie sheets ($75).

From left of right:


Harpo, Gummo, Chico, Groucho
1925 Judge cover

Program for the little remembered


On the Balcony (1923)

1920
exit Gummo, enter Zeppo
A sheet featuring
the orchestra ($10)

Strangely devoid of the names of the feature


entertainers, “Only You” is the most common
($30). All others are very scarce ($100+)
The second successful Broadway production. For the first time a British edition is seen.
“A Little Bungalow” is by far the most common ($15). All others are scarce to very rare. (100-$400+).
See, Donald J. Stubblebine. Broadway Sheet Music: A Comprehensive Listing of Published Music From Broadway and Other Stage Shows, 1918-1993 (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co., 1996), p. 58. For information
about all the music, including unpublished songs, see Krasker, Tommy. Catalog of the American musical: musicals of Irving Berlin, George & Ira Gershwin, Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers & Lorenz Hart (Washington,
D.C.: National Institute for Opera and Musical Theater, 1988)
There are eighteen titles listed on the song sheets. Eleven probably exist in individual sheets .
The original 1925 production
1. A Little Bungalow 1926 summer production
2. Five O’clock Tea 1. Everyone in the World is Doing the Charleston
3. Florida By the Sea 2. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
4. Lucky Boy 3. Ting-a Ling the Bells’ll Ring
5. The Monkey Doodle-Doo 4. Why Do You Want to Know Why?
6. Tango Melody
7. We Should Care

Others that possibly exist (information as per Berlin, Kimball and Emmet, The Complete Lyrics of Irving Berlin, Alfred A. Knopf, 2001)
1. My Family Reputation- professional edition only
2. A Hit With the Ladies-unpublished
3. When We’re Running a Little Hotel of Our Own- used in Philadelphia and Boston and dropped
4. Minstrel Days- unpublished
5. Take ‘im Away- unpublished, dropped during rehearsals
6. With a Fam’ly Reputation- professional edition only
7. Can You Tell- unpublished
8. There Blaming the Charleston- listed as published in 1925 but not seen
9. What’s There About Me- unpublished, dropped during rehearsals
The third musical comedy. Four song sheets known.
“Watching the Clouds Roll By” is common ($25)
All others are rare ($200)

1.Watching the Clouds Roll By


2. Waiting
3. Long Island Low Down
4. Who’s Been List’ning to My Heart
The only song sheet from the movie
Quite common ($5)

Poster and lobby card not in collection


No title card for this movie. This is the only scene card to show three brothers. Only one song sheet from
the movie ($20) though “I’m Daffy Over You” later appeared in conjunction with a radio program.
Surprisingly, a song from this movie “Hello, I Must Be Going” quite often reprised by Groucho in concerts
and television appearances, has never appeared on sheet music.
No music published from the film

poster and lobby card not in collection


One song ($25) and a great TIME cover
featuring a scene from the movie ($100)
A rare 1933 sheet of a song A revised 1936 version of
originally used in Animal Crackers ($500) the 1920 song ($150)
The last Paramount production

No music sheets published


from the movie

Poster and lobby card not in collection

French Magazine 1937


Australian American

The first MGM movie and the beginning of the association


with the renowned illustrator Harry Hirschfeld.
Two songs published. Alone is very common, both versions,
with or without the brother’s picture ($2).
Cosi Cosa is scarce ($40).
British French
British

American Australian
Four songs and a complete songbook ($50) published

1.Blue Venetian Waters ($4)


2. Tomorrow is Another Day ($4)
3. A Message From the Man in the Moon ($25)
4. All God’s Chillin Got Rhythm ($25)

Poster not in collection


Jumping butterballs! No music published for this movie.
Lydia the Tattooed Lady is perhaps the most celebrated of all Marx Brothers tunes ($250)
Also, Two Blind Loves ($150). American, British and Australian versions exist.
One song ($250)
The last MGM production
Two Songs. ($200)
One Song ($20)
One song. Quite scarce ($200)
Two sheets from Harpo’s musical career ($50) and a rare concert program ($100)
Three Chico song sheets ($50)
This rare ($500) sheet of the famous song from Animal Crackers was not published until 1956.
1971
interview