Home » Uncategorized » Samuel Kaylin and “Steamboat ‘Round the Bend”

Samuel Kaylin and “Steamboat ‘Round the Bend”


Samuel Kaylin (January 18, 1892 –July 7, 1983) was a film score composer and conductor who scored Charlie Chan and Mr. Moto movies for Fox Film and 20th Century Fox. Kaylin was born Shevach Samuel Kalinowsky on January 18, 1892, at Ekaterinoslav in  the Ukraine, then part of the Russian Empire (now Dnipro, Ukraine), and immigrated to the U.S. on January 16, 1907,  aboard the Norddeutscher Lloyd steamship Neckar.  He worked as a musician at the Chinese Theater in Los Angeles.  Kaylin joined Fox Film in 1930 and composed more than 80 film scores. Among them were the scores for Shirley Temple’s Bright Eyes and John Ford’s Judge Priest. Steamboat Round the Bend was a 1935 American comedy film directed by John Ford, released by 20th Century Fox and produced by Fox Film, based on the 1933 novel of the same name by author Ben Lucien Burman with music composed by Kaylin.

In Steamboat Round the Bend, starring Will Rogers, Anne Shirley, Irvin S. Cobb, Eugene Pallette, and Baerton Churchill, a Louisiana con man and riverboat captain Doctor John Pearly (Rogers), who pilots a ramshackle floating waxworks museum, from which he also dispenses highly alcoholic cure-all medicine, learns that his nephew Duke has killed a man in self-defense.  Duke’s only chance for freedom is the testimony of a half-crazed witness, New Moses, who has disappeared upriver.  Pearly’s rival Captain Eli is itching to race his paddle wheeler, the Pride of Paducah, against Pearly’s steamboat, the Claremore Queen.  So Pearly enters his steamboat in a winner-take-all wild steamboat race with his rival while attempting to find the eyewitness that will save his nephew and lasso a win for the Claremore Queen.

The movie was the penultimate film of star Will Rogers and was released posthumously, after he was killed in an airplane crash on August 15, 1935. Shirley is particularly good as a swamp girl taken in by Rogers. Churchill shines in comic role of river prophet “The New Moses.”  The climactic steamboat race is a gem.  After serving as Music Directoro for a few years, Kaylin left 20th Century Fox, Fox Film’s successor, in 1940. He died in Bakersfield, Kern County, CA, on July 7, 1983 at the age of 91.

My collection includes the following work by Samuel Kaylin:

Steamboat ‘Round the Bend (1935).

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