The musical biopic of jazz great Red Nichols features a healthy dose of melodrama along with the melodies. As the famed Dixieland cornetist, he runs into opposition to his sound, but breaks through to success. He marries a warm, patient woman (Bel Geddes) and even finds time to raise a family. Then tragedy strikes when their daughter contracts polio. The jazzman puts down his horn to stand by her. Among the musical cameos is a hot turn by Armstrong in a duet with Kaye.
Sylvia Fine, who was Danny Kaye's wife, served as associate producer for "The Five Pennies," and as song composer for three tunes in the film. Several jazz greats appear in this film either as themselves, such as Louis Armstrong, or as other legends of the era.
Loring "Red" Nichols performed Danny Kaye's instrumentals for the film.
Photographer Hoynigen-Huene was color coordinator for this film. Color by Technicolor.
Additional cast: Ray Daley (Glenn Miller).
Songs include: "Jada" "Sleepy Time Down South" "My Blue Heaven" "Indiana" "Bill Bailey" "Battle Hymn of the Republic" "When the Saints Come Marching In" (with new lyrics) "Lullabye in Ragtime" "Good Night, Sleep Tight" "Five Pennies"