Pete Smith (Narrator)
Nelson Eddy (uncredited singer)
Gordon Elliott* (uncredited 1900 cyclist)
Dick Dickinson (uncredited 1869 cyclist)
*Later western great Bill Elliott.
After MGM rushed to sign Nelson to a film contract, he left his hectic concert tour and took up residence. But then he had to wait many frustrating months with nothing to do before filming a brief scene in his first film, Broadway to Hollywood. Or was that his first film?
In 2003, former Nelson Eddy Appreciation Society co-president Anna Michalik ran across a Canadian radio interview from the 1960s. In it, Nelson casually mentions that his first MGM film was “a Pete Smith bicycle short.” After some research, the author tracked down a copy of a likely candidate: Handlebars, just one of seven one-reel comedy shorts produced and narrated by Pete Smith in 1933. It’s a humorous history of the bicycle since 1819, and there, unmistakably, is Nelson’s voice! As a Gay Nineties couple ride along, he sings one 32-second chorus of “Bicycle Built for Two.”
Probably, someone at MGM arranged this anonymous quicky recording session to provide Nelson with something to do so he wouldn’t go stir-crazy. And because the short had come and gone long before the general public was familiar with his voice, the film has only just been added to his filmography.
“Bicycle Built for Two,” also called “Daisy Belle” (Nelson Eddy) – Harry Dacre.