IMAGERY – LA’s Whistling Birds of the 1920s

Prior to television, people found such fascinating ways to entertain themselves. I have never even *heard* of a Bird Whistling Chorus before, but I imagine it probably sounded something like like this. I so wish I could’ve watched these women perform… although probably not for more than ten minutes or so. (More photos after the jump. Click for larger views.)

bird whistling 1923Apparently someone didn’t get the telegram about wearing all white…

1923 – Photographic group portrait of America’s Bird Whistling Chorus in Los Angeles. Four rows of women in light-colored dresses sit facing the camera, with one woman in a dark-colored dress to the right of center. A woman in the front row holds a conductor’s baton. The group is posed in front of an indistinguishable background, possibly a stage.


bird whistling 1926

October 1, 1926 – Photographic group portrait of America’s Bird Whistling Chorus. The women of America’s Bird Whistling Chorus pose in four rows, two seated and two standing, in front of dark curtains. The surface on which they are posed is covered by flowered carpets. The women all wear pale dresses, some with long necklaces, and others with large corsage-like decorations.


bird whistling chorus

March 19, 1928 – Photographic group portrait of America’s Bird Whistling Chorus at the Raymond Hotel in Pasadena. The women of America’s Bird Whistling Chorus stand in three rows along a stage at the Raymond Hotel. They are accompanied by a pianist who sits in the left foreground, and conducted by director Agnes Woodward who stands, facing them, in the center foreground. The women all wear pale dresses, and nearly all of them have bobbed hair.


bird whistling

November 1928 – Photographic group portrait of the women of America’s Bird Whistling Chorus in Los Angeles. Three rows of women of varying age stand facing the camera. The women all wear identical uniforms, which include a long scarf and a pleated skirt. The group is posed in a nondescript location, possibly on a stage.

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One Response to “IMAGERY – LA’s Whistling Birds of the 1920s”

  1. I have a 1923 photo of the chorus.written on the back says that Agnes Woodward director, Loraine Griffin accompanist.
    It also has a card taped to it that says;

    Woodard School of Whisting
    Helen Ward Jeffs- Director
    announces new location at
    Wilshire Fine Arts Studios
    2932 Wilshire Bouevard
    Fairfax 4443
    ( near town house)
    Free audition on presentation of this card.

    I have reason to belive that Dorthy Park Rotan was a member of this group. She is the wife of Lester Davis, who co founded Park Davis Pharmecuticals.

    If anyone has more informatiom or interest on this photo please contact me.

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