Thursday, October 25, 2007

Stop the Music, Throw the Square Out!

Cool, rainy day. The mind wanders, attention turns to various diversions available from the Internet. The Warner Bros. cartoon "Three Little Bops" has appeared on YouTube, who knows for how long. I don't ever remember seeing it during the time when I watched a lot of Warner cartoons on TV. Released in 1957, maybe it was considered too dated even 15 years later, though I don't think such considerations stopped cartoons from the '40s and even the '30s from being shown regularly in the early '70s.

Whatever the reason, I never remembered seeing "Three Little Bops" until we acquired a Warner compilation tape for Christmas 2000, one that featured pieces of cartoons that included music. I liked it immediately. What a charming cartoon. Later, I discovered the version on the tape had been edited, though not jarringly. The YouTube posting seems to be the entire thing, or at least a longer version released on DVD.

And how many '50s jazz cartoons are there? It's the real deal, too, since Shorty Rogers wrote the music -- Shorty who played with Woody Herman and Stan Kenton upon a time. The song is sung by Stan Freberg, whom I was happy to learn is still alive at 81 (Shorty's long gone). Without further ado, "Three Little Bops."

They Might Be Giants isn't for everyone, but I've been fond of them since seeing them live in December 1988. (I wrote about that experience on the original BSTS, December 6, 2004). This clip dates to 1990, so they appear pretty much as I saw them back then. I don't remember whether they sang this in 1988, however.

I have no excuse for liking this. Except maybe that Fireball XL5 exists at the furthest fringes of my memory. Whole episodes are now viewable on YouTube, but I don't want to see any. I want it to remain at the fringes, except for the theme.

A fuller version of the theme, without any ridiculous video illustration, is here. I never knew until recently that an Australian, Don Spencer, sang it. Famed as a children's entertainer in that country, he's still with us too.


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