Now for a bit of cartoon music appreciation, here’s “Rhapsody In Rivets.” It’s a 1941 Academy Award nominated Merrie Melodies directed by Friz Freleng. The song featured is “Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2” which was composed by Franz Liszt in 1894. It’s the second in a series of 19 rhapsodies. It’s been used in lots and lots and LOTS of cartoons so I couldn’t begin to tell you which one I saw first but at some point I probably saw them all.
Even though some of the other cartoons featuring this song were probably more significant, I picked this one because it debuted on December 6, 1941. One day before the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and changed the US forever. I doubt many people remember where they were the day before a historical event happens. I know I never do. Still, it’s nice to think that at least someone remembers marking the “end of the innocence” with this fantastic film.
I never knew the Merrie Melodies cartoons were all based on the soundtracks of Warner Brothers movies! “I Love To Singa” is a 1936 cartoon parody of “The Jazz Singer” and it was based on a song from the Al Jolson film “The Singing Kid.” The original was sung by Jolson and Cab Calloway but the adorable remake is voiced by Tommy Bond who played Butch in the “Our Gang” serials.
This will probably come as a bit of a shock to regular readers of this thread but I am occasionally given to flights of fancy. I know, it’s hard to imagine but it’s true. They are usually harmless and seldom get past the manic Googling, planning, blogging stage before ADD strikes and I get distracted by something shiny and/or delicious. That is why no one worried over much when, in my mid-thirties, I decided I wanted to be in a band. I can’t really sing and I don’t play an instrument but I’d gotten a keyboard and a “Teach Yourself To Play” book for Christmas. I mean any way you do the math that clearly adds up to rock star! I’m not going to bore you with the details of my musical odyssey because, again, ADD. Let me bottom line it for you. I finished book one of the “Teach Yourself…” series and the hardest song I learned was “Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes.” I didn’t buy book two, I didn’t join a band and I didn’t become a rock star. There were probably cookies or silver dollar pancakes involved. I’m glad I learned the song anyway. It is very pretty if you actually listen to the words. Also, I just know some day someone is going to see the swinging potential of the number and I am going to dust off that keyboard, clear the room of snack foods and glitter and I am going to be a superstar!