Mystery male voice in Fleischer Talkartoons

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Mystery male voice in Fleischer Talkartoons

Postby frizfrelengfan » Wed Feb 16, 2011 8:08 pm

Does anyone know who the male voice was in many early Fleischer Talkartoons and Betty Boops? He can be heard here about three minutes in. In various cartoons he can be heard as Bimbo, Koko, and a narrator. He sounds like Jack Mercer but Jack wasn't doing voices at the studio yet.

(IMO the best place to hear Jack Mercer in his "natural" voice is his hilarious bit as the Devil in "Seein' Red, White and Blue.")
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Postby David Gerstein » Wed Feb 16, 2011 8:18 pm

That's Billy Murray, classic recording artist of the 1900s-1930s. Best known for comic songs and sketches. Here's his "The Morning After the Night Before" (tell me the last verse doesn't date this one!).
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Postby Do-Do » Wed Feb 16, 2011 9:46 pm

David Gerstein wrote:That's Billy Murray, classic recording artist of the 1900s-1930s. Best known for comic songs and sketches. Here's his "The Morning After the Night Before" (tell me the last verse doesn't date this one!).


Hoo-hah, I certainly wasn't expecting a complaint about "women's rights". That does date this as just as much as the surface noise and brass arrangment do...but come on, we all know how drunk girls are....

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Postby David Gerstein » Wed Feb 16, 2011 10:10 pm

Actually, I don't think that was a complaint!

The song was explaining that when women get their rights, they'll soon end up just as drunk—and just as sorry the next morning—as the boys are. Booze being the great equalizer (hic!).
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Postby Do-Do » Wed Feb 16, 2011 10:38 pm

David Gerstein wrote:Actually, I don't think that was a complaint!

The song was explaining that when women get their rights, they'll soon end up just as drunk—and just as sorry the next morning—as the boys are. Booze being the great equalizer (hic!).


Ah, I couldn't really make out the whole verse due to the sound quality. Either way, this song makes my head hurt and my tummy queasy...

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Postby MadAboutMGM » Wed Feb 16, 2011 11:04 pm

Billy Murray was actually one of the most prominent vaudevillians and recording artists of the first quarter of the 20th century. Mostly a cover artist though I don't think he did to many originals. He re-established his popularity as the first recurring voice artist for Fleischer beginning in 1929. By the way this is not a talkartoon this is a promotional film. The Fleischers did many of these types of films for items such as telephones during their Out of the Inkwell Films years.

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Postby David Gerstein » Wed Feb 16, 2011 11:04 pm

Do-Do wrote:Either way, this song makes my head hurt and my tummy queasy...
Just like a stiff drink! It worked!

The last verse is:

Now the women, too, will be just as bad when they get women's rights;
They'll all stay out with the girls about six out of seven nights.
"Let's drink," they'll say in a reckless way;
Then each one for her own will pay,
"Afraid To Come Home In the Dark" she'll sing, poor thing;
But holy gee, what misery t'will bring.


Not a very positive image, but the song's depiction of guys is just as embarrassing.

"I'm Afraid To Come Home In the Dark" was both a Billy Murray hit and (later) a Fleischer cartoon, featuring Murray once again.
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Postby MadAboutMGM » Wed Feb 16, 2011 11:06 pm

The real question is who did the voice acting for By The Light of The Silvery Moon (1927). Possibly the first cartoon voice over unless Princeton Sound Test contradicts that. Many of the people who produced these experiments did comprehend how vital they were to the technological progression of the industry. No it was Disney who was the first to get mileage and publicize sound cartoons even though steam as far back as the Edison experiments at least ten years earlier. Take that history textbooks.

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Postby frizfrelengfan » Thu Feb 17, 2011 1:41 pm

MadAboutMGM wrote:Billy Murray was actually one of the most prominent vaudevillians and recording artists of the first quarter of the 20th century. Mostly a cover artist though I don't think he did to many originals. He re-established his popularity as the first recurring voice artist for Fleischer beginning in 1929. By the way this is not a talkartoon this is a promotional film. The Fleischers did many of these types of films for items such as telephones during their Out of the Inkwell Films years.
There is a lot of information about Billy Murray around, so he must have been a superstar of his day along the lines of later singers Jolson and Sinatra. I never heard of him before. I guess I have to listen to "The Big Broadcast" on Sunday nights on WFUV more.

I realize that this is not a Talkartoon but an advertisement shown in theaters. Several cartoon studios made ads like this. I just pointed it out as a place where you can hear the voice.
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