Thursday, July 27, 2006


Thanks to Bruce I enjoyed the Max Fleischer cartoon I Ain't Got Nobody . This Max Fleischer cartoon was released as a Follow The Bouncing Ball cartoon on 17 June 1932 .

The concept was popularized in movie theaters of song slides showing lyrics of well-known tunes to invite audiences to sing along with live singers or musicians. The Fleischer Brothers adapted the idea, committing it to animated drawings with live-action footage featuring the talents of famous musical personalities within the context of the films. ( source: The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons by Jeff Lenburg ).

In fact these Follow The Bouncing Balls cartoons were the karaoke of the 1930s and nowadays these films might have been played on TV-stations like MTV or The Box to promote the Hits of the moment.

That brings me to the next.

While enjoying the cartoon/film I learned that the young Mills Brothers sing several songs. Not only I Ain't Got Nobody, but also the Tiger Rag and Goodbye Blues. This Goodbye Blues is the opening scene of the film.

The Mills Brothers also made a commercial for Crisco, titled on the label as CRISCO PRESENTS THE MILLS BROTHERS. This rare commercial was released as a four inch card board Durium record and the song was recorded around April 1932 with the same line-up as the movie: Herbert , John Jr., Harry and Donald Mills and it has the same spoken announcement as written on the film saying There's No Tuna, saxophone, trumpet or trombone. The only instrument used is a guitar. All effects are achieved vocally. (Source: Durium Advertisement and Custom records discography by Hans Koert)

Isn't it cute that, thanks to this film, we can see these youngsters ( the brothers were between 17 and 22 years old here) singing as they performed for the Durium Crisco commercial? And it even seems to be the same recorded version !!

Enjoy the Follow The Bouncing Ball cartoon I Ain't Got Nobody ( introducing Goodbye Blues and Tiger Rag) released 17 June 1932.

Enjoy the Durium Crisco commercial played by the Mills Brothers ( April 1932)

Did anyone ever see this card board record? I never did and i love to have a scan of it.

This contribution was also published at my daily Keep Swinging web blog


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