Not your typical Betty Boop cartoon! Graveyard scenes, tears, fears with a happpy ending. Grandpa Bob Effros played trumpet in many classic cartoons. Here is great jazz intro featuring Cab Calloway. Click arrow for some mind blowing entertainment!
Rated PG-13 by yours truly, Barbara & Jonathan.
Cab Calloway became one of the most popular entertainers of the1930's and 40s, following success of his first hit "Minnie the Moocher". Success did not come easy for Calloway. He became famous through perseverance and hard work. Calloway also went to law school until he met a man who would change his life forever. Calloway met Louis Armstrong, who tutored him in the art of scat singing (using nonsensical sounds to improvise melodies)" (1)
A wonderful personal memory: meeting Mae Questel, Grandpa's friend and better known as the voice of of over 150 "Betty Boop" cartoons. At 11 years old, I was skeptical of all the famous people Grandpa claimed to know. (Remember, this blog is a journey of research, joy and love, delving into Bob Effros' jazz music, life and legacy).
I met Mae Questel in Forrest Hills, New York at my grandparents apartment. She told us "when she was 17, she won a local contest for a girl that sounded and resembled famous singer Helen Kane, whom resembled Max Fleisher's sexy, witty cartoon character." According to IMDB, "Mae Questel came from an Orthodox Jewish family whom deeply disapproved of her having an entertainment career and had their wills drawn up accordingly." In the last years of her life, she starred in a Woody Allen movie - she showed them show biz can be a real career!
Note:"there is quite a bit of evidence showing that Kane stole her schtick from a Black woman named Esther Jones who went by the stage name Baby Esther. (2)
Jones, an African American singer in the late ’20′s, worked regularly at the Cotton Club in Harlem. Jones was known for singing in a distinctive baby voice. Her signature song was” I Wanna Be Loved By You” where she scatted the lines "Boop oop a doop.”
Esther Jones aka "Baby Esther"
Credits with more on Max Fleischer and other cartoons in future posts.
"Minnie the Moocher" was banned due to early censorship laws. People felt that the content of the video was too mature be shown as a cartoon. To the best of our knowledge this cartoon and image are public domain. If not, please advise, and they will respectfully be removed.
Grandpa Bob knew all these wonderful women through his performing. Wish I could recall every detail of these fabulous female jazz singers!