Thursday, May 01, 2008

The Original "I Love to Singa"

This is where it all started, folks; before (albeit not long before) there was an Owl Jolson, there was Al Jolson, singing this Harold Arlen/Yip Harburg song with Cab Calloway, one of the few people who got caricatured in more cartoons than Al Jolson.

The Singing Kid was released on April 3, 1936, while "I Love To Singa" was released on July 18, 1936, only a little more than three months later. Since the song was written for The Singing Kid, this is another reminder that the songs in early Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies cartoons were sometimes taken from movies that hadn't even been finished, let alone released. (I'm assuming that when a Warner Brothers musical was in production, some potential hit songs would be recommended to Schlesinger's cartoon department as titles worth featuring in a cartoon.)


Anthony Strand said...

I love this version of the song. Al's version is a lot of fun, but Cab just goes nuts with it. Listening to him top Al is one of the most fun things to do. While listening to WB songs from the '30s. I say.

J Lee said...

This may be a case where the Schlesinger studio got a heads-up on the song, while at the same time the source material of Jolson and Warner's past connections via the Jazz Singer just jumped out at Avery & crew as something ripe for parody. Combined with the catchiness of the song itself, it's the first WB cartoon that anyone outside of the normal base of cartoon fanatics really remembers.