To the bottom-line-oriented executives at Paramount Pictures offices in New York, the “Little Lulu” series of cartoons must have seemed a dream come true.
They would prove cheaper to produce than the “Superman” cartoons they replaced in the regular program of releases. Even if the licensing-fees were little different–and we don’t know one way or the other on this–they would require less work and less effort in the production.
Sammy Timberg may not have been available at this time. So a team, consisting of Buddy Kaye, Fred Wise and Sidney Lipman was assembled to write a theme song for the new cartoon series.
A vocal group, consisting of Helen Carroll, Bob Lange, Ted Hansen and Art Lambert, was retained, and they provided a clear vocal, with engaging modern harmonies.
This group may not have, as yet, had a name.
For the first cartoon, “Eggs Don’t Bounce”, the group recorded with a Winston Sharples unit that mostly offered rhythm background to their singing.
For subsequent cartoons, a new “bed” was called for, and Sharples came up with one with stings for clarinets, and a signature piano flourish at the end.
Though some of the lyrics have become cringe-worthy over he past seventy years, the song was engaging enough to remain in the memories of those who heard it, either in a theater or from a television’s small speakers.
Occasionally other songs woudl be written for individual cartoons. Thus, “Eggs Don’t Bounce” features a song called “Now Ya Done It”, sung by Mandy (the maid in the Moppet household).
And “I’m Just Curious” features a title song, sung by Lulu after her father has spanked her and sent her to bed.
On other occasions, a Famous Music copyright would be used. Thus, “Bout With A Trout” features a lengthy rendition of “Swinging On A Star”, a tuneful, moralistic ditty introduced by Bing Crosby in “Going My Way” (and recorded by “Der Bingle” with a juvenile quartet known as the Williams Brothers–one of whom, Andy, would become a major star in the 1950’s and 1960’s.).
Once the vocal group did the recording for Famous Studios, they went on their way, while Famous used that recording for the other “Little Lulu” cartoons.’
This freed the group for other gigs–including their biggest gig, backing up Perry Como on the “Chesterfield Supper Club”. On this show, the group got its name: Helen Carroll and the Satisfies (a name derived from a long-time Chesterfield slogan: “They Satisfy”).
The group became well-known form the regular appearances on this NBC radio program. And hey landed a contract to appear on their own RCA Victor records.
One of the last recordings they made before the “second Perillo ban” took effect was a version of “Little Lulu”, which was issued early in 1948.
And thereby hands ANOTHER tale. . .