We continue our playback of the official video of the First Golden Awards Banquet, from January 20, 1984, with what was billed as an “Animation Operetta” written and performed by Sid Miller and Bernie Wayne.
Miller, a writer-director-actor-songwriter, is probably best known to animation aficionados for directed numerous episodes of The Mickey Mouse Club; Wayne is better known for such songs as Blue Velvet, Laughing on the Outside (Crying on the Inside) and There She is, Miss America. In addition, animation producer Art Scott contributed factual research. And, of course, Emcee Gary Owens provides more delightful segues in and out of the set. (For you youngins, Owens’ introduction of Miller as “God” is a reference to George Burns’ portrayal of the title character in the then-current movie Oh, God!)
I have little to say about the performances, so I thought I would just provide my transcript of the three songs Miller and Wayne perform. Watch the video first – then follow along with the lyrics I transcribed (below):
I’ll start with Miller’s comments that, “Here we are in heaven and living among up here, along the Milky Way, are some of the best cartoonists in the past,” which introduces their tuneful tribute to the pioneers of animation:
They took a tale from old Aesop and Grimm,
Added gags, hoked it up to the brim,
King and queen, you love her, hated him,
They drew a mouse or a dog or a cat,
In a house or a cave or a flat.
They drew a clown, had him fall on his prat,
From Blackton and Barré and old Winsor McCay,
McManus and Cohl and John Randolph Bray,
They came on strong with each graphic display,
Sullivan and Bowers, Messmer, Hurd and Powers.
Thanks to them, for they all led the way,
Pioneers, yes the greats of their day.
They were neat, David Dietche(?) would say,
Along with their staff, they made the world laugh
Betty Boop from the Fleischers was cute,
Popeye’s toot from his pipe was a beaut,
A cartoon brought a howl and a hoot,
Parrotville, Toby Pup, Little King, Toddle Tales,
These were Van Beuren things.
Slapstick jokes, all the yocks they would bring,
These two, Flip the Frog, Willie Whopper were neat,
Their crazy moves were a visual treat.
Ub Iwerks’ stuff made you fall off your seat,
Oswald and Snappy were always slap happy.
Charles Mintz, Margaret Winkler had wed,
Had two kids, kids that had to be fed,
Krazy Kat helped them bring home the bread,
And wouldn’t you know, they piled up the dough
Terrytoons good cartoons from a producer named Paul,
Gandy Goose on the loose, Oil Can Harry and all,
There’s Cubby Bear, see him having a ball,
A big giant Izney, well so was Walt Disney.
Steamboat Willie got things going with sound,
Donald Duck was the best quack around,
Lots of bones came to Pluto the hound,
Thank you Mickey Mouse, you build every house
The second song tries to answer the question, “What do you animators work with every day, day in, day out?”
Storyboard layouts, inbetween flipping,
Old Moviolas for viewing and clipping,
Pleasing the boss when the telephone rings,
These are a few of your favorite things.
Backgrounds and truck-ins and pans by the dozen,
Giving the job to the new boss’ cousin,
Always redoing the cels that she brings,
These are a few of your favorite things!
Beat the deadline, meet the deadline,
Married life’s no snap.
Your wife’s always waiting while you’re animating,
And working with all this crap!
The last song is a tribute to the evening’s honorees:
Joe Barbera and Bill Hanna, which one is the top banana?
Bernie Wolf and Virgil Ross are always scrapping with a boss.
John Gentillela, funny fella, Bickenbach and Paul Fennell.
There’s Ed Love and Harry Love and Emery Hawkins and Hicks Lokey,
Like Jack Kinney he’s so hokey.
Eric Larson, Irvin Spence their artistry is so immense,
Ray Patterson and Silverman their pencils weave a magic spell.
Stop the music!
Don’t forget Rudy.
Zamora, Zamora, we love you Zamora, you’re only a sketch away!
And Bobby Bentley, Billy Carney, Shamus Culhane with his blarney,
Baron, Ozark, Richard Hall and there’s our pal Val Vreeland Paul,
And we all like old Jim Carmichael, Eddie Rehberg’s magic tones.
Carlo Vinci is a cinchy, always comes through in a pinchy,
Like Lou Zukor makes a flurry and Lou Appet draws a story,
Here is Chuck and there a Chuck, and one is Couch and one is Jones.
Now we corral old Howard known as Cal, he’s everybody’s pal,
Because he’s made for producers loads of money!
Big Larz Bourne and those tall tales he’s drawn,
Friz Freleng still goes on, David Tendlar, Eddie Friedman still think funny.
Benny Shenkman, Carl Urbano, Jackie Zander, man oh man oh,
Bernie Wayne and Sidney Miller want this song to be a killer,
If some guys we’ve overlooked, does that mean our goose is cooked?
Hope not, hope not!
Next week: Part 3, the roll call of the honorees.