Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Carl Stalling: Maestro of Symphonies, Melodies and Tunes

Born this date in 1891, Carl Stalling would be 118 years old today.

The musical heart and genius behind 100's of cartoons, Carl taught us about the rhythm and timing of good comedy.

He first befriended a young Walt Disney back in Kansas City, where Walt was producing his "Laugh-O-Gram" and "Alice" cartoons and Carl was a movie house organist. After the success of "Steamboat Willie" and Walt's foray into "sound cartoons", Walt sent for Carl to join his new crew in Hollywood.

Front row above: Ub Iwerks, Walt Disney, Carl Stalling

Carl did indeed join up and added much to the effort. It was Carl who first suggested the "Silly Symphonies" series.

Above: Carl and Ub seated with Walt standing directly over them.

When Ub Iwerks and Walt had their falling out, Carl went with Ub and worked at his studio, creating music for "Flip the Frog", "Willie Whopper" and Ub's "Comi-Color" series'.

After Ub's failure to compete with Disney, Carl made his last move. He joined the team at Warner Brothers, where 3 other Disney confederates had established a real cartoonists haven in the "Looney Tunes" and "Merrie Melodies" series, Hugh Harman, Rudoph Ising and Friz Freleng.

This is where Carl truly blossomed and left us with a legacy of sounds and music that has become a part of all of us.

Carl's training as a movie theatre pianist/organist had ingrained in him such a library of classical music, and adding to that Warner Music Publishing's vast library which was easily stamped on his grey matter he created a whole new way of cartoon and film storytelling.

...and the "kids" still rock it today!

How boring would life be without the creativity and musical ability of this man running through the backs of our heads?


Thanks Carl!


Heather Ferreira said...

Indeed, thank you, Mr. Stalling. You were the musical architect behind a lot of what made my childhood artistically wonderful.

Jeff Overturf said...

Thanks for reading Heather. The work you're doing will be looked on the same way by adults yet to be.

Stay positive. Cynical gets you nowhere!

Check out Heather's head at http://heatherferreira.blogspot.com/
and all about her work at http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0566764/bio

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