Wednesday, March 20, 2013

See the cherry trees blossoming & sing a song of Spring, with Al Jolson & Cab Calloway

I hope you'll help me celebrate Spring 2013 with the DG's typical mix of high and low art. First off is my favorite Warner Bros cartoon featuring non-continuing characters. It's called "Owl Jolson," and after years of hoping it would come around again on random cartoon viewings, I was delirious with joy when I found it on youTube. Below are both short and long versions.


Thanks to the wonders of youTube, I also found the original song that the cartoon was riffing on ("I love to singa About the moona and the Junea and the springa"), with Al Jolson and Cab Calloway no less. This version has a great annotation and the lyrics on the youTube page, so it's worth checking out.

I love Jolson's little hip wiggle!
On to more sedate and serene offerings. These woodblock prints by Japanese artist Kawase Hasui (1883–1957) depict Spring in various settings, with a focus on the early-blooming cherry tree.
More Japanese art.
More Warner Brothers cartoons.

13 comments:

  1. Owls, spring, and cartoons?

    Oh, Glean you know just what I needed today! Happy Spring!

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    1. I'm happy it makes you happy! More owls coming soon... for your Minerva-esque pleasure.

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  2. Cab Calloway, Japanese woodblocks and Molly Monday:) You know just what I needed as well... Happy (cold) Spring!!!

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    Replies
    1. Glad you're back ... and hope it warms up soon. Have you sighted any cherry blossoms in DC?

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  3. "Owl Jolson" cartoon, all time favorite especially the "I love to singa," so cute and funny. Happy Spring Glean, Happy Spring.

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  4. I, too, love the Spring-a.. but I'm not sure my enthusiasm would cause me to dance like a suicidal maniac on the edge of a high-rise building... just sayin'.

    Thanks for Owl Jolson. Adorable.

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  5. Thanks for this. I have always loved Owl (not to mention Jack Bunny), but never saw the Al video before.

    p.s. The classic story of the son scorned by his father for being a jazz singer always reminds me of the Monty Python skit about the London playwright who can't stand it that his son wants to be a coal miner.

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    Replies
    1. Or Jennifer Saunders as Edina Monsoon in Absolutely Fabulous, yearning for her daughter to be a lesbian -- or at least to have a black baby.

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  6. Seeing the Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies reminds me that when I grew up, cartoons taught me classical and jazz music, not violence. Was I surprised to find out that frenetic music in so many cartoons was Franz Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody #2!

    Thanks for the spring lift; the cherry blossoms are lovely and will do till the real thing comes along!

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  7. Three cheers for Owl Jolson, jazz singer hors d'oeuf! (Couldn't resist)

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  8. This is my all time favorite cartoon and I even sing it to my class of two year olds! They all love it! Funny thing is no one I ever mention this cartoon or the song to know it. LOL! So sad they were deprived.

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