Oregon Cartoon Institute

Screening Series, The Waypost & The Secret Society

In Uncategorized on March 16, 2011 at 5:08 pm

When: Tuesdays, May 10, May 17, May 24, May 31

What time: 7:00 PM

Where: Secret Society, 116 NE Russell, between MLK and Rodney, in Portland, Oregon

How much: $6.00, suggested donation

Tuesday, May 10

Mel Blanc, Raymond Scott & Carl Stalling: Warner Brothers’ Powerhouse 
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Mel Blanc was not the only genius working at Termite Terrace. Warner Brothers cartoons featured dense, layered sound environments combining dialog, sound effects, original compositions, and mischievous references to popular song. Music director Carl Stalling often drew on works by Raymond Scott, the inventor/mad scientist/jazz band leader who wrote Powerhouse. The result: Powerhouse is one of the most familiar melodies on the planet.
There They Go Go Go ( 1956) Roadrunner cartoon using Powerhouse

Target Snafu (1944) Military training cartoon using The Toy Trumpet. Mel Blanc voices Pvt. Snafu

A Lecture on Camouflage (1944) Military training cartoon using Powerhouse. Mel Blanc voices Pvt. Snafu

Meatless Flyday (1944 ) WB using Huckleberry Duck, Siberian Sleighride 

Rumors Snafu (1943) Military training cartoon using Powerhouse, Dinner Music for a Pack of Hungry Cannibals Mel Blanc voices Pvt. Snafu

An Itch In Time  (1943) WB using Powerhouse 

Spies Snafu  (1943)  Military training cartoon using Powerhouse Mel Blanc voices Pvt. Snafu
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Tin Pan Alley Cats  (1943) One of the Censored Eleven, using Dinner Music for a Pack of Cannibals 

All films from The Nyback Collection
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7:00 PM@ Secret Society, 116 NE Russell, Portland, Oregon
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Admission by donation

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Tuesday, May 17

Mel Blanc and the Jazz Age: Portland Jazz Baby
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Where did Mel Blanc get his astounding ear and ability to improvise? This program is of music shorts of pre-1930’s jazz bands (Duke EllingtonHal Kemp) and performers (Bessie SmithRudy ValleeEddie Peabody, others) which document the era during which Mel Blanc was himself a professional musician playing in Portland jazz bands. This is the music young Mel Blanc heard.
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Program opens with a live performance from Portland’s newest ukulele orchestra,  Honky Tonk Prison.
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We’re so pleased to have ukulele musicians with us on this night. Mel Blanc was discovered playing ukulele and singing with the Multnomah Hotel Orchestra in 1927. He was nineteen.
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On to the films! They will include:
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Kitty From Kansas City   (1931) Betty Boop is the title character in a song performed by Rudy Vallee, which he made famous in 1930.
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Black and Tan(1929)  Dudley Murphy directs Duke Ellington and his Cotton Club Orchestra
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Favorite Melodies (1929) Ruth Etting
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Rhapsody in Black and Blue(1932)  Short with Louis Armstrong and Sidney Easton.
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College Chums (1928)   Eddie Peabody with Hal Kemp Orchestra.
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St. Louis Blues (1929)  Dudley Murphy directed the only film of Bessie Smith.
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All films from The Nyback Collection.
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7:00 PM@ Secret Society, 116 NE Russell, Portland, Oregon
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Admission by donation
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May 24

It Was Against The Law: Mel Blanc, Prohibition and the Speakeasy Era

Mel Blanc was 12 years old when Prohibition began, an adult when it ended. Cartoons, short films, and newsreel footage from The Nyback Collection bring to life the era of rolled stockings, short skirts and hip flasks. Includes Bing Crosby in The Big Broadcast (1932),Felix the Cat inWoos Whoopee (1928), Betty Boop in Betty Boop For President (1932), and newsreel documentary footage of bottle smashing speakeasy raids.
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Clink Clink   (Soundie 1943)  Mel  Blanc sings with the Spike Jones boys about the evil of booze in pre-Prohibition America.
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Woos Whoopee  1928  Felix The Cat goes on a speakeasy drunken spree while his wife waits at home.
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Hearst Metrotone News  (1929 sound Newsreel) Coast Guard patrols and nabs rum runners.
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Project XX The Jazz Age (1956  Excerpt)  Television documentary with newsreel  footage of Texas Guinan and other speakeasy action.
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Hell Bound (1931, Excerpt)  Clip shows speakeasy scene with Lola Lane singing while Leo Carrillo watches and guns are discretely shown.
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Pathe News(1928  Silent  Newsreel )   SF Agents Destroy Booze
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Hollywood and the Stars:  How to Succeed as a Gangster (1963, excerpt)  TV doc shows real speakeasy and gangster footage.  Then it shows clips from films made during Prohibition exploiting the issue.  James Cagney and  Edward G. Robinson are featured.  Joseph Cotton narrates.
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The Rich Drink and get ready for the Revolution  (c1973 , Excerpt)  This clip is from a TV doc on the Depression.
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Betty Boop for President  (1932)  Cartoon spoofs the political process but slyly promotes FDR and the end of Prohibiton.

Murder at the Vanities (1934, excerpt)  The musical number, Cocktails for Two, which  celebrates the end of Prohibition.  This Arthur Johnston song later became Spike Jones’ greatest hit.

All films from The Nyback Collection.

7:00 PM@ Secret Society, 116 NE Russell, Portland, Oregon

Admission by donation

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May 31

Radio Daze: Hollywood Behind The Microphone

Mel Blanc first performed on radio when he was 15 years old. Although he would become more famous for his work in animation, radio was Mel Blanc’s first love. He remained active in it his entire life. This program includes Dennis Nyback’s favorite radio themed cartoons and short films from 1929 to 1943.
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Coo Coo Nut Grove  (1936) WB Cartoon. Caricatures of 
Jean Harlow, 
Bette Davis, 
Joe E. Brown, 
Hugh Herbert, 
W.C. Fields, 
Clark Gable, 
Groucho and Harpo Marx, 
Johnny Weissmuller,
Mae West, 
Lionel and John Barrymore, 
Laurel and Hardy, 
Edward G. Robinson, 
Fred Astaire,
and George Raft dance and drink.  A caricatured Ben Bernie MC’s as the radio broadcasting bandleader.  Jokes comment on the feud between Ben Bernie and radio journalist Walter Winchell.
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Hi De Ho (1934)  Live action short. Cab Calloway appears at the Cotton Club, on a show being broadcast on the radio.  One of his fans is a railroad porter who is worried that while he is on the road his wife ( Fredi Washington) will betray him. Cab advises the man to buy a radio to keep his wife happy and at home.
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Captain Henry’s Radio Show (1933)   Live action. One of the most popular radio shows on the 1930s was the Maxwell House Showboat  This film shows a broadcast which includes the popular radio performers Annette Hanshaw and Lanny Ross.
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I Love to Singa  (1936)  WB Cartoon   Young Owl Jolson is a disappointment to his classical music loving father.  Kicked out of the house, he finds redemption singing jazz on an amateur hour radio show hosted by Jack Bunny.

Midnight Melodies (1936)  Loretta Lee,  Ed Paul,  Jack Gilford   Live action. Incredibly rare film featuring the Ed Paul Orchestra doing a radio broadcast.  Featured throughout is the  young comedian Jack Gilford, making his first of many film and television appearances, but eight years before his next film appearance.

GI Journal with Mel Blanc (c1944) Live action. Army-Navy Screen Magazine recreation of a radio broadcast features Mel Blancas the character Sad Sack. Extremely rare footage of Blanc performing live. Also featuring Lucille Ball and  Kay Kyser.

God Bless America (1943)  Live action. Technicolor clip from This is the Army (1943).  Features  Kate Smith introducing the famous Irving Berlin song in the form of a radio broadcast heard by the nation and by soldiers over seas.  Among the listeners areGeorge Murphy, who later became a United States Senator, and a fresh faced nobody named Ronald Reagan.

All films from The Nyback Collection

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7:00 PM@ Secret Society, 116 NE Russell, Portland, Oregon

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Admission by donation

Oregon Cartoon Institute welcomes volunteers.

Mel Blanc grew up in Portland, was educated in Portland, and received his first professional training and work opportunities right here in Portland. He conducted two parallel careers in Portland from 1927 to 1935: he was both a musician and  a radio performer. He was eight years into a show business career when he moved to Los Angeles where he originated the voices for Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Sylvester the Cat, Tweety Bird and many, many others. There is no voice artist in the history of animation who is held in higher esteem.

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ARCHIVES

February 2011 Screening Series @ The Waypost

When: Tuesdays, February 1, February 8, February 15, February 22

What  Time: 7:00 PM

Where:  The Waypost3120 North Williams Avenue, between Fargo and Monroe

How Much: $6, suggested donation

Oregon Cartoon Institute cofounders Dennis Nyback and Anne Richardson will explain what the Mel Blanc Project is, and how people who are interested can get involved.

Oregon Cartoon Institute is partnering with Oregon Jewish Museum,Ethos Music School and Oregon Cultural Heritage Commission to create the Mel Blanc Project, which will take place from May to August 2011.

Mel Blanc grew up in Portland, was educated in Portland, and received his first professional training and work opportunities right here in Portland. He conducted two parallel careers in Portland from 1927 to 1935: he was both a musician and  a radio performer. He was eight years into a show business career when he moved to Los Angeles where he originated the voices for Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Sylvester the Cat, Tweety Bird and many, many others. There is no voice artist in the history of animation who is held in higher esteem.

The Project includes a Mel Blanc exhibit at the Oregon Jewish Museum; a four part lecture series presented by Oregon Cartoon Institute which will take place in May.

Oregon Cartoon Institute is holding this Waypost screening series  (thank you Michael Newman!) as a crash course on the genius of Mel Blanc, and to let everyone know about the Mel Blanc Project who might want to work on it. We welcome volunteers.

Tuesday, February 1.

Mel Blanc Sings

Dennis will show off Mel Blanc’s musicianship and technical prowess with a program of cartoons in which Mel Blanc stays in character as he sings. Dennis will talk about the way these cartoons were made for adults, and were shown in theaters to a general audience. He’ll talk about the way cartoons interpolate popular music, and spoof opera, and what those musical references meant to the audiences these cartoons were originally shown to. Thanks to Heather Perkins for suggesting we explore this topic.

Pickador Porky 1937 Mel Blanc’s Warner Brothers’ debut, as a singing drunk

Hamateur Night 1939 Mel voices various performers in this Tex Avery look at vaudeville

You Oughta Be In Pictures 1940 Mel sings opera as Daffy Duck

Porky’s Midnight Matinee 1941 Mel sings as Porky

Daffy Duckaroo 1942  Mel sings cowboy songs as Daffy

Bugs Bunny Nips The Nips 1944 Mel sings as Bugs Bunny

The Goldbrick 1944 Mel sings straight, as well doing Pvt. Snafu’s voice in this WWII training film

Russian Rhapsody 1944 Mel sings the famous I’m A Gremlin From The Kremlin

Tuesday, February 8.

Suppressed Mel Blanc, aka Bad Bugs Bunny

Dennis’ most popular program. Some of these cartoons have been so successfully suppressed that you can’t see them anywhere. For this screening, Dennis’ intros will focus on Mel Blanc’s voice acting. He’ll also talk about the corporate self censorship which withdrew these films from circulation, and why he believes it is important that they still be seen.

All This And Rabbit Stew 1941 One of the Censored Eleven. Mel does Bugs Bunny. Dir. Tex Avery

Booby Traps 1944 Mel does Private Snafu. Dir. Bob Clampett

Tokio Jokio 1943 Wartime propaganda, now shocking in its un-funnyness. Mel in multiple roles. Dir. Norman McCabe.

Plus Mel in five other suppressed cartoons that cannot be named ( or revealed by those in attendance.)

Tuesday, February 15.

Evolution of Bugs Bunny

Mel Blanc originated Bugs Bunny’s voice, and was the sole provider of that voice for almost 50 years. Very hard to separate Mel Blanc from his favorite creation! Dennis will show cartoons documenting the chronological progression of Bugs Bunny from his first appearance throughout his heyday in the 40’s.

A Wild Hare 1940  The first official Bugs cartoon, dir. by Tex Avery

All This and Rabbit Stew 1941, dir. by Tex Avery, one of the Censored Eleven

Fresh Hare 1942, dir. by Fritz Freleng

A Corny Concerto 1943, dir. by Bob Clampett

Hare Ribbin 1944, dir. by Bob Clampett

Bugs Bunny Nips the Nips 1944, dir. by Fritz Freleng

Herr Meets Hare 1945, dir. by Fritz Freleng

Southern Fried Rabbit 1953, dir. by Fritz Freleng

The Bugs Bunny Show 1963 Updated Bugs serves as host

Tuesday, February 22.

Vaudeville Deluxe, aka the Prehistory of Bugs

If you don’t know what vaudeville was, this program will provide the answer. Dennis will show a full program of vaudeville acts from the 30’s. Mel Blanc grew up watching these performers as a child. Later he worked as a musician in the pit orchestra of Portland’s Orpheum vaudeville theater. When vaudeville moved to radio, Mel Blanc went right along with it.

Vaudeville Deluxe is one of Dennis’ most popular programs. Some Portland New Vaudevillians will be invited to come as unofficial guest speakers.

Gus Visser and His Singing Duck  Ma  She’s Making Eyes at Me 1925

J. Harold Murray sings The Ranger Song c1927

Two College Boys Duke Atterbury  Ken Gillum c1929

The Old Fashioned Way (1934 excerpt) W.C. Fields, juggling

Vitaphone Frolics (1937)

Stanley Brothers

Jack and Loretta Clemens

Zeb Carver and His Cousins

The L.I.M.E.  Trio   Golliwog

The All-Colored Vaudeville Show (1935)

Eunice Wilson and the Five Racketeers

The Three Whippets

Adalaide Hall  with Joe Turner

The Nicholas Brothers

That Goes Double (1933)

Russ Columbo

The Three Cossacks (Roller skaters)

Bernice and Emily (Staircase acrobats)

Roy Smeck (Plays the hell out of ukulele)

Smash Your Baggage (1933)

Entertainers From Small’s Paradise

Elmer Snowden

Roy Eldridge

Dickie Wells

Rubberlegs Williams

Vitaphone Gambols (1937)

A.B.C Trio

Masters and Johnson

Chaz Chase

Elaine Dowling

Tip Top Girls

His College Chums (1928)

Eddie Peabody

Hal Kemp and His Orchestra

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