Now, there were Soundies cartoons, four in all, and we’ll post a few at some point in time. But here, not a cartoon, but an artist who created one of the most recognizable voices in all cartoondom, and believe it or not, we are not speaking of Mel Blanc!
Everyone familiar with Warner Bros. cartoons will immediately recognize Arthur Q. Bryant as the voice of the beloved Elmer Fudd. No jazz or Swing to be heard here, no musicians on screen, just a rather unusual “song-story” from the World of Soundies.
In 1940 and ’41 Soundies had competition from a Los Angeles-based concern called Techniprocess and Special Effects Corporation. Headed by Mario Castegnaro, this company produced a series of shorts that were screened on a projection device called the Vis-O-Graph. Techniprocess tried hard, but they were underfunded, and the public wanted big names, not the three-minutes stories that their shorts featured. The full history of the Techniprocess shorts is covered in the upcoming Soundies history and filmography, and today we share one of their subjects, a strange one indeed, but an entertaining three minutes, to be sure. Golfer’s Lament comes from the last of three production sessions. It was filmed and recorded in September 1941, and a band does not appear on screen. The music was recorded by a Lud Gluskin’s radio unit that included some familiar names: Harry Geller, Ed Kusby, Ben Kantor and Perry Bodkin. And the featured performer and voice? Arthur Q. Bryant.
Golfer’s Lament tells the familiar story of a sportsman having difficulty with his swing. But since this is a jukebox short, and not an instruction video, we are also treated to a bit of humor, along with images of shapely young ladies. I should also mention that this short was written by Mickey Ford, father of Los Angeles-based pianist extraordinaire Steve F’dor.