Carl Stalling and Popular Music in the Warner Bros. Cartoons

Daniel Goldmark

in Tunes for 'Toons

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2005 | ISBN: 9780520236172
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520941205 | DOI:
Carl Stalling and Popular Music in the Warner Bros. Cartoons

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Carl Stalling's work as a composer for Hollywood cartoons was apparently headed for the same fate as practically all film music: heard but never widely recognized for its creativity and originality. That changed two decades after his death in 1972, when Greg Ford and Hal Willner produced The Carl Stalling Project (1990–95), two CDs of Stalling's music taken from his time at Warner Bros. (1936–1958). The discs sold surprisingly well for a niche release; the first of the two discs actually appeared briefly on the Billboard album chart. As a result, a new interest in cartoon music began to emerge in the early 1990s. Through the CDs, Stalling suddenly became visible to animation fans who had never before thought about him or his work for the cartoons. This chapter examines how the two sides of Stalling's personality as a composer—the humorous side and the practical side—came together in each score through his use of precomposed or popular music. It also looks at how, during his twenty-plus years at Warner Bros., Stalling's approach to musical scoring naturally evolved.

Keywords: Carl Stalling; popular music; cartoons; Hollywood; cartoon music; animation; musical scoring; Warner Bros

Chapter.  12767 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: American Music

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