Animating Music: The Early Years

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Monday, August 22, 2011

From Merrie Melodies and Silly Symphonies to Looney Tunes, there’s no doubt about it – music and cartoons go hand in hand. Today, we kick off our week-long series -- Animating Music -- with a look back to the very first days of synchronizing image and sound. Plus, a live performance from Trinidadian trumpeter Etienne Charles and his band.

Animating Music: The Fleischer Era

It wasn’t an easy road to bringing music and animation together. In the days before sound and image became one, theaters had live accompanists…or films were simply silent. But in the late 1920s, New York-based Fleischer Studios - whose work includes Betty Boop, Popeye and Superman - revolutionized the genre. We’ll hear how this family-run animation studio pioneered many practices, some of which are still used today. Guests include Daniel Goldmark, author “Tunes for ‘Toons: Music and the Hollywood Cartoon” and Will Friedwald, author of "A Biographical Guide to the Great Jazz and Pop Singers."

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In Studio: Etienne Charles

On his third album, “Kaiso,” Trinidadian trumpeter Etienne Charles blends his native country’s traditional calypso with the jazz that he studied at Berklee and Julliard. He’ll bring the sounds of Carnival to the studio as he joins us with his band to perform takes on Caribbean classics.


Khaled M, Libyan-American hip-hop artist.

Libyan-American Rapper Reacts to Rebel Takeover With Music

Libyan-American hip-hop artist Khaled M is celebrating the news that rebel forces have entered Tripoli with new music. For a few months, the rapper has been recording his first music video, an upbeat song titled “Lights Out.”  But he decided that it wasn’t appropriate to release feel-good music until Qaddafi was out of power.

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Jones Street Station in full, harmonizing swing.

Gig Alert: Jones Street Station

Tuesday night, Jones Street Station brings Americana-infused harmonies and instruments small and large to Brooklyn Bowl.


John Schaefer on Tunes for Toons

Cartoon music is some of the earliest music we hear.

Julia Nunes

Gig Alert: Julia Nunes

YouTube sensation Julia Nunes brings her ukulele and charisma to Webster Hall Monday night. Download her "I Think You Know" here.

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