Monday, March 26, 2012

Gerald McBoing-Boing: Rare Seuss artwork

Dr. Seuss did not illustrate the Gerald McBoing Boing picture book -- it was based on artwork done for the initial UPA short, adapted by Mel Crawford. It's a very charming book and has been reissued in recent years.

Dr. Seuss did, however, execute the artwork for the Capitol 45 RPM record. I had a subsequent 45, which was probably based on the short Gerald Mc Boing-Boing's Symphony (1953). I played it hundreds of times.

It would have been easy to simply issue a soundtrack of the short. Instead, Capitol chose to create new music and have it narrated by The Great Gildersleeve. It's difficult to explain just what that means because Gildersleeve was not a specific actor but a character in a popular radio and television show, initially played by Harold Peary and later by Willard Waterman. After listening to the record here, it's clearly Waterman. He's probably most memorable to today's audiences as Mr. Upson in Auntie Mame and Mr. Vanderhoff in The Apartment.

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