Monday, March 21, 2011

The Classics with Dudley Do-Right and That Damn Frog

This morning on WVTF Public Radio, Seth Williamson played Franz von Suppe's "Light Cavalry Overture" and I know it will likely annoy him to hear this, but every time I hear the melody from that piece, a vivid picture of Dudley Do-Right riding backwards on his horse comes to mind. (Go to the 2:29 mark in the attached "Light Cavalry" to get the melody and then listen to Dudley's tune you'll see what I mean. The two melodies are slightly different, but I don't care. They're close enough.)

Walt Disney and Warner Brothers educated a generation of kids in classical music (though they had nothing to do with Dudley) and we must thank cartoons while simultaneously cursing them. Mickey Mouse in "Fantasia," a host of outlandish Warner characters, including that damn operatic frog ("One Froggy Evening"; OK, it's Ragtime; it's still cool) and the signing whale, come to mind.

Classic Americana: go to the lowest common denominator and make it memorable, like the GE light bulb and Pachalbel's Canon.


  1. Bugs Bunny's operatic parody of Wagner's "Ring" in "Kill the Wabbit" was classic! No Italian subtitles required. You laugh. You cry. Isn't that what great opera is all about?

  2. I love these cartoons. What memories they bring back.They used such imagination not found in cartoons (cartoon used lightly) today.

    Oh, Froggy and Dudley (which was a former last name of mine) and sweet Nell and bad Snidely Whiplash.

  3. Disney's "Silly Symphonies" from the 30's is an amazing collection of animation and music. I still watch them in awe. Check out The Old Mill.

  4. How do you know you're truly cultured?
    If you hear the William Tell Overture and do NOT think of the Lone Ranger