Tubby the Tuba LP – Narrated by Annette

Who is Tubby the Tuba you ask? Well, if you were into collecting very obscure Disneyland Records releases in 1963, you’d recognize this character as a one-off musical instrument used to teach children about, what else: music.

But I’m guessing that doesn’t clear anything up for you, so I think this would be a good time to show you the LP cover:

I love his socks!

This LP from Disneyland Records follows the pattern of most similar releases in that the main title is confined to the A Side, with filler or stock music of a related theme confined to the B Side. So as you may gather from that, Tubby the Tuba and his story only appears on the A Side of this LP.

Annette does a fantastic job of narrating the story doing many character voices and even singing a very funny character song for a bullfrog.

FUN FACT: Even though Walt talked her out of changing her last name, with the argument that she would be unique and remembered for it, she is often billed as simply ‘Annette’. What’s up with that?

The story of Tubby the Tuba follows, you guessed it, a tuba as he tries to be taken seriously by the snobbish instruments of the orchestra he is a part of. While they get to play beautiful melodies he only gets to go ‘Uumpa! Uumpa!’ and is shouted down if he tries to do anything else.

After a rehearsal Tubby goes off by himself and sits down beside a pond where he meets a large bullfrog. The bullfrog is a happy and courteous fellow and greets the tuba and soon they are swapping life stories which turn out to be very similar. It seems the bullfrog’s singing isn’t appreciated by his pond friends either. He sings a tune for Tubby that both cheers him up and gives him something to play for his band mates!

Tubby returns to the orchestra for another rehearsal and tries to sneak the bullfrog’s tune in but is again shouted down by the other instruments. But the Conductor hears it and asks Tubby to play it again. He does so and it is so good that all of the other instruments join in and Tubby is now a respected part of the orchestra!

NOT-SO FUN FACT: Back in 1963 society still wasn’t very sensitive to anything that was different. Movies and television were filled with stereotypical depictions of heavy-set people. Usually every plucky protagonist had an overweight friend constantly munching on junk food for comic relief. I always wondered how those (usually) younger actors felt about being hired solely to be laughed at?

My contention is with the naming of this character: Tubby the Tuba. With the root word so obvious and the tuba’s size as an instrument, it’s not hard to see why the writers took the easy way out in naming him. But although arguably not as cute, couldn’t he have been named Thomas the Tuba or Terry the Tuba or Tony the Tuba?

This may be a stretch, but it comes close to fat shaming a tuba because of its size.

Now back to 2016 and the B Side of the LP:

  Tubby the Tuba Record 4

  1. This was a Short from 1953 and provided a history of music through the ages, from prehistoric man to the modern symphony orchestra.
  2. An old standard given a new musical twist.
  3. A medley featuring five things kids might sing about.
  4. Jimmie Dodd sings a quasi-religious song based on the Bible book of Proverbs to the Mouseketeers.
  5. This song was written by Dodd but sung by an ensemble.

It was great to hear Jimmie Dodd again as he was such a great talent and a very good man all around. It’s always interesting to see him outside of his Mickey Mouse Club role.

These old LPs are great collectors items and very inexpensive to obtain. I picked this one up a local flea market for just a dollar. The music is well done and the artwork is fun!

Jimmie Dodd Meets Private Snuffy Smith

Welcome to another installment of ‘Where On Earth Did You Find This‘ on Disney Nouns! The blog that seeks to share the most obscure Disney references imaginable.

Case in point:

This is a 1942 American film directed by Edward F. Cline and starring Bud Duncan as Snuffy Smith. It was actually a comic strip made into a movie, and done quite well, I might add.

Synopsis: Inspired by and envious of the $21 a month and free khaki britches and gold buttons of his friend Don Elbie (our man Jimmie Dodd), Snuffy Smith joins the US Army with his dog, Mr. Carson, concealed by an invisibility potion. As fate would have it, his company First Sergeant is Ed Cooper, a former revenuer who had unsuccessfully attempted to locate and destroy Snuffy’s still.

The clever Don Elbie (yup, Jimmie Dodd) has invented a new rangefinder that he hopes to have adopted by the army. General Rosewater hopes to test the new rangefinder in war games with a rival general. A pair of Fifth columnists hope to steal the rangefinder but are defeated by Snuffy’s wife Lowizie, Snuffy’s invisible dog and his hillbilly neighbours.

Sounds sane enough. And here is what the title cards have to say about Jimmie Dodd:

  Jimmie Dodd 3

Jimmie Dodd actually cares for the only three tunes in the film:

Times a-Wastin, which is Snuffy Smith’s battle cry, was written by four men but sung by Dodd.

The Yard Bird, which referred to the Smith character once inducted, was written and performed by Dodd.

I Don’t Know What To Do Blues was also written and performed by Dodd.

Now here are some stills of Jimmie Dodd as Don Elbie from the film:

     Jimmie Dodd 5    

Jimmie Dodd 7         

Keep in mind that this film was released in 1942, so it is a full 13 years before Dodd became the leader of the Mouseketeers. But we can see that he was already a musical player and songwriter. It was nice to find him in such a substantial role!

Jimmie Dodd 9

 Jimmie Dodd (March 28, 1910 – November 10, 1964)

Dodd did many turns in the movies before linking up with Disney, usually uncredited, but Private Snuffy Smith is seldom mentioned.

Book Review: The Mickey Mouse Club Scrapbook – SSE

M – I – C (“See what’s in this post!”)

K – E – Y (“Why? Because I need the blog traffic!”)

P – L – U – G – Geeeeeeeeee!

OK, that last line had one too many capital Gs (and lots of cute little e’s), but I had to make it match the famous chant. The Mickey Mouse Club started in 1955 with many of the original Mouseketeers being on board before Disneyland was actually opened. So it was a natural cross-promotional move to have them present at the parks grand opening.

And of course, the merchandise wasn’t far behind their own television debut!

Copyrighted 1975

The original Mickey Mouse Club was long off the air by the time this Special Souvenir Edition was sold for just $2.50 (I had to pay $4.95 in 2015 at an antique shop). This may have been an attempt to restore interest in the Club before the 1977 debut of the New Mickey Mouse Club. For the new show, the concept was modernized cosmetically, with a disco re-recording of the theme song and a more ethnically diverse group of young cast members. The sets were brightly colored and simpler than the detailed black and white artwork of the original. Like the original, nearly each day’s episode included a vintage cartoon, though usually in color from the late 1930s and onward.

According to the back cover, this book was intended to be a Where-Are-They-Now expose. The book starts with acknowledgments, and an introduction of what the original club was:

It has audition photos and stories for each of the original cast members:

It then gives a review of the show segments, as follows:

  • Monday: Fun With Music Day. Mickey says – “Big doings this week!”
  • Tuesday: Guest Star Day. Mickey says – “Everybody neat and pretty?”
  • Wednesday: Anything Can Happen Day. Mickey says – “Anything goes.”
  • Thursday: Circus Day. Mickey… stammers?
  • Friday: Talent Roundup Day. Mickey says – “You all pretty nigh ready?”

Next to be featured are the serials. These include:

  • White Shadow (1955)
  • The Hardy Boys (1956)
  • Clint and Mac (1957)
  • Annette (1957)
  • The Adventures of Spin and Marty (1956-7)

What comes next is very cool:

Three more songs are featured with music sheets: Anything Can Happen Day; Here Comes the Circus!; and Talent Roundup.

Why not sing along, or better yet, sit down at your piano and play along!

Next comes The Mouseketeers Today, a great section with a head shot of the subject all grown up along with a brief blurb about their life today.

There were also 7 original Club members that the compilers of this book couldn’t find at the time of publishing:

Unfortunately, Jimmie Dodd passed away many years ago (1910-1964) but you can read all about this beautiful person at OriginalMMC.com by clicking the link.

All in all this is a wonderful keepsake with much insider information about everyone’s favorite mice!

To conclude, I just couldn’t end this post without publishing pictures of the other three song sheets included in the book. I apologize for the poor color quality in advance, but you can still enlarge them to read the lyrics or play along on your instruments:

This book was compiled by Keith Keller and published by Grosset & Dunlap of New York.

I would give this book a 5 out of 5 stars for being so full of nostalgia! Any fan of the show, Annette, or early Disney lore will love it!