Monday, October 18, 2010

"... when someone whistles"

The Tin Pan Alley/hot-jazz tune "Mysterious Mose" spins the ballad of a ghost who haunts the bandstand. Mose hangs around graveyards and deserted houses too -- he's pretty much responsible for that shiver you get when you're alone at night and have that strange feeling that you're. being. watched.

But it's all in the name of fun and er, doing the Charleston. Oh! And puppets and animation:

[courtesy of turbannedruffian]
That version uses the Radio All-Star Novelty Orchestra's recording from 1930, sometimes billed with bandleader Harry Reser's name above the orchestra.

Max Fleisher used "Mysterious Mose" as both a soundtrack and a basis for the "plot" of a Betty Boop cartoon, with Boop's sidekick Bimbo taking the role of Mose. [And yes, Ms. Boop has dog ears. This was 1930 when she was transitioning from her original canine self to the flapper temptress we all know.] Watch all six minutes of the cartoon here.

And if you're not tired of hearing the song yet, a marionette performer and "soft yard haunter" named Larry Schmidt did a puppet routine to another version of "Mysterious Mose."