Friday, June 21, 2019

Was "the Droopy voice" artificially produced?

Never thought of this before--I mean, why not assume it was naturally-produced, and Bill Thompson was just folding over his larynx in some way to get that distinctive thirsty-scratchy kind of rasp.  (Originally known as Fibber McGee and Molly's Wallace Wimple, and also appearing as Disney's forest ranger J Audobon Woodlore.)

But it's such a difficult-- even impossible-- voice to approximate, much less copy.  Impressions (like John Stewart's) stand out because of how much they don't sound like Droopy, scratchy but smooth. The sheer difficulty is reflected in the repeated failure of MGM Studios to find someone else to voice The Droop.  None of the non-Thompson Droopies are even close. 

Bill Thompson was a great voice man.  People still say "That ain't the way I heered it!" without even knowing it was originally his line.  And for years I thought it was Percy Helton as Mr Smee in Peter Pan.  

(Being able to do a Percy Helton impression is quite an accomplishment in itself.)

But it seems reasonable that Thompson, as a radio-struck kid in the 1920's, dreamed of making a living with his voice, and probably sent away for one of those "throw your voice" things in the comic books.

Throw-your-voice thing:

Or, he might have used a swazzle or "Punch Whistle":
Named for Punch the puppet.  A reed suspended in a sleeve, placed in the mouth to produce whistles or whistling speech.  My theory is, he had one of those in his mouth, and found some way to talk around it, sounding more or less like a normal person.

Is it possible that one of these devices was involved in creating the Droopy Voice?  We may never know. 

Friday, June 14, 2019

CURTIS8516: Mall Music Muzak - Mall Of 1974

Today's weird Internet find: 38 minutes of actual 1970's shopping mall muzak, rescued from videos, records and Spiro Agnew's cassette collection.

link to the Internet Archive

This might be the best: The Fountain of Life overflows with reverb,  Fascinatingly decrepit and flatulent.  Kind of like the 70's.