Happy 75th birthday to Raymond Scott's POWERHOUSE!


34 Responses to “Happy 75th birthday to Raymond Scott's POWERHOUSE!”

  1. KevinVanCamper says:

    Jeff Winner of the Raymond Scott Blog wrote that — I just submitted it to BB. Thanks.

  2. PurpleWyrm says:

    I’ve always been partial to Soul Coughing’s version…


  3. sam1148 says:

    There should be a Google Doodle for this event. 

  4. Ultra Fem says:

    Which cartoon is that at :50? The one with the orange cat?

  5. So cute. I hope his heirs are still getting royalties.

    • KevinVanCamper says:

      They are.

      • Andrew Singleton says:

        Song will not hit Public Domain till what. 2035?

      • KevinVanCamper says:

        From http://RaymondScott.com/#913/custom_plain :
        Q: Is Raymond Scott’s tune, “Powerhouse,” or others he wrote in the public domain?A: No. All Raymond Scott compositions are still under copyright protection. Under current copyright law, titles copyrighted before 1978 are protected for a period of 95 years from the date of first copyright. “Powerhouse” dates from 1937, and will not enter the public domain until 2033. Scott’s earliest copyrighted title (“You’re My Lucky Charm”) dates from 1933, and many of his electronic recordings from the 1950s through the early-’80s were copyrighted after his death in 1994.

        • Donald Petersen says:

          It’s funny how the song has had a huge cultural impact on baby boomers, GenXers, and younger types almost entirely though Carl Stalling’s constant revisiting of the Powerhouse well.

          I was surprised myself at the longevity of music copyright from the Looney Tunes era.  I work on a Warner Bros television show, and at one point we were looking to license a cartoon that would be playing on a TV screen in a scene with a father and daughter watching it.  Turned out we never actually saw the front of the screen, so we only needed to license the audio.  Initially we figured we’d just license some old Looney Tune, rather than a more modern Scooby Doo (largely because Frank Welker’s voice does not come cheap), but even with the score for Rabbit of Seville being largely composed by the long-dead Gioachino Rossini, the license fee for Stalling’s arrangement alone turned out to be prohibitively expensive… even for Warner Bros Television!

          Stalling’s estate does okay off that arrangement, I’d guess, and so does Raymond Scott’s.  We ended up paying off Frank Welker after all.

  6. unklstuart says:

    Occasionally, my wife gets to sub on trombone for the Jeff Sanford Cartoon Jazz Orchestra. They play this and many other Raymond Scott pieces.

  7. Nicholas Marritz says:

    This is one of those bits of culture, like the “I [Heart] NY” logo, that’s so much a part of our media landscape that it’s sometimes hard to remember that some human being actually at one point said, “Aha!” and created it.

  8. noah django says:

    they left out my favorite example, the mice in the canning factory

  9. Chris Warren says:

    No mention of “La Villa Strangiato”? Internet, you have disappointed me. :(

  10. Carpeteria says:

    Raymond Scott, like Bob Moog and others after him, was an absolute mad genius beyond his compositions. He invented numerous electronic instruments, synthesizers, and sequencers, and created processes for recording that hadn’t yet crossed anyone’s mind. He’s definitely best known for “Powerhouse” via the WB cartoons, but he’s really someone worth spending more time reading about, if you’re into that sort of gorgeous muck.

  11. Incredible. SO many memories in 2:11. Wow.

  12. Paul Renault says:

    The Dance Orchestra playing Scott’s Dinner Music for a Pack of  Hungry Cannibals at Concordia University in Montreal:

    There used to be a YouTube video of the original cartoon, but I can’t find it.  Picture a bunch of cannibals dancing around a big cast iron pot.

  13. And in case you were wondering, there was a version for an all-harmonica band, The Philharmonicas: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ti-bpjcPD40

  14. I can’t find that his music was actually use in any cartoons, but I’m a fan of Speedy West as well: http://www.rdio.com/#/artist/Speedy_West/album/Steel_Guitar/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speedy_West Pedal Steel player who played comic-cartoony western swing. It’s like the “booing” sound at the beginning of Looney Tunes took on a whole musical life. Anyway, I thought he was used in cartoons, but I couldn’t find anything. Still good!

  15. Jim Schmidt says:

    I think I just found a new ringtone once Perry the Platypus gets old :)

  16. Jorpho says:

    What is this?  No one’s mentioned Homer Simpson at the bowling alley yet?

  17. Baldhead says:

    I got Don Byron’s album Bug Music entirely for this song. Of course the whole album is songs found frequently in old cartoons

  18. Petzl says:

    Scott led a very complicated life.  Check out the documentary on him by his son, “Deconstructing Dad.”

  19. zieroh says:

    Another tidbit: Raymond Scott’s “Twilight in Turkey” formed the basis for Professor Elemental’s “Fighting Trousers”.


    (Took some doing to make that connection!)

  20. baronkarza says:

    “No, no NO!! Not Happy Birthday, please! 
    ANYthing but that!!!
    Not Happy Birthday!!!”

  21. PKMousie says:

    Steroid Maximus (J. G. Thirwell, Foetus, etc.) does a lovely version.

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