Friday, November 9, 2007

Nov 10: Disney's First Musical Director

Carl W. Stalling, composer & arranger for cartoons, was born November 10, 1891. Born in Lexington, Missouri, Stalling first started playing piano at age six. Some fifteen years later he found himself conducting his own orchestra & improvising on organ at the Isis Movie Theater in Kansas City. It was at this time he befriended a young Walt Disney who was producing animated comedy shorts in Kansas City. Stalling was hired as Walt's very first musical director and worked on such early Mickey shorts as Plane Crazy and Gallopin' Goucho. He only stayed at Disney for 2 years (which included scoring the Silly Symphonies series). Stalling pioneered the use of "bar sheets" which allowed the musical rhythms to be sketched out simultaneously with the storyboard for the animation! He left Disney and eventually wound up with Warner Bros. where he remained until his retirement in 1958. If you've seen a Bugs Bunny cartoon ... you more than likely have heard the work of Carl Stalling!

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