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Thursday, December 15, 2005

STALLING, Carl

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Birth/Death

Birth: November 10,1891
Death: November 29,1972

Occupation/Title

One of the most famous but most unknown composers of animated cartoons of the 20th century

Bio Summary

Carl Stalling was born in Lexington, Missouri November 10,1981. Carl started out his career in music as a silent film organist in Kansas City at the Isis Theater. Shortly after he met and became friends with Walt Disney who was just starting his new-fangled animation company and was in need of a composer. Carl composed many of Disney’s early works including such famous animated shorts as Plane Crazy and Gallopin’ Gaucho in 1928. Carl left Disney in 1930 to work for Ub Iwerks on the Flip the Frog series, and six years after that he left to work for Warner Bros where he had a 60-piece orchestra to work with and composed over 600 soundtracks averaging about 1 a week for 22 years.

Early Life/Family

Carl’s family knew he was interested in music as an infant because he would spend hours playing his own made up songs on a broken toy piano. He first became interested in films at the age of 5 when it is said that The Great Train Robbery was projected in a tent he was in. From that point on Carl was hooked on motion pictures and more specifically the music that accompanied them. When Carl was 13 he was the resident pianist at the local movie house where he played during the reel changes.

Education/Training

Carl’s musical education began as a child, and tuned his musical skills by playing as the resident pianist at his local movie house. By his mid 20’s he was conducting his own orchestra at the Isis Theater in Kansas City Missouri.
Career Outline
-Worked for Disney in 1928 to 1930
-worked for Ub Iwerks in 1930 to 1936
-Worked for Warner Bros in 1936 to his retirement in 1958

Career Outline

Comments On Style

Carl Stalling is called by some as the first postmodernist of the music industry. He composed music that was disjunctive and crazy and would include many different themes in one song. He would incorporate folk, jazz, and classical and place them into a scene to make them beautifully flow.

Influences

Carl was influenced from many different things in his compositions. He used influences from current music of the time, classical symphonies that he would listen to, and then he would mix them all together and used what would fit best. He also began to use common motifs for the actions that the characters where doing on film. For example when there was a character that had a little too much to drink on scene and they were stumbling around to “How dry I am” by Benny Bell. Or when Bugs Bunny would appear in drag (like he usually did) “The Lady in Red” began to play in the background

Personality

Carl Stalling was a man with a great sense of humor and an ambition that would lead him to be one the most influential composers of the animation world.

Anecdotes

Carl Loved to use songs with titles that would correspond with the action on screen
For example:
 A drunken character would stumble around to “How Dry I am”
 A football team would scrim to “Freddie the Freshman”
 A scene of someone house would be accompanied by “There’s no place like Home.”

Miscellaneous

Filmography

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0006298/

Honors

Annie Award: Winsor McCay Award 1978

Related Links

http://awn.com/mag/issue2.1/articles/goldmark2.1.html
http://www.partialobserver.com/article.cfm?id=1298
http://www.slate.com/id/2092021/

Bibliographic References

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0006298/
http://www.slate.com/id/2092021/


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