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Lady, Play Your Mandolin!

1931

Lady, Play Your Mandolin! was the first Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies cartoon, directed by Rudolf Ising of Harman and Ising. It was originally released in August 1931.

The cartoon features Foxy as a gaucho who decides to visit a local saloon. His horse soon finds himself drunk on tequila and begins to hallucinate wildly. Similarly to Foxy, the cartoon features a female fox character that is very reminiscent of Minnie Mouse.
As was typically the case with the early entries in the Merrie Melodies series, one purpose of the cartoon was to promote a Warner-owned popular song. The title theme, written by Oscar Levant with lyrics by Irving Caesar, was a 1930 #5 pop hit sung by Nick Lucas and released by Brunswick Records, which had been purchased by Warner Brothers the previous year (Another recording, by the Havana Novelty Orchestra was released the same year on RCA's Victor Records). In the short, it is sung by a female fox character who would later become Foxy's girlfriend, Roxy.
The credited animators were Rollin "Ham" Hamilton and Norm Blackburn (plus uncredited animation by Isadore Freleng, Robert Clampett (his first cartoon at WB according to some sources) and Carman Maxwell) with a musical score and direction of the Brunswick Recording Orchestra by Frank Marsales.

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