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The singer behind Betty Boop

The singer behind Betty Boop, Baby Esther Jones, TV Commercial, spot, mktg, jazz, sound idenitity, musicmatters, blog, sound branding, sound design

Betty Boop is an animated cartoon character created by Max Fleischer. She became a cultural icon in the 1930s linked to her memorable Boop-Boop-a-Doop.

As a caricature of a Jazz Age flapper, she starred several television commercials singing and dancing.

The sound of that Boop-Boop-a-Doop was the success of this cartoon, together with its look that combines in appearance the childish with the sophisticated.

But, who inspired Max Fleischer?

We thought that it was Helen Kane, a real woman who looks just like a real life version of the cartoon character.

During the Fleischer v. Kane trial, Paramount was able to prove that Kane did not uniquely originate Betty Boop style of singing or look.

Although we can see several inspiration figures that had the Betty Boop style of dress and hair, Kane first but also the actress Clara Bow, we have to admit that the character would not have been possible without 1920s jazz singer Esther Jones.

Known by her stage name "Baby Esther", she was an African American singer and entertainer of the late 1920s, famous for her "baby" singing style, who performed regularly at the Cotton Club in Harlem.

Baby Esther interpreted words such as 'Boo-Boo-Boo, Wha-Da-Da & Doo-Doo-Doo & Do-Do-De-Do-Ho-De-Wa-Da-De-Da' in songs at a cabaret.

Helen Kane saw Baby Esther's cabaret act in 1928 and she turned that "boo-boo-boo" and "doo-doo-doo" words into a recording of "I Wanna Be Loved By You".


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