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A Feud There Was

The Vitaphone Corp. / Leon Schlesinger Productions / Warner Bros.

Release Date: 1938 09 24

Running time: 8 minutes Color

Key book (production) number: WB3826 / release 8506

Directed by Fred "Tex" Avery

Produced By: Leon Schlesinger.

Animated By: Sid Sutherland.

Written By: Melvin Millar.

Music By: Carl W. Stalling; Music Performed By The Sons Of The Pioneers.

 

Credits
Cast
Songs
Plot Summary
Comments by Les Adams

Comments by Lawrence Hopper

 

        This is the first use of the name "Elmer Fudd" in Warner Bros. cartoons. The name would become attached to the familiar Elmer Fudd character in "Elmer's Candid Camera" (1940). Elmer Fudd is named after Elmer Wait, the Warner Brothers animator who passed away one year before this cartoon is released.

        The Sons of the Pioneers supply part of the background music including one short lyric. Every time Egghead (Elmer Fudd) appears, we hear Leonard Slye's yodel. The call numbers on the radio mike are KFWB which was the Warner Brothers radio station for whom the Sons of the Pioneers worked.

 

 "While the Sons of the Pioneers were working for KFWB they were also doing outside non-group work (Bob Nolan voicing for Ken Maynard in In Old Santa Fe for one) but they most likely had the opportunity to go to lay down a couple of songs and other snatches, yodels, strums and hoots, for the boys in the Warner Brothers' animation department. Once WB had those they used them as seen fit since they paid for them. Even though the cartoons came out in '38 and '39 the Sons of the Pioneers' parts were from these earlier times. There is no direct correlation between all cartoons being conceived, written, songs and sound recorded and released in any short time span. Many were developed and not carried out immediately, just like many scheduled features which were rescheduled for various reasons. With the exception of the songs that are an integral part of A Feud There Was, the remainder is just collected material for future use. None are on the Standards." (Lawrence Hopper)

 

Cast:

Cartoon Characters: Egghead/Elmer Fudd, Maw, Old-Timer, Weaver, Other Hillbillies.

Vocal Talent: Robert C. Bruce, Mel Blanc, Dave Weber, Tex Avery, Sons of the Pioneers.

 

Plot Summary: In the mountains, a bunch of stereotypical hillbillies are having a feud. Maw's coffeepot is shot full of holes so she can pour five cups at once. An old-timer gets his beard shot off and says, "The old grey hair just ain't what she used to be." When it doesn't get a laugh, says, "Well, it sounded funny in rehearsal." The hillbillies blast their enemies on screen and off. "Are there any Weavers in the audience?" they ask. Pow. But their big enemy is Egghead, who rides up an a motorcycle which says, "Elmer Fudd, Peacemaker." All of the feuders fight Egghead, who wins- only to be shot by that Weaver in the audience. Egghead is identified as Elmer Fudd on his motorcycle.

 

Songs:

Introduction

Trio Yodel
Arkansas Traveler
Lets get out the shootin' irons....

Short yodel

Short yodel

Short yodel

Short yodel to end credits

Entire soundtrack

 

No Karl on guitar. Throughout, Egghead tries to make peace and whenever he comes on screen, Roy does a fast yodel. It's generally acknowledged today that the Sons of the Pioneers, featuring Bob Nolan and Roy Rogers, provide the country singing in this cartoon, which leads one to suspect they might have also provided the hillbilly harmony in Egghead Rides Again (1937), Naughty Neighbors (1938), and possibly others. "The Weavers" are also credited by listeners.
 

 

Let's get out the shootin' iron
And start right in to firein'
We'll wake the critter up
Draw a bead right on his poke
It's a _______
The McCoys is a mangy ig'nernt pup.

“Oh, we're in the mood
To kindle up a feud
When we want,” we said
Shake a leg you McCoys
______ you lazy boys
Else we'll plug you while you're in bed.
 

 


 

Comments by Les Adams:

Count Bob Nolan, Tim Spencer and Hugh Farr among the "voices heard" in this 1938 cartoon that has more then just the morphing of Egghead into Elmer Fudd as an attribute.

Warner Bros owned a radio station in L.A. with the call letters of KFWB, so when a microphone with those call letters appears in this cartoon, it wasn't there by accident. Among the performers appearing on KFWB in 1933-34 was a group known as The Pioneer Trio (also known as the Gold Star Rangers on the program sponsored by the Farley Clothing Company), comprised of Leonard Slye, Bob Nolan and Tim Spencer. Fiddle player Hugh Farr joined them in late 1933-early 1934, and shortly after that staff announcer Harry Hall introduced the quartet as The Sons of the Pioneers, much to the surprise of The Pioneer Trio plus One. Halls explanation was that they all appeared too young to be pioneers but qualified as being sons of same, plus they were no longer a trio. The first printed appearance of the Sons of the Pioneers name was in a newspaper radio log dated March 3, 1934.

The music in this cartoon begins with a trio yodel (Slye, Nolan and Spencer), followed by the instrumental "Arkansas Traveler" and then a short song that begins with..."Let's get out the shootin' irons"...with the voice and fiddle of Hugh Farr there along with the other three musicians. And the entrances of Egghead (as Elmer Fudd-Peacemaker) are preceded by the yodeling voice of Leonard Slye. Yes, we could write the name Roy Rogers instead of Slye, but since Slye was not using the name of Roy Rogers when the music heard in this film was first recorded, we tend to side with the remaining few who prefer historical accuracy in film credits.

But...AHA!... says the WB cartoon lovers (count me in that group) who can read release dates, this cartoon was released on September 24,1938 and Leonard Slye had been renamed Roy Rogers by Republic Pictures Corporation back in 1937.

But...AHA...replies I (without an exclamation mark, which ranks second only to the word "Awesome" as a tiresome overdone exercise),read the small print above that states..."when this music was first recorded." You can bet your last dollar than when "A Feud There Was" was in the planning stage, Tex Avery and Carl Stallings weren't over at the Schlesinger Corral putting in a call to Roy Rogers to come over to the lot and record some music and, by the way, bring the Sons of the Pioneers...uh...wait...just bring Tim Spencer, Hugh Farr and Bob Nolan and leave Pat Brady, Karl Farr and Lloyd Perryman over at Columbia to back up Donald Grayson. We don't want to make Harry Cohn mad, and Leon ain't going to pay for Roy Rogers and six Sons of the Pioneers for an eight-minute cartoon.

No, the music heard here came from the first Standard Radio transcriptions ( mid-1934 with 102 songs featuring Slye, Nolan, Spencer and Hugh Farr ), owned by Gerald King, program director at KFWB, who had his own moonlighting company on the side. The second and third transcription series were made after Karl Farr joined the group and completed the original quintet. And Leonard Slye left the group in 1937, signed a contract with Republic and had his billing name changed to Roy Rogers, and was replaced as a member of The Sons of the Pioneers in October, 1937 by Pat Brady.

We'd like to add Slye, Nolan, Spencer and Farr as uncredited voices to this cartoon, but we'd have to use the name Roy Rogers to do so, and would not be allowed to,since he was uncredited, add the attribute (as Leonard Slye), so we'll leave that to be done by those less picky regarding historical accuracy in cast listings.

Did the four-member Sons of the Pioneers get paid for their work in this cartoon? Of course not. They had already sold all rights to their KFWB and Standard Transcriptions to Gerald King, for a measly $600.

Did they even know, in 1938, their music and voices were used in this cartoon? Not unless one of them caught the cartoon on original release, and told the others they didn't.

For other uncredited music by the Sons of the Pioneers in cartoons, see 1935's "
Bronco Buster" from Walter Lantz and Universal.

 


Credits

Left: Harry Hall and KFWB

 

First frames are “a. a. p” alone. No copyright date.

 

“a. a. p.” is sub-imposed under “Associated Artists Productions” and lower left on the bottom of each frame is written: “1937 (or “1957”. It’s very small but clear. I’m pretty sure it’s “1937”) Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc”.

 

“Warner Bros. Pictures Inc Present 1317 Copyright MCMXXXVII by the Vitaphone Corp. All Rights Reserved” on the bottom.

 

 


 

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