Solid Serenade

William Hanna & Joseph Barbera (1946)

Solid Serenade is a 1946 one-reel animated cartoon and is the 26th Tom and Jerry short, produced in Technicolor and released to theatres on August 31, 1946 by Metro-Goldwyn Mayer. It was produced by Fred Quimby, directed by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, and the musical supervision was by Scott Bradley. Ed Barge, Michael Lah, and Kenneth Muse animated it. Excerpts of this cartoon are seen in three other Tom and Jerry shorts: Jerry’s Diary, Smitten Kitten, and Smarty Cat, the latter instance with altered audio and an added scene of Tom whistling.

Animation historian Michael Barrier wrote that Tom’s appearance stabilized by the time of Solid Serenade, giving him a more streamlined and less inconsistent look. Jerry, whose appearance was already economical, only became cuter, according to Barrier. Describing music director Scott Bradley’s work, academic Daniel Ira Goldmark called Solid Serenade “an excellent overview of Bradley’s techniques”, as it uses both popular songs and an original score.

Is You Is or Is You Ain’t My Baby is a 1944 Louis Jordan song, released as the B-side of a single with “G.I. Jive”. “Is You Is or Is You Ain’t My Baby” reached #1 on the US folk/country charts. The song appeared in the Tom and Jerry cartoon Solid Serenade and sung by Ira Woods as Tom Cat on the bass.

Louis Thomas Jordan was an American saxophonist, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and bandleader who was popular from the late 1930s to the early 1950s. Known as “The King of the Jukebox”, he earned his highest profile towards the end of the swing era. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as an “early influence” in 1987.

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