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Tom and Jerry & Tex Avery Too! Vol. 1: The 1950s (1952-1958)
Music by Scott Bradley
Tom and Jerry & Tex Avery Too! Vol. 1: The 1950s Tom and Jerry & Tex Avery Too! Vol. 1: The 1950s
Click to enlarge images.
Price: $24.95
Limited #: 3000
View CD Page at SAE Store
Line: Golden Age
CD Release: November 2006
Catalog #: Vol. 9, No. 17
# of Discs: 2

Released by Special Arrangement With Turner Classic Movies Music.

Scott Bradley (1891-1977) was the musical wizard behind M-G-M's classic Golden Age cartoons. From 1934 to 1957, Bradley was the studio's resident animation composer and provided the musical identity for William Hanna and Joseph Barbera's popular Tom and Jerry shorts as well as the madcap gag-fests of animation legend Tex Avery.

Along with his counterpart at Warner Bros., Bradley helped create the entire genre of "cartoon music," a symphonic/big band fusion that quoted from classical literature and popular songs as it did spectacular acrobatics to catch the on-screen action.

Unlike Carl Stalling's Warner Bros. cartoons, which were heavy in dialogue to allow for characterization, the chase-driven Tom and Jerrys were largely bereft of dialogue, and allowed Bradley more latitude for musical cohesion. However, the rapid-fire Tex Avery shorts required music every bit as schizophrenic and, in retrospect, postmodern as Stalling's famous scores.

Bradley's style is instantly recognizable to the millions who have adored these cartoons—hearing it is like welcoming an old friend. Incredibly, this is the first-ever album release of his work. (An earlier Tex Avery compilation CD was taken from the shorts' composite soundtracks, including dialogue and effects.)

For this premiere CD, FSM has concentrated on Bradley's last period at M-G-M, the reason being that these offer the best sound quality. Nine cartoon scores survive in glorious stereo sound from the original 35mm three-track masters and have been supplemented with an additional 16 monaural cartoons from 17.5mm masters.

The result is 25 complete (or nearly complete) cartoon scores in marvelous sound quality, especially when compared to other historical cartoon music CDs. The scores cover a cross-section of Tom and Jerry and Tex Avery shorts in a variety of styles (romantic, straight-ahead chase, jazzy) and for different settings (Naples, the Old West, 19th-century France), with an enjoyable variety of the main title themes.

This groundbreaking release of the music of Scott Bradley features liner notes by animation music authority Daniel Goldmark. 

Scott Bradley Scores on FSM
About the Composer

Scott Bradley (1891–1977) was the in-house animation composer at M-G-M from 1934 to 1958, scoring the classic Tom and Jerry shorts by Hanna & Barbera as well as Tex Avery's cartoons (Droopy, the Wolf, Screwy Squirrel, etc.). Along with Carl Stalling at Warner Bros., Bradley invented what is today considered the classic Hollywood cartoon sound—the chaotic but inherently musical blend of pop/classical quotes and symphonic outbursts. Bradley was actually a modernist concert composer who also did occasional dramatic scoring at M-G-M; he took his work seriously and his cartoons became all the more hilarious because of it. IMDB

Comments (19):Log in or register to post your own comments
Really hoping there is a second volume to this classic music. Its somewhat what got me into scores in the first place. I grew up with T& J and Looney Tunes cartoons, that is where I got my love for orchestral music and an appreciation for music that augments the visuals.

After dilly dallying around it for at least a couple of years, I finally ordered my copy tonight. I'm really not sure why I didn't get to it sooner, as I grew up with Tom & Jerry, and these cartoons have a very nostalgic place in my heart. Soon I'll finally be able to hear some of its music.

I truly, honestly hope that Volume 2 is in the pipeline. I didn't even know that this existed until 2008 or so, two years after its release... it's been four and a half now.

Lukas, you're guaranteed a sale from me if you're working on a second volume, despite my procrastination in buying the first. I am sure that hearing Vol. 1 will get my craving for more going! :)

".....g-g-g-g-g gota practice mah gittar there, n-n-n-n-ephew. "

Incredible for sure. Got mine in last month's batch after the same procrastination.

Sad to say, unlikely to get v2 until v1 goes... just my opinion given the economic situation, etc.

".....g-g-g-g-g gota practice mah gittar there, n-n-n-n-ephew. "[/endquote]

"AH NEED ME A G-G-G-G-GEETAR STRING!"

I too have fond memories of these cartoons as well as this album (was my first FSM purchase). I'd love to pick up future volumes.

Basil, I think you will enjoy these discs. Great selections and the sound quality is, in general, superb. The stereo tracks are especially outstanding - you'll never hear that famous T&J theme any better than on "Pet Peeve!"

V2 will be great bc we (likely) get "Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby," the golden age western-swing classic "If You're Ever Down in Texas..." Tom at the Hollywood Bowl. Too cool.

Maybe If You're Ever Down in Texas was Roy Rogers - need to check that. Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby was a Louis Jourdan song.

But, we need the first one to go. It's better that some of the release vols are being reduced; this puts the pressure in the collector aftermarket, as opposed to being the sole burden of producers - their inv levels are probably pretty scary anyway. So v1 needs to go for sure.

"Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby," what a brilliant song/cartoon working in unison. It was perfect for that story.

The judgment and choices made by the people who made those things was years ahead of its time and so spot on. The examples of brilliance are endless.



GB's magazine GRAMOPHONE recently published a film music issue which in turn prompted a reader to write a letter, published in a subsequent issue, about Bradley's music for Tom and Jerry. Have alerted Lukas to this opportunity to promote the FSM album, though it will remain to be seen how friendly or cooperative the GRAMOPHONE editors prove to be in this instance. I, personally, have in the past found them reluctant to confront anything which might make it appear that they fell down on the job....

Warner Home Video is finally doing right by Tom and Jerry. A "Volume 1 Golden Collection" DVD is scheduled for October 25th:

http://tvshowsondvd.com/news/Tom-Jerry-Golden-Collection-Volume-1/15578

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