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Origins: Hello My Baby? / Hello Ma Baby

mack/misophist 16 May 03 - 12:34 AM
Joe Offer 16 May 03 - 01:51 AM
Joe Offer 16 May 03 - 02:17 AM
Fiolar 16 May 03 - 08:42 AM
Jazzyjack 16 May 03 - 11:10 AM
mack/misophist 16 May 03 - 11:32 AM
Joe Offer 16 May 03 - 11:40 AM
MMario 16 May 03 - 11:46 AM
MMario 16 May 03 - 11:49 AM
Mark Clark 16 May 03 - 12:28 PM
Fiolar 17 May 03 - 05:45 AM
Fiolar 21 Jul 03 - 09:06 AM
GUEST,Mac 05 Nov 09 - 08:17 PM
GUEST,Emmanuel Kehoe, Dublin, Ireland 26 Oct 11 - 07:22 AM
Big Al Whittle 26 Oct 11 - 09:56 AM
SINSULL 26 Oct 11 - 10:03 AM
Jim Dixon 26 Oct 11 - 08:28 PM
Jim Dixon 26 Oct 11 - 08:54 PM
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Subject: Origins: George M Cohan
From: mack/misophist
Date: 16 May 03 - 12:34 AM

There is a well known tale that Geo Cohan got the key phrases to Hello, My Baby by eavesdropping on the apartment janitor talking to his girlfriend over the phone in the lobby. Normally I would say it was a nice storey and leave it at that but a friend bet me US$50 that it was false. Does any one know anything definitive?


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Subject: RE: Origins: George M Cohan - Hello My Baby
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 May 03 - 01:51 AM

I'll find more for you in a few minutes, misophist, but I think you'd better get your checkbook out. this page (click) says Cohan didn't write it.
    "Hello! My Baby" (1899), by Joseph E. Howard and Ida Emerson (they were married to each other). The chorus speaks of my "ragtime gal," which is evidence that the new music ragtime was no longer obscure. It is also one of the earliest popular songs to refer to a telephone. Frank P. Banta cut a piano solo of it for Victor on September 27, 1900 (seven-inch A-402), which is noteworthy since few piano solos were issued on records at this time. An old Victor catalog identifies the performance as "An Original Fantasie." Pianist Dick Wellstood performs a lively instrumental version on Ragtime Piano Favorites (Special Music 4528).
Levy Sheet Music Collection agrees:
    Title: Hello Ma Baby.
    Composer, Lyricist, Arranger: Words & Music by Howard & Emerson.
    Emerson Publication: New York: T.B. Harms & Co., 18 East 22nd St., 1899.
    Form of Composition: strophic with chorus
    Instrumentation: piano and voice
    First Line: I'se got a little baby, but she's out of sight
    First Line of Chorus: "Hello! ma baby, Hello! my honey, Hello! my ragtime gal
Tell your friend he should donate a portion of your $50 payment to Mudcat. [grin]
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: ADD: Hello My Baby (Emerson/Howard)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 May 03 - 02:17 AM

HELLO, MA BABY
(Words and Music by Ida Emerson and Joseph E. Howard, 1899)

Verse 1: I'se got a little baby, but she's out of sight,
I talk to her across the telephone.
I'se never seen my honey but she's mine all right,
So take my tip an' leave this gal alone.
Every single morning you will hear me yell,
"Hey Central! Fix me up along the line."
He connects me with ma honey, then I rings the bell,
And this is what I say to baby mine,

Chorus: Hello! ma baby, Hello! Ma honey, Hello! ma ragtime gal.
Send me a kiss by wire, baby my heart's on fire!
If you refuse me, Honey, you'll lose me, then you'll be left alone;
Oh baby, telephone and tell me I'se your own.
Hello! Hello! Hello! Hello there.

Verse 2: This morning thro' the phone she said her name was Bess,
And now I kind of know where I am at.
I'se satisfied because I'se got my babe's address
Here pasted in the lining of my hat.
I am mighty scared, 'cause if the wires get crossed,
'Twill separate me from ma baby mine,
Then some other man will win her, and my game is lost,
And so each day I shout along the line,

Chorus: Hello! ma baby, Hello! Ma honey, Hello! ma ragtime gal.
Send me a kiss by wire, baby my heart's on fire!
If you refuse me, Honey, you'll lose me, then you'll be left alone;
Oh baby, telephone and tell me I'se your own.

Copyright 1899, T.B. Harms & Co.

Source: Favorite Songs of the Nineties: Complete Original Sheet Music for 89 Songs (Robert A. Fremont, editor; DoverPublications, 1973)


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Subject: RE: Origins: George M Cohan - Hello My Baby
From: Fiolar
Date: 16 May 03 - 08:42 AM

The only thing I know about the song is the marvellous cartoon where the construction find finds the singing frog in the box in the building he is demolishing. It only sings when he is alone with it. Great stuff.


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Subject: RE: Origins: George M Cohan - Hello My Baby
From: Jazzyjack
Date: 16 May 03 - 11:10 AM

I loved this song when I was a kid because a) Chet Atkins had a cool fingerpickin' version of it and b) the Buffalo Bills barbershop quartet did it and my dad was into barbershopping. It's funny how things stick in your head from the days when you were so impressionable.


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Subject: RE: Origins: George M Cohan - Hello My Baby
From: mack/misophist
Date: 16 May 03 - 11:32 AM

Oh well, hard gotten easy gone.


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Subject: RE: Origins: George M Cohan - Hello My Baby
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 May 03 - 11:40 AM

Fiolar, I gotta know the name of that cartoon!!
Help!!
-Joe Frustrated-


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Subject: RE: Origins: George M Cohan - Hello My Baby
From: MMario
Date: 16 May 03 - 11:46 AM

That frog was in a couple cartoons, wasn't he? I seem to recall one where he had a tophat and tapdanced while singing, but ONLY when he was alone with the main charactor


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Subject: RE: Origins: George M Cohan - Hello My Baby
From: MMario
Date: 16 May 03 - 11:49 AM

Michigan J. Frog - Warbling cartoon frog and mascot for the WB (Warner Brothers) cable network launched January 11, 1995. Michigan J. Frog first appeared in the 1955 animated cartoon One Froggy Evening about a disheveled construction worker who found a box in a cornerstone of a 1892 building that is being demolished. When he opened the box out popped a green frog who produced a top hat and cane and began to dance and sing "Hello My Baby" at the top of his lungs. Seeing the potential for an instant fortune, the construction worker took the frog to the Acme Theatrical Agency but the frog refused to perform for anyone except the construction worker. Frustrated and driven nearly mad at his inability to get the frog to sing for anyone else, the construction worker redeposited the frog back into the cornerstone of a new building (which was found by another construction worker years later who also saw dollar signs when the frog began to sing). Other songs in the frogs repertoire included "I'm Just Wild
About Harry," "Come Back to Erin," "Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone," and an original tune written by Chuck Jones and Michael Maltese called "The Michigan Rag" which began "Everybody's doing the Michigan Rag." Baritone Terrence Monck provided the frog's voice. Artist Chuck Jones later named the frog Michigan J. Frog. In 1973 film critic Jay Cocksproclaimed that this animated short "comes as close as any cartoon ever has to perfection.
               


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Subject: RE: Origins: George M Cohan - Hello My Baby
From: Mark Clark
Date: 16 May 03 - 12:28 PM

As I recall, Michigan J. Frog was prominently featured on the cover of Leon Redbone's first album.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Origins: George M Cohan - Hello My Baby
From: Fiolar
Date: 17 May 03 - 05:45 AM

Joe: I think your question has been answered. :-)


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Subject: RE: Origins: George M Cohan - Hello My Baby
From: Fiolar
Date: 21 Jul 03 - 09:06 AM

Folks - gotta tell ya. I was so fortunate the other evening to be watching The Cartoon Network and guess what? ANOTHER Michigan J. Frog cartoon came on. Entitled "Another Froggy Evening" it traces his history from the Stone Age, to Rome to Robinson Crusoe and finally to the time he is taken to Mars by you know who. Dated 1995, it apparently has hardly ever been shown. It's as good if not even better than the original. Sadly I was too late to record it.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hello My Baby? / Hello Ma Baby
From: GUEST,Mac
Date: 05 Nov 09 - 08:17 PM

Space Balls spoofed this perfectly...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XU1MAokrrUk


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hello My Baby? / Hello Ma Baby
From: GUEST,Emmanuel Kehoe, Dublin, Ireland
Date: 26 Oct 11 - 07:22 AM

MY maternal grandmother told me how, in the Dublin of 1899-1900, as a young woman working in a sweet shop on Sackville Street (now O'Connell Street), the shop sold lapel badges of the leaders of both sides in the Boer war. She knew a couple of songs relating to the war that so divided Irish opinion. One was a parody of Hello! Ma Baby written in New York in the very year the war broke out. The song must have quickly quickly crossed the Atlantic and was transformed with the names of various belligerent leaders. The war began in October 1899 and Kitchener arrived in South Africa in December. Sadly, this is all I can remember of it:

Hello Kruger, Hello Cronje Hello Baden Powell, Send me a kiss by wire, Kitchener my heart's on fire.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hello My Baby? / Hello Ma Baby
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 26 Oct 11 - 09:56 AM

Wasn't there a Kehoe in the Battle of the Little Big Horn? Any relation?

The best UK version I ever heard of this was Pete Quin - Pete got got fed up with being called King of the Ragtime guitar - he wanted to do other stuff. That F to Dm and then F to D7 in the chorus is equisite.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hello My Baby? / Hello Ma Baby
From: SINSULL
Date: 26 Oct 11 - 10:03 AM

LOL Memories
I had an aunt whose home had a platform with drapes (curtains). Each Thanksgiving the children were expected to perform. I was about four or five. My cousin was about eight. Hello My Honey was our song.
Rave reviews and multiple curtain calls.
I really was cute.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hello My Baby? / Hello Ma Baby
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 26 Oct 11 - 08:28 PM

You can see images of the sheet music for HELLO MA BABY at the Library of Congress/American Memory/African-American Sheet Music web page.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hello My Baby? / Hello Ma Baby
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 26 Oct 11 - 08:54 PM

It turns out the lyrics that Joe posted above have been cleaned up a bit. The original sheet music has "coon" where Joe's version has "man" in verse 2 line 7.


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