June 22, 2001:

When you left the navy, you knew you had a choice.....

New York or L.A., where should you cast your voice?

Mother had bronchitis, your family liked the sun

So the climate clinched it, Los Angeles won!...oh!

Like Snagglepuss "exit, stage left", all the way to L.A.

Long way from Illinois, bad brakes all the way !

Father kindly gave you, some money for a house

You boldly forged ahead, no longer like a mouse!...oh!

You knocked on doors, offering........ your talent to sell

Suffered some directors, who told you "go to hell"

But some were willing to help you out

You broke into radio; and earned some clout...oh!

You went to Warner Brothers, and battled Mel Blanc

Said they couldn't use you and your heart sank

But they sent you to Tex Avery

So Tex took a chance on you; showed his bravery...oh!

So hello animation and the like.........

And now you made your living from behind the mike

Next you took a stab at puppets

More than twenty years before the muppets...oh!

For five years the puppets put food on your table

Then they turned on you !!........and you felt disabled

No one thought a puppeteer could do a cartoon........

Directors didn't listen; thought you were doomed......oh!

Painfully you sold yourself, all over again

Then they knew you were.......the rarest of men

A talent they'd better snatch up fast

And all their doubts were a thing of the past...oh!

Even Warner Brothers, finally gave you a chance

And you seemed to make their characters dance

Hanna-Barbera, Jay Ward, Warners, they loved you

But never forgot your past; you helped others too...oh!

Your generosity included young people

You were faithful, constant like a steeple

You earned your name: Nicest in Show Biz

Became a man, whom many will miss...oh!

Though I never cried when I learned that you died

My heart was deeply broken.......and I cried inside......oh!

My heart was deeply broken...and I cried inside......oh!