June 22, 2001
By Brian Kistler
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!