Hello! Ma Baby
"Hello! Ma Baby" is a Tin Pan Alley song written in 1899 by the songwriting team of Joseph E. Howard and Ida Emerson, known as "Howard and Emerson". Its subject is a man who has a girlfriend he knows only through the telephone; it was the first well-known song to refer to the device. The song was first recorded by Arthur Collins on an Edison 5470 phonograph cylinder.
Its chorus is far better known than its verse, as the introductory song in the famous Warner Bros. cartoon One Froggy Evening (1955), sung by the character later dubbed Michigan J. Frog and high-stepping in the style of a cakewalk:
Howard and Emerson's
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The short piano piece "Le Petit Nègre" by Claude Debussy from 1909 features a melody very similar to "Hello! Ma Baby", and may have been inspired by the song.
The sheet music and the Warner Bros. acquisition of the song
In popular culture
- In the classic Chuck Jones directed Merrie Melodies cartoon One Froggy Evening, a singing, dancing frog sings a number of songs from the era the 1955 cartoon was made, with this song being the most remembered by viewers.
- In Mel Brooks' 1987 film Spaceballs, parodying Alien, a chest-bursting alien escapes John Hurt's chest, homaging the Chuck Jones cartoon by dancing down a space-diner's counter while singing the song, prompting Barf and Lone Starr to get their bill and leave.
- In The Simpsons' fifth season episode "Homer's Barbershop Quartet" from 1993 (which takes place in Springfield 1985), Homer, Skinner, Wiggum and Apu sing a barbershop quartet rendition of the song.
- AllMusic.com. "Joseph E. Howard". AllMusic.com. AllMusic.com. Retrieved 2015-02-17.
- Fuld, James J. (1985). The Book of World-Famous Music: Classical, Popular and Folk (3rd ed.). New York: Dover Publications. p. 272. ISBN 0-486-24857-7. OCLC 11289867.
- "Recording "Hello, Ma Baby" by Arthur Francis Collins". Musicbrainz.org. Retrieved 2015-02-17.
- "Hello, Ma Baby by Arthur Collins (Single; Edison; 5470): Reviews, Ratings, Credits, Song list - Rate Your Music". Rateyourmusic.com. Rateyourmusic.com. Retrieved 2015-02-17.
- Spring, Katherine (2013). Saying It With Songs: Popular Music and the Coming of Sound to Hollywood Cinema. Oxford University Press. p. 58. ISBN 978-0-19-984221-6.