Since the alert readers of this blog were so helpful in identifying the Vivaldi Largo in D minor that was tormenting me, I am turning to you to solve another musical mystery.
Here it is (possibly in the wrong key):
(if you don’t have flash installed, you can download the small MP3 snippet here)
I first heard this little intro/trill on Leon Redbone’s cover of the old Emmett Miller tune “Ghost of the St. Louis Blues”, but I find it hard to believe that it originated there. I’m positive I’ve heard this in more than one old haunted house movie, and likely in Bugs Bunny cartoons as well.
Anyone know where mysterious little phrase originated?
Update: Alert reader Ray Link told me he heard this riff on a 1974 album by The Wonderland Singers, along with the lyrics “We are here to scare you-hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo!”. That’s not the origin, but googling for the Wonderland Singers brought me to someone who identified the riff as being from the 1930 Walter Doyle song “Mysterious Mose”. (You can hear a few other versions here and here.) The song was the basis of a proto-Betty-Boop cartoon, as well.
I’m still not sure this is the absolute origin, but it seems plausible. Can anyone find an earlier source for this musical phrase?